INSA Achievement Awards
About the INSA Achievement Awards
In 2010, the INSA Board of Directors established the INSA Achievement Awards to recognize the accomplishments of young professionals (GS-13/O-3/E-6 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 have inspired them. INSA strongly believes it is worthwhile to formally and publicly acknowledge early achievers; in many cases, the Achievement Awards represent the first formal recognition the recipients have received. Six awards, named after previous William Oliver Baker Award winners, are presented to acknowledge the importance of mentorship and inspire young professionals 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 seven current awards are listed below:
- 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
Process and Selection Criteria
- Leadership – performance that exemplifies the ability to work across organizational boundaries, understands national security and intelligence priorities, and meets the wide-ranging requirements of mission objectives.
- Influence – the ability to influence others to accomplish the mission by providing purpose, direction and motivation.
- Proficiency – the nominee is continually learning and is technically and tactically competent.
- Values – the nominee is committed to the value of diversity, and encourages initiative, innovation, collaboration, resourcefulness and resilience.
- Team-building – the nominee develops cross-functional and cross-organizational teams that anticipate requirements and exercises initiative within the director’s intent.
- Personal – the nominee exhibits intangible aspect of leadership relating to people, skills, interpersonal communication skills, and the quality of the leadership climate; for example, the ability to understand human nature (empathy) and the ability to gain consensus among diverse groups.
Once the call for nominations has gone out, agencies and companies may submit up to three nominations from their organization (for the homeland security award, DHS may submit up to five nominations) by completing in full a nomination form, which will be made available for download upon the annual call for nominations. Up to five letters of support may be submitted for each candidate in addition to the nomination form (optional). Each year, all nomination packages must be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The INSA Board of Directors designate selected members of INSA governance boards to serve as the INSA Awards Committee which review nominations for each of the INSA Achievement Awards categories and choose the awardees. The awards committee will be augmented by an academic subcommittee constituted by INSA, comprised of recognized professional members of academia.
Civilian government employees will be eligible up to and including the grade of GS-13; uniformed military personnel up to and including the grade of O-3/E-6; and academics up to and including graduate students and untenured professors.
Joan A. Dempsey Mentorship Award
- All recipients of requests for nominations will also be afforded the opportunity to nominate one supervisor/mentor from their organization (GS-15/O-6 and below) who they believe deserves to be recognized for encouraging and inspiring young professionals to strive for excellence in the intelligence and national security communities. The Academic Subcommittee may submit up to five mentorship nominations from across academia. DHS may submit up to five nominations from across the homeland security intelligence enterprise. These nominees will be reviewed by the INSA Awards Committee, which will choose the awardee.
Sidney D. Drell Academic Award
- An Academic Subcommittee, comprising recognized professional members of academe, will be constituted by INSA to identify and select up to five academic candidates. These candidates will be reviewed by the INSA Awards Committee, which will choose the awardee. In addition to the Nomination Form, a nominee for the Academic Award may also submit a Curriculum Vitae detailing their research, publications, and other academic achievements.
Richard J. Kerr Government Award
- Directors and Chiefs of civilian and military agencies and departments within the Intelligence Community will be asked to submit a single civilian candidate each. These candidates will be reviewed by the INSA Awards Committee, which will choose the awardee.
Edwin H. Land Industry Award
- Chief Executive Officers of INSA corporate member organizations will be invited to nominate a single, young professional candidate from their respective organizations who they believe deserves recognition for exemplary support to the intelligence and national security communities. These candidates will be reviewed by the INSA Awards Committee, which will choose the awardee.
William O. Studeman Military Award
- Service intelligence Chiefs, Chiefs of military agencies, the JCS J2, Combatant Command J2s, etc., will be asked to submit a single uniformed military candidate each. These candidates will be reviewed by the INSA Awards Committee, which will choose the awardee.
John W. Warner Homeland Security Award
- The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will be asked to identify potential candidates from across the homeland security intelligence enterprise, including DHS, FBI, and other federal, state, local, and tribal law-enforcement personnel and other first responders. Up to five candidates may be submitted, who will be reviewed by the INSA Awards Committee, which will choose the awardee.
Past Achievement Awards recipients represent a broad range of agencies, organizations, academic institutions and geographic locations. Previous recipients have deployed to Kenya, Kazakhstan and the Middle East, and several served in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those selected in past years include a 9/11 first responder, intelligence analysts tracking drug traffickers and known terrorists and industry consultants working in tandem with intelligence agencies to improve national threat assessment capabilities and provide technical support to warfighters in the field. Academic recipients have participated in research aimed at protecting maritime borders from narcotics traffickers, while past military recipients worked in support of intelligence agencies to coordinate and provide timely intelligence analysis to decision makers. In all these cases, INSA’s past Achievement Awards recipients represent the backbone of our current national security efforts and the future of our intelligence leadership.