Sept. 14, 2011

Washington, D.C. – Former Sen. Russell D. “Russ” Feingold received the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal from Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper in a ceremony Sept. 9, at Liberty Crossing.

Director Clapper recognized Sen. Feingold for his “enlightened oversight” while a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and as the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee chairman for African Affairs.

“Senator Feingold is a great champion of privacy and civil liberties,” said Director Clapper. “He successfully balanced the two poles between effective national security capabilities and civil liberties protections without one infringing on the other. Senator Feingold became an authority on Africa and was an astute observer on al- Qaida’s influence there as it enlarged its presence, especially in North Africa. His perspective helped us.

On behalf of the Intelligence Community, I want to thank Senator Feingold for his deep commitment to protecting our nation’s interests at home and abroad.”

“I am deeply honored to receive this award for my work on the Senate Intelligence Committee,” said Sen. Feingold, “especially for the Committee’s oversight charge to ensure we are giving appropriate direction to the men and women in our intelligence services who are on the front lines of confronting al-Qaida and other terrorist networks that operate across the globe, our biggest national security threat. Pursuing that critical intelligence mission in a manner consistent with the constitutional principles on which our nation was founded is the only way we will be successful in overcoming that threat.”

Key Background

The National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal is the highest award that can be granted to non-career federal employees, private citizens or others who have performed distinguished service of exceptional significance to the Intelligence Community. The DNI established the award on Oct. 1, 2008, to acknowledge individuals who rendered extraordinary service at considerable personal sacrifice and who were motivated by patriotism, good citizenship or a sense of public responsibility.

The Director of National Intelligence leads intelligence integration across the 17 federal organizations that comprise the Intelligence Community. The DNI also manages the implementation of the National Intelligence Program. Additionally, the DNI serves as the principal adviser to the president and the National Security Council on intelligence issues related to national security.