Homeland Security Today, the nonprofit news organization for homeland security news, analysis and insights, announced selections for the 2019 Holiday Homeland Security Awards, including Federal Homeland Security Person of the Year Kevin McAleenan, former Acting Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, and State/Local Homeland Security Person of the Year James Featherstone, Executive Director of the Homeland Security Advisory Council at Pepperdine University.

"Annually we receive numerous nominations from across the nation of extraordinary people doing tremendous work on behalf of their communities, their states, and their country, and we want to honor and recognize their contributions," said Kristina Tanasichuk, Executive Editor of Homeland Security Today and CEO of the Government Technology & Services Coalition. "We want to be sure that these selfless, incredibly hard-working individuals know that there are people who appreciate what they do and want to honor their work on behalf of all of us."   

Each year, Homeland Security Today selects some individuals who support the mission of homeland and national security in their jobs, in their free time, or both. Read on to learn about all of the 2019 awardees.


Homeland Security Person of the Year 


Kevin McAleenan, Former Acting Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security 


James Featherstone, Executive Director, Homeland Security Advisory Council at Pepperdine University


Federal Small Business Champion 

Katrina Brisbon, Assistant Administrator, Contracting & Procurement, Transportation Security Administration 


Acquisition Excellence

  1. U.S. Coast Guard AUXDATA Procurement Team 
  2. Brenda E. Oberholzer, Contract Specialist 
  3. Lt. Nicholas M. Fredericksen, Contracting Officer's Representative (COR) & Technical Evaluation Team Chairperson 
  4. Lt. Carl N. Stokes, Program Manager, AUXDATA system 
  5. Shandra J. Kotzun, Procurement Law Attorney, C4IT Service Center, U.S. Coast Guard 


Innovative Campaign to Forward Mission 

Narrative Strategies:

  1. Dr Ajit Maan, Founder & CEO
  2. Dr. Howard Clark, President
  3. Paul Cobaugh, Vice President
  • Vice President Kevin Metcalf, Founder & CEO
  • National Child Protection Task Force 
  • Mark Ray, Director of Public Works, City of Crystal, Minnesota 


Citizen of Mission 

Brady Snakovsky, Brady's K9 Fund 


Most Valuable Player 

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) 

  1. Chris Krebs, Director 
  2. Brian Harrell, Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection 
  3. Katherine Ledesma, Senior Policy Analyst 
  4. Matt Masterson, Senior Cybersecurity Advisor


Mission Awards 

  1. Dan Albert, New York State, Red Team Program 
  2. Bernie Beier, Homeland Security Director, Allen County, Indiana 
  3. Roberto Campos, Program Manager, U.S. Customs and Border Protection 
  4. Salah Czapary, Director, Office of Volunteer Coordination, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department
  5. Kathy Dollarhide, Director, Disaster Resource Center, St. Mary's Medical Center, Long Beach, Calif. Gregory St. James, Program Manager, Montgomery County Maryland Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) 
  6. Bridgett Lewis, Manager, Security Operations, Port of Long Beach, Long Beach, Calif. 
  7. Shaun C. Roach, Manager, Transportation Security Administration, U.S. Department of Homeland Security 
  8. Tadgh Smith, Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) for Technology and Transformation, Law Enforcement and Systems Analysis (LESA)
  9. Lt. C.D.S. Brian Vaughan, Threat Reduction & Infrastructure Protection, Physical Security, Counterterrorism Division, New York Police Department 
  10. Amy Wheelock, Senior Advisor, Field Operations Directorate, U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services 


Excellence in Outreach 


  1. Federal Emergency Management Agency Team
  2. Dan Kaniewski, Deputy Administrator, Federal Emergency Management Agency 
  3. Lizzie Litzow, Press Secretary, Federal Emergency Management Agency 
  4. Stephanie Yanta, Behavioral Analysis Profiler, Federal Bureau of Investigation's Behavioral Analysis Unit (BAU), Behavioral Threat Assessment Center (BTAC) 


Terry Hastings, Senior Policy Advisor, New York State Division of Homeland Security & Emergency Services 


Colonel David Hines, Sheriff, Hanover County, Va. 


GTSC Small Business of the Year 

Potomac Management Solutions 

Diane McCain, President 


GTSC Mid-Tier Business of the Year 


Alba Aleman, CEO 


GTSC Mentor of the Year 



GTSC Strategic Partner of the Year 



GTSC Strategic Advisor of the Year 

Keith Jones, President and CEO, The Edgewater Group