U.S. Senator Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) was honored Tuesday with the “National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal,” presented by Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper.
The prestigious award, which is the highest intelligence honor a non-career Federal employee or private citizen may receive, was given to Senator Snowe in recognition of her many contributions to improving our nation’s Intelligence Community, particularly through her legislation establishing the Inspector General of the Intelligence Community and her efforts to improve diplomatic and embassy security as a member of the House of Representatives in the mid-1980s.
Senator Snowe has served on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence since 2003, and she previously served on the Senate Armed Services (1997-2000), Senate Foreign Relations (1995-1996), and House Foreign Affairs (1981-1994) Committees.
“I am humbled and honored to receive this tremendous recognition, and I am reminded of the men and women of the intelligence community who have been increasingly called upon to accept personal hardship and sacrifice in the furtherance of their mission to protect the United States,” said Senator Snowe. “Many of these individuals have been injured or killed in the line of duty. And while their numerous achievements have saved countless innocent lives, by necessity their work often remains unknown and unrecognized.”
“Senator Snowe’s nonpartisan approach to oversight, her focus on accountability and her no-nonsense approach to key national security issues has made the Intelligence Community stronger and the nation more secure,” said Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper. “The legacy that Senator Snowe leaves for the Intelligence Community and the entire country is truly exceptional. She will be missed.”
“Indeed, it has been a privilege to serve on the Intelligence Committee over the last decade—a period that saw historical reforms made to the way the Intelligence Community does business in the wake of that horrific day on September 11, 2001,” Senator Snowe said. “From our Committee’s investigation into the pre-Iraq War intelligence failures and our historic Intelligence Community reforms in 2004, to the ongoing challenges of cyber security, I have always found my work on the Committee to be meaningful and I am confident that our efforts have helped improve the Intelligence Community’s ability to protect the American people.”
The citation provided to Senator Snowe noted her extraordinary service to the nation:
“Senator Snowe has been a steadfast ally of the Intelligence Community during her 34 years of service in the United States Congress, and her commitment to ensuring the community has the tools and resources needed to succeed is unparalleled,” the citation read. “Her years of public service and unwavering support for the men and women of the Intelligence Community is matched only by her dedication to its critical mission. Senator Snowe provided invaluable counsel and served as a critical yet encouraging advisor. Her measured and constructive critiques have brought about significant changes that have improved every aspect of the intelligence process.”