William Oliver Baker Award Dinner

The Hon. Sue Gordon to Receive 2020 Baker Award 

One of the country’s most accomplished national security leaders, Ms. Gordon’s extraordinary three decades of public service culminated with her tenure as PDDNI from 2017-2019. Serving as the country’s second highest intelligence official, she led the effort to better integrate the Intelligence Community, innovate to meet new challenges and opportunities, expand outreach and public-private partnerships, drive innovation, and advance diversity and inclusion.  View the full announcement here. 

Registration for the festive event will open in March. For details on sponsorship or table purchases, please contact INSA Vice President Jeff Lavine

About the Award

For more than three decades, the William Oliver Baker Award has served as a mark of excellence, distinguishing an extraordinary individual for their sustained contributions to excellence in intelligence and national security affairs. 

The Baker Award Selection Committee selects the recipient on the basis of: 

  • Sustained excellence in their contribution to intelligence and national security affairs over a considerable period of time or a single achievement of extraordinary merit;

2019 Baker Award Recipient GEN Keith B. Alexander, (USA, Retired) with INSA Chairman Tish Long (left) and LtG Ron Burgess (USA, Retired) (right) 
View Past Recipients

  • Contribution in the scientific and technical disciplines or in other fields essential to the enhancement of intelligence and national security interests;
  • Technical enhancement of unusual significance, management proficiency of a high order, or development or application of techniques that permit cost savings of substantial magnitude. 

The 2020 recipient will be announced in January and recognized at the William Oliver Baker Award Dinner on Friday, June 12, 2020 at the Omni Shoreham. If you have questions or need more information on the award, including sponsorship opportunities, please contact Jeff Lavine at jlavine@INSAonline.org.

About William Oliver Baker

The four words on the medal honor the defining aspects of Dr. Baker’s life – Scientist, Inventor, Scholar, and Statesman.

Dr. Baker was a prominent scientist, former head of Bell Labs, a trusted advisor to five U.S. Presidents, a director and advisor to multiple philanthropic foundations and educational commissions, and a mentor to scores of renowned scientists. During his nearly 25 years with Bell Labs, Dr. Baker and his team made significant discoveries in telecommunications including the laser, satellite systems, and the UNIX computer operating systems, among many others, which set the foundation for the robust technologies and platforms we use today.

In 1959, at President Eisenhower’s request, he developed a plan for the establishment of the Defense Communications Agency, presently the Defense Information Systems Agency. Baker continued to serve his country on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) for multiple presidents beginning in 1956. Dr. Baker also served on the National Security Agency’s Scientific Advisory Board for 20 years. In 1982, Dr. Baker was presented with the National Security Medal by President Ronald Reagan to honor his tremendous contributions.

Dr. William Oliver Baker’s distinguished career is the embodiment of the INSA spirit and mission. By leading the effort to unify the public and private sectors in the name of national security, Dr. Baker effected profound change in national security and intelligence. 

2019 Baker Award Highlights 

Video Recording


On June 14, nearly 700 intelligence and national security leaders gathered to celebrate past accomplishments, forge new relationships, and celebrate the extraordinary career of General Keith B. Alexander (USA, Retired).


View event photos

The annual William Oliver Baker Award banquet stands as INSA’s premier event with over 600 members and guests enjoying an evening of networking, dinner, and camaraderie with the Intelligence Community’s best and brightest.


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