CIA Honors Achievements in Science and Technology
September 11, 2009
The Central Intelligence Agency on Wednesday recognized four teams of officers for exceptional achievement in applying science and technology to intelligence challenges.
The skill, ingenuity, and determination of this year’s John A. McCone Award recipients are responsible for critical intelligence successes in recent months. Their outstanding work—the details of which remain classified—has broadened policymakers’ insight into key adversaries, strengthened America’s ability to fight terrorism, and saved lives in the war zones.
Director Panetta joined Director for Science and Technology Stephanie O’Sullivan to present the awards. “This ceremony recognizes achievements in science and technology that are every bit as courageous and ground-breaking as the U2 was in its time,” he said. “They are smart, innovative, and mission-focused. They integrate multiple capabilities and build on past experience, so that our application of technology provides the very best intelligence as effectively and efficiently as possible.
“To keep America safe, we must stay a step ahead,” he added. “We must see where science and technology are going and we must use them to our greatest advantage. Our work must be beyond the capability and the imagination of our adversaries. The teams we honor today have reached that level. They have given the United States a technological edge that our enemies can’t match.”
Director Panetta noted that integration and collaboration, across the Agency and the Intelligence Community, was important to each team’s success. The award winners combined the expertise and capabilities of several agencies to deliver technological solutions to complex problems.
“People here understand that the work is difficult—that it is risky—and that gains rarely come easy,” Director Panetta said. “But when we succeed—when we deploy a new capability, see it operate flawlessly for the first time, or brief the results to the President—the achievement is all the more satisfying because the road to get there was so tough.”
The McCone Award, named for the CIA Director who established the Directorate of Science and Technology in 1963, is presented annually to individuals or teams that demonstrate the essential attributes of the directorate: deep technical expertise, disciplined program management, and responsiveness to mission. This year’s recipients were selected by a panel of senior officers from a field of 12 nominations.