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DIA Day connects the past with the present

By By DIA Public Affairs

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Nov. 19, 2014 — Past and present DIA leaders and employees reunited at the agency’s headquarters Nov. 13 for the annual DIA Day. Eight former directors and deputy directors joined members of the Defense Intel Alumni Association (DIAA) for updates and exchanges with current leadership and personnel.

Founded in 1998 by and for former DIA employees, DIAA keeps its members informed about current events at the agency and the special accomplishments and whereabouts of DIA alumni, and participates in the agency’s mentoring program.

Nearly 70 attendees heard from Acting Director David Shedd, Deputy Director Doug Wise, and several leadership and personnel panels throughout the day.

“The past informs the future, but we get to shape it every day we’re here,” Shedd said as he kicked off the day.

The acting director then moderated a panel with the directors of the agency’s regional and functional centers, providing the audience with an overview of the successful center construct and a glimpse of current issues being worked in their respective areas. 

“What we have in the centers is the flexibility to address an emerging crisis,” Shedd said.

Connecting the past with the future, one session featured a panel of young DIA personnel from across the agency sharing their experience as relatively new employees. They discussed their roles and responsibilities, and the challenges and rewards of working at DIA. Topics discussed included opportunities for advancement, deployments, the ability to advance one’s ideas and proposals, and their potential for future employment or assignments. Overall, the panelists expressed a positive view of working at DIA and of the sense of pride they had in accomplishing the mission. DIA leadership and alumni stated in comments that the agency’s future is in good hands with the young men and women in its workforce.

The day also featured the recognition of three former employees with the prestigious DIA Torch Bearers Award. Harry Klein, Alan Manners and Margaret Munson were honored for their exceptional contributions to DIA’s mission.

“Harry was a visionary, as quite a few of you are that are here today. You all saw the threat coming and you did something about it,” said Teresa Hayes, accepting on behalf of Klein. He was widely regarded as the architect of DIA’s counterterrorism analysis. “They lit the fire, but passed the torch a long time ago. We want to express tremendously profound gratitude to all that you all do to keep us safe.”

For Manners’ family, the event was about learning a little more about their father’s career. “Coming from an outside perspective, we didn’t get to hear much of what Dad did,” said his daughter Leah. “What we do know is how much he cherished everyone here … and the work he did here. Thank you all for the amazing career you helped him build.”