FBI Phoenix
Brooke Brennan and Kevin Smith
(623) 466-1999
February 19, 2019

Arizona State University's David Gillum Named FBI Phoenix Division’s 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award Recipient

PHOENIX, AZ—The FBI Phoenix Field Division is pleased to announce David Gillum as the recipient of the 2018 Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA). Mr. Gillum, the Director of Biosafety and Biosecurity at Arizona State University (ASU), was selected for making outstanding contributions to his community through service.

“Mr. Gillum has been at the forefront of international biosafety and security. He has brought law enforcement, industry partners, and academia together to increase awareness of biosecurity risks which directly impacts the safety and citizens of our community. His efforts have also helped open dialogue, creating better trust and understanding amongst the public and private sectors,” said Michael DeLeon, special agent in charge of the FBI’s Phoenix Field Division.

In his role at ASU, Mr. Gillum oversees more than 1,000 laboratories at ASU, which are using biological materials. Seeing a need to plan, train, and educate the community about the risks posed by advanced and emerging biotechnologies, Gillum approached the FBI Phoenix Weapons of Mass Destruction Coordinator to partner and develop the first of its kind International Biosecurity Workshop. The workshop, which has gained international attention for its size and scope, brings law enforcement and laboratory professionals to discuss issues of mutual concern regarding dangerous biological pathogens found in laboratories around the world.

In addition to the workshop, Mr. Gillum established a task force to create a professional credentialing program for biosecurity professionals, partnering with FBI Phoenix and the Weapons of Mass Destruction Directorate to accomplish this goal.

“David’s innovative spirit in connecting academics, law enforcement, and industry professionals at the Arizona Biosecurity Workshop is proof of Arizona State University’s social embeddedness design aspiration,” said Morgan R. Olsen, ASU Executive Vice President, Treasurer and Chief Financial Officer. “During the past three years, David has connected these individual groups that now may continue to address biosecurity and biosafety matters from a shared perspective that did not exist before. Our communities will benefit as a result of this work. David Gillum is well deserving of the 2018 FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award.”

In 2018, Mr. Gillum also tasked a team to develop an outreach program for elementary, high school, and university students to encourage biosecurity and biosafety in classrooms.

Mr. Gillum serves as president-elect for the American Biological Safety Association International. He co-founded the Arizona Biosafety Alliance and was elected President among other key positions in the organization. In 2015, Mr. Gillum established a partnership with Arizona State University and the Mexican Biosafety Association to support biosafety collaborations between Arizona, Mexico, and other South American countries.

“I am deeply honored to receive this award. I am extremely thankful to Arizona State University for recognizing the importance of community engagement and for allowing me to be at the forefront of these biosafety and biosecurity initiatives,” said David Gillum, ASU director of biosafety and biosecurity. “I never could have received this award without the support of my amazing team in ASU’s Environmental Health and Safety as well as the incredible partnerships with FBI Supervisory Special Agents Philip Bates and Andrew Braun, Special Agent in Charge Michael DeLeon, and countless others in the FBI.”

The Director’s Community Leadership Award was formally created in 1990 as a way to honor individuals and organizations that make extraordinary contributions to education and the prevention of crime and violence in their communities.

Recipients of this award are nominated by each of the FBI’s 56 field offices and are recognized for their service above and beyond the call of duty to help keep America and its residents safe.

On May 3, 2019 Mr. Gillum will attend a ceremony at FBI Headquarters in Washington, D.C. where he along with DCLA recipients from across the country, will be presented with the award by FBI Director Christopher Wray.