Director Brennan Speaks at CIA Officers Memorial Foundation Dinner
On April 2, Director John Brennan joined former Deputy Director of Central Intelligence (DDCI) John McLaughlin and members of the CIA Officers Memorial Foundation* at a ceremony honoring Dr. Henry A. Kissinger with the 2014 Ambassador Richard M. Helms Award. The award is named after Ambassador Helms, a CIA Trailblazer and the eighth Director of Central Intelligence (DCI). It recognizes individuals who demonstrate extraordinary qualities of leadership in service to the nation and the CIA.
Dr. Kissinger—a close friend of Helms— is former Secretary of State and National Security Advisor and served under Presidents Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon and Reagan over the course of his distinguished career.
In his remarks, Director Brennan lauded Dr. Kissinger for his decades of public service. “By virtue of his renowned scholarship, consummate statecraft, and constant dedication to our country, Dr. Kissinger stands as one of America’s greatest diplomats and a national treasure,” he said.
Director Brennan thanked Kissinger for his profound contributions to national security, which included the Paris Peace Accords and the opening of relations with China. “Nobody has a better understanding than the man we honor tonight of the realm in which nation states interact—in war, in peace, and in the gray area in between,” Director Brennan said.
The ceremony attracted more than 800 attendees, including former Directors and Deputy Directors of Central Intelligence, other current and former CIA officers, and members of Congress.
*The CIA Officers Memorial Foundation is a non-profit organization that was created in December 2001 by a small group of retired Agency officers and supporters to honor Johnny “Mike” Spann, the first CIA casualty of the Afghanistan conflict. The foundation provides financial support and scholarships to families of CIA officers who have died while on active duty. Past recipients of the Richard M. Helms Award include former President George H.W. Bush, and former CIA Directors Robert Gates, George Tenet, Michael Hayden, and Leon Panetta.