FBI Honors Local Community Leader with National Award
On Friday, May 5, 2023, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented Jennifer Paul Ray, Covenant House’s Coordinator for the Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for her service to the people of Louisiana. Ms. Ray’s multi-disciplinary approach to the complex issue of human trafficking is a vital asset for the FBI and other Louisiana law enforcement.
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 today’s ceremony, Director Christopher 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.”
Ms. Ray leads a team of more than 85 member organizations from different sectors including law enforcement, social services, legal services, and research institutions. She has hosted training for community members, conducted outreach activities, and provides services to victims and survivors of human trafficking.
“I am very honored to receive this award,” said Jennifer Paul Ray. “I accept this on behalf of the Greater New Orleans Human Trafficking Task Force and the exemplary professionals who partner with us. Law enforcement is vital to the human trafficking response. The work of the Task Force ensures victims are supported through a trauma-informed and victim-centered approach,” added Ray.
“The FBI appreciates the passion and diligence shown in Ms. Ray’s work on behalf of vulnerable young people in the New Orleans area,” said Douglas A. Williams, Special Agent in Charge of FBI New Orleans. “Human trafficking is an issue that cannot be addressed by law enforcement alone. We thank Ms. Ray for being a very valuable partner in this fight.”
Director Wray hosted the 2022 DCLA winners in a special ceremony at FBI Headquarters today 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 Director’s Community Leadership Award program (https://www.fbi.gov/how-wecan- help-you/outreach/dcla/dcla-2022-winners), the FBI’s general outreach efforts, and the New Orleans Field Office online (https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/neworleans).