Stephanie O'Sullivan Honored as 34th Baker Award Recipient

Stephanie O’Sullivan Honored as 34th Baker Award Recipient

More than 600 INSA members and guests gathered at the Omni Shoreham in Washington, D.C., on Friday, June 8, 2018, to honor Stephanie O’Sullivan as she received the 34th William Oliver Baker Award.

INSA Chairman Letitia A. Long, the first woman to lead a major U.S. intelligence agency, remarked O’Sullivan has been an exemplar for women in the Intelligence Community to follow as a scientist and a leader. She also commended her strong working relationship with her former boss, then-Director of National Intelligence and 2006 Baker Award recipient, Jim Clapper. “This is what men and women leading and working together should look like everywhere,” Long said. “And I am so proud that it happened, and is happening today, here in our Intelligence Community.” 

Long then acknowledged a number of women in attendance – including CIA Director Gina Haspel, IARPA Deputy Director Dr. Stacey Dixon, and Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence Sue Gordon – as a testament to Stephanie’s trailblazing legacy.

Michael King, chief growth officer at Peraton, followed Long and noted O’Sullivan joins an exclusive club of women alongside Ann Caracristi and Joan Dempsey to receive the Baker Award. King also recognized the Baker Award recipients in attendance, a distinguished list that included Judge William H. Webster, Charlie Allen, Jim Clapper, Art Money, and John McLaughlin.

Just before dinner, the audience held a moment of silence for 1996 Baker Award recipient LTG Samuel V. Wilson, USA, who died in June 2017, and in memory of all Baker Award recipients whose contributions to the nation live on.

Following dinner and the first-ever live auction benefiting the Intelligence and National Security Foundation, Sue Gordon introduced her former boss, Ms. O’Sullivan. INSA intern Amrutha Prasad delivered the official award citation as Ms. Gordon and Ms. Long presented O’Sullivan with the William Oliver Baker Medal of Achievement.

Ms. O’Sullivan served as PDDNI between 2011 and 2017 following more than a dozen years at the Central Intelligence Agency and its Science and Technology directorate.

“Unable to fit the entire community on the stage with me or to match the speech-making heights scaled by previous awardees, I have elected to stick to short and sincere,” she said. “So get ready, because if there is anything like an INSA version of the Guinness Book of World Records, I am about to set one.”

She then added, “I will always be grateful for the unlikely path that led me to a career in intelligence.”

As Ms. O’Sullivan closed her remarks to a standing ovation, Dave Wajsgras, president of Intelligence, Information, and Services for Raytheon Company, delivered the celebratory toast.

“Her insight, deep domain expertise, and innovative spirit reflect her dedication to this Community and embody the example that William Oliver Baker set before us,” Wajsgras said. “It is fitting that we honor Stephanie tonight with this award named for Dr. Baker.”

Commemorative Program (PDF)

View 2018 Baker Award Dinner Photos

2018 Baker Award Announcement

I will always be grateful for the unlikely path that led me to a career in intelligence."

Stephanie O'Sullivan


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