Simply the Best! Gov. Tom Ridge Receives 37th William Oliver Baker Award

May 14, 2022 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

On Saturday, May 14, the Intelligence and National Security Alliance presented the 37th William Oliver Baker Award to Governor Tom Ridge, former governor of Pennsylvania and the first Secretary of Homeland Security. Nearly 600 IC professionals gathered to celebrate Gov. Ridge’s decades-long career in public service and contributions to the national security community.

Dinner recording courtesy of ESRI

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In accepting the Baker Award, Gov. Ridge reflected on his efforts to lead the first reorganization of the federal government since the Truman administration in the years following the September 11, 2001, attacks. He said that, while his mandate was a difficult one, he had the support of a skilled and dedicated team that ultimately led to the establishment of the first agency specifically committed to protecting the homeland.

Tribute video courtesy of BAE Systems

The evening was full of surprises for Gov. Ridge, including an invocation from his Parish priest in his hometown of Erie, PA, and a video that showcased his historic tenure as the first Secretary of Homeland Security. INSA President Suzanne Wilson Heckenberg also announced the establishment of an INSA Foundation endowed scholarship in Gov. Ridge’s name to be awarded to students pursuing careers in homeland security.