20Feb 2020 INSA Achievement Awards

2020 INSA Achievement Awards

Registration for this event is closed.

Honoring our Rising Stars!

Registration is now open for INSA's 10th Achievement Awards Ceremony, taking place on February 20, 2020 at the U.S. Institute of Peace. This festive evening celebrates outstanding early and mid-career professionals in the intelligence, national security, and homeland security communities, as well as the senior leaders who inspire their success.

2020 Achievement Award Recipients

Anita Brown
Counterintelligence Coordination Officer, Bureau of Intelligence & Research, U.S. State Dept

(Richard J. Kerr Government Award)

Anita Brown’s outstanding record of achievement, ability to think strategically about complex issues, and commitment to excellence have advanced U.S. foreign policy and counterintelligence priorities. Adept at navigating complicated national security issues, her leadership on the Russia, China, North Korea, and Cuba counterintelligence (CI) portfolio is integral to enabling the State Department and broader U.S. government to balance critical CI concerns. The Department relies on Anita for her consensus building skills, ability to anticipate third and fourth order effects of policy decisions, and subject matter expertise when assessing their response options and acting in the best interest of the mission.

TSgt William N. Haskell, USAF
NCO in Charge, Global Outreach, Mission Integration Directorate, National Reconnaissance Office
(William O. Studeman Military Award)

By demonstrating exceptional leadership, technical proficiency, and professional commitment, Technical Sergeant William N. Haskell, USAF, has dramatically advanced the capabilities of the National Reconnaissance Office (NRO) Mission Integration Directorate. In this past year, he led 28 deployments, ensuring optimized overhead collection integration with the Combatant Commands and the Services. TSgt Haskell’s best-matrixed approach enabled the rapid integration of overhead systems support and training to 38,000 members. He is also recognized for leading forward-deployed training to remote locations. Specifically, he coordinated reach-back to 4,000 personnel while managing a multi-million-dollar NRO program to rapidly develop and deliver 168 innovative processing solutions to address collection shortfalls.

Megan Jaffer
Founding Member, Amazing Women of the IC
(Joan A. Dempsey Mentorship Award)

Megan Jaffer has used her extraordinary communication skills, can-do attitude, and unparalleled leadership ability to help grow the Amazing Women of the IC (AWIC) from a small group of 40 women into a flourishing organization of 900+ members. In the five years since AWIC’s start, Ms. Jaffer has met with dozens of junior and peer women, connecting with them individually to help them navigate the IC, identify opportunities, or chart their own career paths. AWIC members often report that a new job, assignment, or opportunity resulted from an initial conversation with Megan.

Franklin Mosca
Intelligence Analyst, FBI San Antonio Field Office
(John W. Warner Homeland Security Award)

Franklin Mosca’s exemplary leadership, collaborative nature, and results-oriented mindset unfailingly pave an efficient path to success and ensured the protection of U.S. interests. As an intelligence analyst for the FBI, Mr. Mosca has pioneered innovative methods of “doing things smarter” and is widely praised for his exceptionally thorough work. In one notable example, his meticulous research and analysis during a counterterrorism investigation of an asylum-seeking Somali national linked to a foreign terrorist organization led to the expeditious deportation of that individual. On a different assignment, he arranged for FBI experts to brief key Brazilian stakeholders regarding the vulnerabilities of Chinese-origin equipment. These briefings helped Brazilian government partners better understand the national security implications of unsecured infrastructure.

LTC David P. Oakley, PhD
Assistant Professor, College of International Security Affairs, National Defense University
(Sidney D. Drell Academic Award)

As an Assistant Professor at the College of International Security Affairs, a senior service college of the National Defense University, LTC David P. Oakley, PhD, USA, helps deliver the Combating Terrorism and Irregular Warfare Fellowship Program. He has instructed more than 300 senior leaders from over 30 countries. LTC Oakley's extensive  scholarship includes an award-winning paper and critically acclaimed publications. His most recent book, Subordinating Intelligence: The DoD/CIA Post-Cold War Relationship, has been nominated for the William E. Colby Military Writers’ Award. Through his exemplary teaching, scholarship, and service to his profession, LTC Oakley has greatly enhanced national security studies, strengthened relationships with key allies, and helped develop the next generation of U.S. intelligence and national security professionals.

