FBI Phoenix
Brooke Brennan and Kevin Smith
(623) 466-1999
April 19, 2024

FBI Honors Arizona Community Leader with National Award

WASHINGTON, DC—On Friday, April 19, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented Paul Rockower, Executive Director of the Jewish Community Relations Council (JCRC) of Greater Phoenix with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for his service to the Jewish community. Mr. Rockower also uses a keen sense of diplomacy to develop and foster relationships with other faith and ethnic communities, builds coalitions with law enforcement, and fights extremism to ensure that no community faces hate alone.

The FBI established the DCLA in 1990 to publicly acknowledge achievements of people working to make a difference in their communities through the promotion of education and the prevention of crime and violence. Each year, one person or organization from each of the FBI’s 56 field offices is chosen to receive this prestigious award.

“Our success as both a law enforcement and an intelligence agency hinges on our ability to foster and maintain genuine partnerships with people in all communities,” said FBI Director Christopher Wray. “People like this year’s Leadership Award recipients not only identify what others need, but they are willing to roll up their sleeves and provide services. They are building bridges and relationships while putting in the work to have hard conversations and find common purpose. They do it out of kindness and compassion with a sincere belief that justice – in its many forms – requires all of us to do the right thing in the right way.”

Mr. Rockower manages all external relations, as well as advocacy, interfaith outreach, and community bridge-building for the Jewish community in Greater Phoenix. Mr. Rockower led the effort to pass the Holocaust Education Bill in the Arizona Legislature, paving the way for the passage of Arizona’s historic Holocaust education mandate. Additionally, he spearheaded the JCRC’s efforts urging the Arizona Legislature to pass a historic state-based nonprofit security grant program that provides $5 million in security funding over the next five years to vulnerable houses of worship. Mr. Rockower also serves on the Phoenix police department’s Jewish Advisory Board and partners with FBI Phoenix to address concerns and helps facilitate communication across the state.

“Paul has a lot of empathy and emotional intelligence,” said Akil Davis, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix field office. “He understands that when we say, ‘We can’t talk to you about that,’ it’s because we really can’t. Some people might assume ill intent on our part, but Paul trusts us and understands that I will share what I can when I can, and I frequently do share information with him,” Davis said.

Director Wray hosted the 2023 DCLA winners in a special ceremony at FBI Headquarters today, emphasizing the importance of community partnerships in keeping communities safe. These partnerships – as exemplified by the breadth of the work by the DCLA recipients – have led to many 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-we-can-help-you/outreach/dcla, the FBI’s general outreach efforts, and the Phoenix Field Office online https://www.fbi.gov/contact-us/field-offices/phoenix/community-outreach.

2024 Phoenix DCLA