Texas A&M System is only award winner from higher education in Texas
COLLEGE STATION, Texas — An agency of the U.S. Department of Defense on Thursday awarded The Texas A&M University System with the prestigious James S. Cogswell Award for Outstanding Industrial Security.
The Texas A&M System is the only higher education institution from Texas on a list of 61 organizations to receive the award. Other winners include General Dynamics Mission Systems, Inc., Honeywell International, Inc., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Lockheed Martin Corporate Headquarters and Northrop Grumman Corp.
Officials with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency said they chose from approximately 12,500 cleared facilities. 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, helping them establish best practices for maintaining the highest standards for security.
“From our work with Army Futures Command, to managing the nation’s nuclear deterrent at the Los Alamos National Laboratory, there is a reason that the Texas A&M University System is on the forefront of defending our national security,” said John Sharp, chancellor of The Texas A&M University System. “The Texas A&M System takes very seriously our mission to help protect sensitive information that is vital to our country’s security.”
The Texas A&M System won the Cogswell award previously in 2015. Further, the System is the only academic institution to have received the recognition in the same year that it also won the federal agency’s Award for Excellence in Counterintelligence, which is given for work to protect sensitive information from foreign spies.
Kevin Gamache, chief research security officer with the System’s Office of The Vice Chancellor for Research, said the System, under the leadership of Chancellor Sharp, works hard to protect the critical defense information, products and research.
“The current global situation puts our research under a constant threat of attack,” Gamache said. “That is why we have made protecting our work such a high priority.”
The Cogswell Award, established in 1966, is named in honor of the late Air Force Col. James S. Cogswell, the first chief of industrial security within the Department of Defense. Cogswell was responsible for developing the basic principles of the Industrial Security Program, which include an emphasis on the partnership between industry and government to protect classified information.
The Cogswell Award selection process is rigorous. A Defense Security Service Industrial Security Representative may only nominate facilities that have at a minimum two consecutive superior industrial security review ratings and that show a sustained degree of excellence and innovation in their overall security program management, implementation and oversight.
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 $6.3 billion. The System is a statewide network of 11 universities; a comprehensive health science center; eight state agencies, including the Texas Division of Emergency Management; and the RELLIS Campus. The Texas A&M System educates more than 151,000 students and makes more than 22 million additional educational contacts through service and outreach programs each year. System-wide, research and development expenditures exceeded $1 billion in FY 2019 and helped drive the state’s economy.