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News | Sept. 2, 2015

Saunders and Duvall Receive Joint Distinguished Civilian Awards upon Retirement

Saunders Award
Dr. John Saunders (center) receiving award from John Yaeger and Amb Nesbitt

SAUNDERS - Dr. John Saunders of the Information Resource Management College was honored at an August  2015 retirement ceremony at NDU.  He received the Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award for his exceptional service to the Department of Defense, and was designated an Emeritus Faculty Member of the University in recognition of his dedicated teaching and scholarship.   The awards were presented by the College Chancellor Jan Hamby, the NDU Provost John Yaeger, and Senior Vice President AMB Wanda Nesbitt.  Professor Saunders is the first faculty member of the iCollege to be awarded Emeritus status by the University.  The Joint Distinguished Civilian Service Award recognized the academic accomplishments of Dr. Saunders, but placed special emphasis upon his outreach efforts in safeguarding industrial control systems.   As early as 2001 Professor Saunders became concerned with the threats of Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) attacks on the United States critical infrastructure.  He recognized dangers others did not see and warned of the increasing risks that unprotected industrial control systems posed to the security of the United States.  He developed a course on Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition protection, briefed senior leaders and worked to provide mitigation for such threats.  As a result, the entire Department of Defense is better prepared to meet such challenges.  Dr. Saunders was separately awarded Emeritus Faculty status by NDU in recognition of his twenty-seven years of teaching and scholarship, including the development of new programs, creation of laboratories and simulations, and leadership in cybersecurity. He served as an expert on the cyber component of critical infrastructure, helping to set standards, develop workforce competencies, and generally made the university a focus of government cybersecurity initiatives.  As an Emeritus Faculty Member he was recognized for his achievements and encouraged to maintain a continued involvement with the scholarly activities of the University.  

Duvall Award
Dr. Gilliam Duvall (right) receives award from Chancellor Hamby 

Professor Gilliam E. Duvall was jointly honored at the August 2015 ceremony and has distinguished himself through exceptional civilian service while serving as a senior faculty member and Chairman of the Cyber Information and Integrated Operations Department, Information Resources Management College, National Defense University from 5 May 2003 to 30 June 2015. As an academic leader, Professor Duvall developed programs which educated over one thousand National Defense University graduates in the principles of cyber leadership.  He led efforts to document and certify the university as a National Security Agency and Department of Homeland Security Center of Excellence in Information Assurance Education, permitting the Information Resources Management College to award hundreds of National Defense University students National Security Agency-approved certificates in in cybersecurity.  As the Coordinator, Cyber Concentration Program from May 2012 to July 2014 he designed, developed, and directed the Cyber Concentration Program for senior students attending the National War College, Eisenhower School, and College of International Security Affairs.  His efforts instilled a ‘culture of excellence’ that led to National Defense University’s ranking as the best United States Department of Defense Institution for Joint Professional Military Education in Cyber Leadership, by the Pell Center for International Relations and Public Policy in August 2013. As a professor and scholar Professor Duvall was exceptionally successful in providing outreach to the federal, state and international partners of the Defense Department and the National Defense University, thereby promoting cybersecurity awareness and knowledge, joint pursuit of solutions to cybersecurity threats, and coordinated efforts to mitigate the vulnerabilities of our information technology systems. Professor Duvall’s exceptionally distinguished service as a teacher, scholar and academic leader for the National Defense University have substantially contributed to the defense of the Nation’s information systems and technology.  His distinctive achievements in a critical, high priority area of National Defense culminate thirty years of service in the Department of Defense and reflect great credit upon himself, the Information Resources Management College, the National Defense University, and the Department of Defense. 

These two gentlemen, and outstanding faculty members, will be sorely missed by the staff and leadership of the iCollege.  Congratulations to them and best of luck to both in their future endeavors!   

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