The University of New Mexico has once again been recognized with a prestigious award from DoD Defense Security Service (DSS) for Industrial Security excellence. UNM is one of a select number of facilities nationwide to receive the 2016 James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award.
“Less than one percent of one percent of all cleared facilities received this recognition this year, so it truly is reserved for the ‘best of the best’,” said David Bauer, West Region director, DDS.
DSS chose the 42 winners from a total 14,000 cleared facilities, representing companies large and small, that undergo recurring assessment. The award’s namesake, James S. Cogswell was responsible for developing the basic principles of the Industrial Security Program, which includes an emphasis on the partnership between industry and government to protect classified information. This partnership ultimately ensures protection for our national security, classified information and the U.S. military.
The selection process is rigorous, requiring a minimum of two consecutive superior industrial security review ratings and a sustained degree of excellence and innovation in the facility’s overall security program management, implementation and oversight.
"I sit behind a desk while others are out there on the front line sacrificing their lives in cities and in the military to make sure another 9-11 doesn’t happen. We don’t need an award to tell us that the faculty and students are making a difference in our safety and security, but it sure is nice to be recognized.” – Deborah Kuidis
The team presenting the award to President Robert Frank and Provost Chaouki Abdallah cited the exemplary work of Deborah Kuidis, manager of Industrial Security at UNM. Kuidis said it is the recognition of a friend and others who were hurt and killed in the September 11, 2001 terror attacks that drives her push for security excellence in her department.
“I sit behind a desk while others are out there on the front line sacrificing their lives in cities and in the military to make sure another 9-11 doesn’t happen,” she said. “We don’t need an award to tell us that the faculty and students are making a difference in our safety and security, but it sure is nice to be recognized.”
The Cogswell Award comes on the heels of another DSS award that UNM received last spring. The Defense Security Service Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence is 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 that high honor and the only cleared defense contractor in the U.S. to receive both awards.