Washington, D.C.
FBI National Press Office
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April 19, 2024

FBI Honors SecureWVU with National Award

On Friday, April 19, 2024, FBI Director Christopher Wray presented SecureWVU with the FBI Director’s Community Leadership Award (DCLA) for its service to college students in West Virginia. Receiving the award on behalf of SecureWVU was Jack Thompson, West Virginia University (WVU) Director of Corporate Relations. SecureWVU helps students gain awareness about careers that require security clearances.

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. Each year, one person or organization from each of the FBI’s 56 field offices and the Criminal Justice Information Services (CJIS) Division are 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." 

The Criminal Justice Information Services Division honors SecureWVU. A
student-led initiative, SecureWVU teaches West Virginia college students about getting and maintaining federal security clearances. The program creates clearance-ready candidates for government agencies, law enforcement agencies, and industry. SecureWVU also provides professional development, networking, and job-placement opportunities for college students. Accepting on behalf of the organization is Jack Thompson.

Director Wray presents Jack Thompson with a DCLA for SecureWVU

SecureWVU is a student-led initiative that provides West Virginia college students awareness about careers in the government and defense sector. The organization educates students on security clearances; prepares students with career development; and connects them with potential government and industry employers, including the FBI.

“West Virginia University, and SecureWVU, are proud to receive this important recognition from Director Wray and the Federal Bureau of Investigation,” said Thompson. “The award highlights a strong partnership, between our organizations, that provides significant career opportunities for our students in law enforcement, government, defense, and related industries. Jobs that require security clearance start here.”

Timothy A. Ferguson, acting assistant director of the CJIS Division, congratulated SecureWVU on winning this year’s award. "As protecting our nation and combating criminal activity has become more and more complex, it is important that we identify, recruit and cultivate talented individuals to build the FBI workforce,” said Ferguson. “The FBI is proud to partner with SecureWVU to build an extraordinary cadre of West Virginia students who have a desire to work in government service. At the CJIS Division, we will be steadfast in our collaborative efforts with SecureWVU to build a mission-focused team committed to protecting the American people and upholding the Constitution.”

Director Wray hosted the 2023 DCLA winners in a special ceremony at FBI Headquarters on April 19, 2024, emphasizing the importance of community 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, the FBI’s general outreach efforts, and the FBI’s CJIS Division online.