Sue Gordon Named 2020 Baker Award Recipient

Sue Gordon Named 2020 Baker Award Recipient

Arlington, VA (January 15, 2020) – The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) today announced that The Honorable Susan M. Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence (PDDNI) has been selected to receive the 36th William Oliver Baker Award. Established in 1984, the Baker Award recognizes extraordinary contributions to the intelligence and national security affairs of the United States.

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.

“Throughout her career, Sue Gordon challenged the status quo. She led with distinction, exemplifying the dedication, drive, and selfless service to nation that form the heart of our community,” said INSA Chairman Tish Long. “Sue’s desire to push beyond current boundaries and imagine the possible embody both the spirit and character of Dr. Baker, and she is richly deserving of this award.”

Prior to assuming the role of PDDNI, Ms. Gordon served as the Deputy Director of the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) from 2015 to 2017. In this capacity, she was instrumental in driving NGA’s transformation to meet the challenges of a 21st century intelligence agency, championing agile governance, recruitment and retention of a diverse workforce, and expansion of geospatial intelligence services to the open marketplace.

Before her assignment at NGA, Ms. Gordon served for 27 years at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), where she was involved in some of the most monumental operations in U.S. history, including the raid on Osama Bin Laden’s compound. During her tenure, she rose to senior executive positions in each of the Agency’s four directorates: operations, analysis, science and technology, and support. In 1998, Ms. Gordon designed and spearheaded the formation of In-Q-Tel, a private, non-profit company that accelerates the development and delivery of cutting-edge technologies to national security agencies.

Ms. Gordon has been recognized for her creative executive leadership through numerous awards, including the Distinguished Intelligence Award and Presidential Rank Award at the distinguished level. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in zoology from Duke University, where she was the multi-year captain of the women’s basketball team.

“I am humbled to receive this award and to join the distinguished ranks of those who I have long admired and upon whose shoulders I stand,” said Ms. Gordon. “I am grateful for having had the opportunity to work alongside so many outstanding professionals, who gave so selflessly in service to our country. I see this honor as a reflection of all our community has accomplished together.”

The Baker Award, established in 1984, is awarded annually in recognition of individuals who have made sustained contributions or single achievements of extraordinary merit to the intelligence and national security affairs of the United States. Previous recipients include GEN Keith B. Alexander, The Hon. Stephanie O'Sullivan, and The Hon. Robert S. Mueller III. The Baker Award Selection Committee is comprised of members from INSA’s board of directors.

Ms. Gordon will be recognized at the 2020 William Oliver Baker Award Dinner on Friday, June 12, at the Omni Shoreham Hotel in Washington, D.C. Registration will open in March.

About the William Oliver Baker Award

A remarkable scientist and inventor, Dr. William Oliver Baker helped usher in the digital age, setting the foundation for the robust technologies and platforms used today, including lasers, satellites and telecommunications. He joined AT&T’s Bell Laboratories in 1939, serving as vice president for research from 1955-1972 and president from 1973-79. Beginning in 1956, Dr. Baker served on the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He advised Presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan on scientific affairs, particularly intelligence-gathering technologies. INSA’s predecessor organization, the Security Affairs Support Association (SASA), awarded Dr. Baker the SASA Medal of Achievement in 1984, henceforth known as the Baker Award. Scientist, Inventor, Scholar, Statesman are etched on the Baker Award medal, reflecting the many roles in which Dr. Baker significantly influenced U.S. intelligence and national security affairs.

About INSA
The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) is the leading nonpartisan, nonprofit trade association driving public-private partnerships to advance intelligence and national security priorities. A 501(c)(6) membership organization, INSA serves to identify, develop, and promote collaborative approaches to national security challenges. INSA has more than 160 organizations in its membership and enjoys extensive participation from leaders and senior executives in the public, private, and academic sectors.


Peggy O'Connor


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