Abe Usher
Technology Leader, Black Cape
(Edwin H. Land Industry Award)

Abe Usher pioneered leading-edge advancements in data science, machine learning, and geospatial analysis at the NGA, DIA and other IC agencies. The innovations developed by his teams revolutionized multi-agency collaboration, accelerated adoption of data science, and deployed secure systems used by thousands of analysts and warfighters. In support of DIA’s Analytic Modernization Initiative, Mr. Usher assembled a team of software engineers dubbed “the Nerd Brigade” that rapidly developed and deployed analytical tools that saved the agency thousands of man hours, reduced human error, and improved data fidelity. At NGA, his Rapid Feedback Teams informed NGA’s workforce development strategy and led to the standup of the NGA Data Corps.  Abe Usher’s extraordinary technical knowledge, mission understanding, and selfless dedication to national security enhance both the capabilities of the IC and the security of the nation.

Program Overview


The Hon. Ellen McCarthy, Assistant Secretary of State for Intelligence and Research and former INSA president, will share defining moments in her career journey, as well as the importance of diversity and fresh perspectives to the national security mission.


  • 6:00 - 7:00 PM: Welcome Reception (heavy hors d'oeuvres)
  • 7:00-8:30 PM: Program
  • 8:30 PM: Dessert Reception


U.S. Institute of Peace
2301 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20037

Dress Code

Business or Service Dress/Class A (Military)

Media Policy

The event is open to the press

About the Hon. Ellen McCarthy

A beloved former INSA president, the Hon. Ellen McCarthy was sworn in as the Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Intelligence and Research in January 2019, marking her return to the public sector after a three-year stint as president of Noblis NSP. Previously, McCarthy served as the Chief Operating Officer for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency; the Director of Human Capital Management and Acting Director of Security in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence; the Director of Intelligence Operations, Strategy, and Policy for the U.S. Coast Guard; an all source intelligence analyst at the Office of Naval Intelligence and at Atlantic Fleet; a technical research analyst at the Institute for Defense Analysis supporting the Strategic Defense Initiative Organization. Ms. McCarthy holds a bachelor's degree from the University of South Carolina and a master's in Public Policy from the University of Maryland.

  • Sponsors

Award Categories


The Sidney D. Drell Academic Award
Open to graduate students and untenured professors at accredited U.S. academic institutions.


The Richard J. Kerr Government Award
Open to civilian government employees up to and including GS-13 and equivalent rank. 


The John W. Warner Homeland Security Award
Open to law enforcement professionals, intelligence analysts, and first responders from the federal government and state, local, tribal and territorial agencies.


The Edwin H. Land Industry Award
Open to contractors and nongovernment employees with eight to ten years of nonexecutive experience.


The Joan A. Dempsey Mentorship Award
Open to public, private and academic professionals up to and including GS-15/0-6 and equivalent rank.  


The William O. Studeman Military Award
Open to uniformed military personnel up to and including 0-4/E-7.

About the Awards

The INSA Achievement Awards were established in 2010 to recognize the accomplishments of early to mid-career professionals (GS-13/O-4/E-7 or equivalent and below with the exception of the Joan A. Dempsey Mentorship Award) in intelligence and national security as well as the mentors who inspired them.

Each of the six awards, named after William Oliver Baker Award recipients, acknowledge the importance of mentors and inspire early careerists to strive for excellence in the intelligence, homeland security, and national security communities.

Although missions and requirements differ in each of the individual categories, common areas of excellence include: leadership, potential for growth, impact on the profession, mission accomplishment, and emerging professional standing and influence. 

The Awards

  • Joan A. Dempsey Mentorship Award
    • Open to all public, private and academic elements up to and including GS-15/O-6 and equivalent rank
  • Sidney D. Drell Academic Award
    • Graduate students and untenured professors
  • Richard J. Kerr Government Award
    • Civilian government employees up to/including GS-13 and equivalent rank
  • Edwin H. Land Industry Award
    • Contractor/non-government employees
  • William O. Studeman Military Award
    • Uniformed military up to/including O-3 and equivalent enlisted rank
  • John W. Warner Homeland Security Award
    • First responders and domestic government employees up to and including GS-13 and equivalent rank
View Past Recipients

2019 Awards Ceremony

Video with keynote by LTG. Ashley

Commemorative Program (PDF)

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