A Celebration of Excellence: Honoring Charlie Allen

June 20, 2023 8:00 AM to 10:00 AM Hilton McLean Tysons Corner, McLean, VA

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On Tuesday, June 20, more than 250 intelligence and national security professionals gathered at the Hilton McLean to celebrate The Honorable Charles A. Allen’s 65th year of service to the nation.

The festive program kicked off with opening remarks from PDDNI Stacey Dixon who noted that most people’s second careers are often “passion projects”. Charlie’s second career, after 46-years at CIA, involved joining an organization (DHS) made up of 22 different orgs to create the intelligence apparatus. Dr. Dixon noted that his work at CIA as Assistant Director for Central Intelligence Collection, as National Intelligence Officer for Warning, and National Intelligence Officer for CT formed the foundation for the ODNI and “for that we are truly grateful.”

Following a plated breakfast, Charlie sat down with INSA Chairwoman Letitia A. Long for a fireside chat focused on his wide-ranging career, as well as his perspective on current challenges and opportunities. He described how the Presidential Daily Brief evolved over the tenure of the eight presidents he served under and that it reflects “the best we have to offer” the president to inform decision making. Charlie detailed his start at the CIA noting he “was a GS-5 and I was in nirvana. I had a wife; I had a job; and I had responsibilities. And right from the start it was to keep the country safe.” 

Throughout the program, special guests Hon. Sue Gordon, Hon. George Tenet, Kathy Pherson, and RADM Mike Studeman, USN, shared personal stories about the impact he made on both the IC and their lives. Additionally, CIA Director William J. Burns; former CIA Deputy Director Joan Dempsey; and former Presidents George W. Bush and Bill Clinton all contributed words of admiration and recognition.

The morning ended with INSA President Suzanne Wilson Heckenberg announcing that starting in 2024, INSA’s annual Achievement Awards will be named, The Charlie Allen Achievement Awards, highlighting the lasting impact of Charlie Allen on the IC workforce.

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