INSA to honor Leon Panetta at dinner in Washington on June 6

Leon Panetta
Leon Panetta

The Intelligence and National   Security Alliance (INSA) will present Leon Panetta with the 30th Annual William Oliver Baker Award   on June 6, 2014 in Washington, DC. Secretary Panetta is being honored in   recognition of his long and distinguished public service, says INSA on its   Web site.

Panetta served as both the Secretary of Defense and the Director of the   Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). His career in public service includes 16   years representing the people of a California central coast congressional district;   Director of the Office of Management and Budget; and the White House Chief of   Staff. Panetta is particularly proud of his service in the U.S. Army in the   early 1960’s as an intelligence officer. When he left Washington in 1997, he   and his wife, Sylvia, established the Panetta Institute for Public Policy at   California State University, Monterey Bay.

INSA established the William Oliver Baker Award to promote excellence in intelligence and national security activities of the U.S. Government and associated endeavors throughout the private sector. The award annually recognizes outstanding leaders in the field for their exceptional achievements and sustained contributions or single achievements of extraordinary merit. Members of the government, industry and academic community are all eligible to receive the award.

Previous receipients of the Baker award include General Michael Hayden, the Honorable Art Money, the Honorable Mike McConnell, Senator John Warner, former Secretary of Defense Robert Gates, Mr. Richard Kerr, Admiral Bill Studeman, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, Lieutenant General Brent Scowcroft, the Honorable Joan Dempsey, the Honorable George Tenet, and INSA Senior Intelligence Advisor Charlie Allen.

Established in 1985 by the Security Affairs Support Association (INSA’s predecessor), the William Oliver Baker Award annually recognizes individuals for:

  • Sustained excellence in their contribution to national security affairs over a considerable period of time, or a single achievement of extraordinary merit;
  • Contribution in the scientific and technical disciplines or in other fields essential to the enhancement of 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.

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.