FBI Anchorage
Public Affairs Officer Chloe Martin
(202) 525-8888
May 5, 2023

FBI Honors Anchorage Community Leader with National Award

On May 5, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented Josie Heyano with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for her service to the people of Alaska. Heyano has made significant contributions not only as an on-site clinical provider at a shelter for youth experiencing homelessness, but also in her tireless efforts to combat human trafficking. 

The FBI established the DCLA in 1990 to publicly acknowledge the achievements of those working to make a difference in their communities through the promotion of education and the prevention of crime and violence. The FBI’s 56 field offices select the recipients annually for this honor.

During the May 5 ceremony, Director Wray told the recipients: "Like the 38,000 employees of the FBI, you don’t do what you do for fame—and certainly not for fortune. You do it out of kindness, out of compassion for others, out of a hope and a dream for safer communities ... to leave your towns and cities better places than when you got there.  And that’s how I’ve defined success here within our organization, too. Success to me is if everyone leaves the FBI a better place than they found it."

Using a collaborative stakeholder approach, Heyano’s human trafficking awareness and response efforts are aimed at the enhancement of data collection across services and disciplines, training opportunities, identification of barriers to screen and identify victims, and gaps in services. She has not only enhanced law enforcement intelligence, collaboration, and training, but also provided essential support to victims of human trafficking, while working to bring justice to those responsible for their exploitation. 

“It is an honor to receive this award, to serve my community and to work alongside so many fiercely compassionate people,” Heyano said. “Thank you to the FBI for this humbling recognition and to my colleagues, clients and family for their wisdom and support.”

“FBI Anchorage is honored to recognize Ms. Heyano for her extraordinary efforts serving vulnerable populations in Alaska, where her contributions have enhanced the FBI’s mission of justice and victim support,” said Acting Special Agent in Charge Donald W. Lee II of the FBI Anchorage Field Office. “Through her advocacy and human trafficking response efforts, she has made a lasting impact on our community.”

Director Wray hosted the 2022 DCLA winners in a special ceremony at FBI Headquarters on May 5 emphasizing the importance of partnerships in keeping our shared communities safe. These partnerships—as exemplified by the breadth of the work by the DCLA recipients—have led to a host of crime prevention programs that protect the most vulnerable in our communities, educate families and businesses about cyber threats, and work to reduce violent crime in our neighborhoods. Learn more about the DCLA program, the FBI’s general outreach efforts, and the Anchorage Field Office online.

Josie Heyano is FBI Anchorage's 2022 Director's Community Leadership Award recipient.

Josie Heyano is FBI Anchorage's 2022 Director's Community Leadership Award recipient.