NNSA Administrator Jill Hruby presented Douglas M. Cotter, Senior Program Manager of the Space Nuclear Detonation Detection program in NNSA’s Office of Defense Nuclear Nonproliferation, with the inaugural General John A. Gordon Award for Excellence and Innovation in the National Interest. This award recognizes individuals at NNSA who demonstrate outstanding innovation in the areas of science, technology, management, or leadership.
Cotter's accomplishments include the first renewed NNSA-U.S. Air Force Memorandum of Understanding on nuclear detonation detection in 24 years, and support to both the DOE Space Council and negotiations with Russia on space issues. He also identified and coordinated an interagency solution to hosting geosynchronous sensors – a long-standing problem that defied resolution for over 10 years.
“We continue to be inspired by General Gordon’s foundational vision for our Nation’s nuclear security. He was truly a great American who made a positive and lasting difference within NNSA by all that he accomplished,” said Jill Hruby, NNSA Administrator, during her introductory remarks. Administrator Hruby went on to praise Cotter for his achievements. “It is my unique privilege to give this award to Doug, a fellow former Sandia employee, who exemplifies General Gordon’s legacy. His efforts not only validate our stewardship of limited and precious public resources, they show what NNSA's workforce can achieve when given the opportunity to innovate and when empowered to collaborate.”
The ceremony closed with a few words from Cotter who graciously accepted the award by thanking his wife, NNSA leadership and members of his team. “Do what you love and be blessed to call it work,” ended Cotter.
The formal ceremony was held on Aug. 24 and streamed live via WebEx and can be viewed on YouTube.