The University of New Mexico was one of three cleared defense contractors selected for the 2015 Defense Security Service Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence. In a letter to President Robert Frank, the acting director of the agency James Kren said the award was given in recognition of contractors who “best demonstrate the ability to stop foreign theft of U.S. defense technology."

UNM is the third university ever to be bestowed with this high honor. Representatives from the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigation were on hand to support UNM in receiving this award.

UNM programs that include briefing procedures for people hosting foreign visitors, suspicious contact reporting, foreign travel briefings and counterintelligence education to key personnel were singled out for praise. Associate Vice President for Research and Compliance Carlos Rey Romero said, “This award is a validation of the work done within the Research Compliance Office at UNM. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of Deb Kudis, manager of Industrial Security and her work with UNM faculty, staff and students.”

Romero noted the Defense Security Service provides the military services, defense agencies, 20 federal agencies and approximately 13,500 clear contractor facilities with security support services. DSS Industrial Security personnel provide oversight and assistance to cleared contractor facilities and assist management and facility security officers in ensuring the protection of U.S. and foreign classified information.