2013 William Oliver Baker Award
On Friday, June 7, INSA hosted the 29th William Oliver Baker Dinner to honor the career, achievements, and dedication of General Michael Hayden. The dinner, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. was a record crowd for INSA with more than 750 guests from the private, public, and academic sectors of the intelligence and national security communities.
The evening began with an elegant networking cocktail hour and reception, followed by a four course meal in the main ballroom. The night’s program began with opening remarks from INSA President, Ambassador Joseph DeTrani, followed by the presentation of the colors by an honor guard and accompanied by DC’s Finest singing the national anthem. After dinner, INSA Chairman Ambassador John Negroponte introduced the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, to begin the presentation of the William Oliver Baker Dinner to General Hayden. Director Clapper’s remarks began light-heartedly, informing the crowd of General Hayden’s love of his hometown Pittsburgh and the Pittsburgh Steelers, and his perseverance in paying his way through college—making light of the ironic position he had as a hair brush salesman.
After his “roast” of General Hayden, Director Clapper spoke of General Hayden’s exemplary career in the United States Air Force and United States Intelligence Community, and his dedication to protecting our Nation; saying, “Mike Hayden is the straightest arrow I’ve ever known,” and that “there is no one more deserving of this award.” Clapper ended his remarks with a surprise rendition of the four military service songs adapted to General Hayden’s life, accompanied by former Steely Dan and Doobie Brothers guitarist turned independent national security consultant, Skunk Baxter.
General Hayden began his remarks thanking Director Clapper for his kind words, as well as thanking the entire crowd for the work they do every day to protect our Nation and our freedoms. Additionally, he spoke of the importance and need for intelligence to inform policy, highlighting that it is, and must remain, fact-based. He ended his remarks focused on family, and how he could not have had the career, nor made the important decisions throughout his career without the unconditional love and support of his wife of more than thirty years, Jeanine.