32nd Annual William Oliver Baker Award Dinner

INSA Baker Coin

On Friday, June 10, INSA hosted the 32nd Annual William Oliver Baker Award Dinner, honoring the lifetime achievements and over three decades of exemplary public service of John E. McLaughlin, former Acting Director of Central Intelligence and Deputy Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. Held at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C., the dinner brought together more than 680 guests, including former Baker Award recipients, three generations of Directors of the Central Intelligence Agency, current and former leaders in the intelligence and national security communities, private sector, and members of the academic community.

The evening began with a cocktail hour at the Welcome Reception, where guests had the opportunity to network in the restaurant and enjoy a jazz trio, featuring lead vocalist Lena Seikaly, on the terrace. The program in the main ballroom began with opening remarks by INSA President, Chuck Alsup, who paid tribute to former Baker recipient and American cryptanalyst and trailblazer Ann Caracristi who passed away earlier in the year. His introduction was followed by the presentation of the colors by an honor guard, the singing of the national anthem by Lena Seikaly, and the invocation delivered by Pastor Rickey Jasper. After dinner, INSA Chairman Letitia A. Long warmly recognized John McLaughlin’s achievements in the Intelligence Community, particularly recognizing how he steered the Community on counterterrorism efforts in the aftermath of 9/11 and his founding of the Senior Analytic Service and the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis.

2016 William Oliver Baker Award Dinner

Afterwards, Chairman Long introduced the Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, who spoke highly of Mr. McLaughlin’s significant achievements and dedication to public service, and offered lighthearted and humorous anecdotes from Mr. McLaughlin’s career at the CIA, including tales of how Mr. McLaughlin performed magic tricks, a well-known hobby of his, during his CIA retirement ceremony. Director Clapper then presented the Baker Award on behalf of INSA.

Mr. McLaughlin’s acceptance remarks reflected on his time in the military, his government service, and his experience currently as a Distinguished Practioner-in-Residence at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of the Johns Hopkins University. The audience laughed upon hearing that he had “finally penetrated the U.S. government” now that many former students are scattered about the federal government. He shared anecdotes from his time at the CIA, including encounters with former Baker recipients George Tenet, Charlie Allen, and James Clapper. To the delight of the audience, Mr. McLaughlin performed three magic tricks as part of the evening. Standing alone in the center of the stage, he wowed the crowd by tearing up a newspaper before their eyes before unfolding an undamaged copy. In another trick, a knot in a scarf seemingly untied itself without being touched. Mr. McLaughlin also thanked the private sector for their partnership with the Intelligence Community and the many technologies and services they’ve provided that have elevated the national security of the country. The evening concluded with a standing ovation and champagne celebratory toast for Mr. McLaughlin.

John E. McLaughlin
About John E. McLaughlin

John E. McLaughlin provided, supported and directed intelligence analysis at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) for over three decades, serving as Acting Director of Central Intelligence shortly before his retirement in 2004. As Deputy Director for Intelligence at CIA from 1997 to 2000, McLaughlin created the Senior Analytic Service, a career track that enables CIA analysts to rise to very senior rank without branching out into management. He also founded the Sherman Kent School for Intelligence Analysis, an institution dedicated to teaching the history, mission, and essential skills of the analytic profession to new CIA employees. He served as Deputy Director of Central Intelligence from 2000 to 2004.

Earlier in his 32-year career at the agency, Mr. McLaughlin focused on European, Russian, and Eurasian issues. His public service began as a US Army Officer, completing a tour in Vietnam from 1968 to 1969. Currently Mr. McLaughlin is the distinguished practitioner in residence at the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) of the Johns Hopkins University. He is chairman of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation, which raises funds for the educational and other support of children and families who lose a parent in CIA service.

About the William Oliver Baker Award

The William Oliver Baker Award was established by INSA’s predecessor, the Security Affairs Support Association (SASA), to promote excellence in the intelligence and national security activities of the United States government and associated endeavors in the private sector. The Award annually recognizes individuals for exceptional achievements and sustained contributions or single achievements of extraordinary merit.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Omni Shoreham Hotel
2500 Calvert St NW
Washington, DC

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Welcome Reception: 6 pm

Dinner & Program: 8 pm

Dress Code:
Black tie or mess dress attire

Board Reception Sponsors

Eagle Ray, Inc.

Celebration Sponsor

Harris Corporation

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General Dynamics

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