UCF Receives National Security Honor

UCF Receives National Security Honor

UCF is joining an elite group of companies and a handful of universities selected to receive the nation’s highest honor for protecting national security information.

The university will be presented with the James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award on June 13 at Disney’s Yacht & Beach Resort.

“We take the responsibility of protecting sensitive information very seriously and are proud that the Defense Security Service (DSS) has recognized this diligence with the Cogswell Award,” said MJ Soileau, vice president for research & commercialization at UCF.  UCF’s security office is housed in the Office of Research & Commercialization’s compliance division headed by Doug Backman.  The security office is run by Dela Williams.

Soileau said the selection underscores the emphasis the university places on being a trusted partner.

“We are especially pleased to be one of very few universities nationwide to ever receive this distinction, bringing us that much closer to our president’s goal of being America’s leading partnership university,” he said.

The Cogswell Award is named in honor of the late Air Force Col. James S. Cogswell, the first chief of the unified office of Industrial Security. It is the highest honor the DSS can bestow on a cleared contractor for its National Industrial Security Program. Of the more than 13,000 cleared contractors, less than one percent are annually selected to receive this award.

The selection process for the award is rigorous.  First a facility must be nominated by their industrial security representative, assigned by DSS to all entities that do business with the government.  The organization must also have achieved two consecutive superior industrial security review ratings. The nominees then go through a vigorous national vetting process that includes external vetting and a national team review. The national review team then consolidates and ranks the nominations, and that ranked listing is submitted to the director of DSS for final approval.

The award will be presented by Stanley L. Sims, director of the DSS.