The Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency of the U.S. Department of Defense awarded The Texas A&M University System both the James S. Cogswell Award for Outstanding Industrial Security, the most prestigious honor it can bestow, as well as the DCSA Jack Donnelly Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence.
The Texas A&M System is the only higher education institution from Texas to receive the James S. Cogswell Award, among other prominent industrial security specialists such as Lockheed Martin.
“The Texas A&M System takes security very seriously, and we appreciate the recognition.” John Sharp, chancellor of the Texas A&M System, said. “We will continue our diligent work to stay ahead of the malicious governments and rogue organizations who seek to access the sensitive work we have been trusted to do.”
The DCSA officials chose the Texas A&M System from over 10,000 facilities that have been cleared to do classified work for the federal government. The agency considered factors that included establishing and maintaining a security program that far exceeds the basic National Industrial Security Program requirements and providing leadership to other facilities with security clearance by helping them establish best practices for maintaining the highest standards for security.
The final decisions were based on criteria such as security education and awareness, senior management support, classified material controls and the level of experience of the facility security officer and security staff.
“This award is a testament to the collective strength and expertise of our entire security team,” said Ryan Mills, the System’s facility security officer. “Together, we uphold the highest standards of security and remain vigilant guardians of our organization’s mission and values.”
The System was also selected for its Excellence in Counterintelligence Award out of over 12,500 corporate and academic entities. The accomplishment recognizes the System as having one of the nation’s leading counterintelligence programs.
DCSA’s Excellence in CI Award recognizes highly mature and effective counterintelligence industry programs that enhance national security and promote uncompromised delivery of sensitive and classified services and capabilities to the Department of Defense and other U.S. government agencies. DCSA considers cleared companies with the most impressive CI capability and U.S. government cooperation to deter, detect and disrupt foreign entities’ theft of sensitive or classified information and technology.
This occasion marks the third time the Texas A&M System has won the James S. Cogswell Award and the Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence. Further, the System is the only academic institution to have received this honor an unprecedented three times.
Dr. Kevin Gamache, chief research security officer, leads the Research Security Office of the Texas A&M System and works hard to protect critical defense information, products and research. Gamache also manages the System’s security relationships with the Departments of Defense and Energy and has earned the Industrial Security Professional® designation.
“Prominent research universities receive billions of research dollars annually from federal entities to push the limits of science and make America safer,” Gamache said. “The threat of our most critical emerging technology finding its way into weapon systems developed by our adversaries is real, and U.S. higher education institutions must guard against it.”
The selection process for the James S. Cogswell Award is rigorous. A DCSA Industrial Security Representative may only nominate facilities with at least two consecutive superior industrial security review ratings and show sustained excellence and innovation in their overall security program management, implementation and oversight.
Dr. Gamache and his team remain on the front lines to protect the Texas A&M System, which conducts approximately $1.2 billion in research expenditures annually.
About The Texas A&M University System
The Texas A&M University System is one of the largest systems of higher education in the nation, with a budget of $7.2 billion. Through a statewide network of 11 universities, a comprehensive health science center, eight state agencies, and the RELLIS Campus, the Texas A&M System educates more than 152,000 students and makes more than 24 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceed $1 billion and help drive the state’s economy.
Contact: Laylan Copelin
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