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News | Aug. 14, 2013

NIU Recognizes First National Security Law and Ethics Award Recipient

By DIA Public Affairs

National Intelligence University (NIU) presented its first award in national security law and ethics this year to Mr. Adam Pearlman ’13.  An attorney with the Department of Defense General Counsel’s Office (OGC), Pearlman received the Judge Allan Kornblum Award for Best Student Thesis in National Security Law and Ethics during NIU’s commencement in July.  The award honors the achievements of Judge Kornblum, a noted Justice Department official and federal judge.

"Adam's thesis was selected from among a strong body of work and represents the important role that intelligence law contributes to the community," said NIU President Dr. David Ellison.  "His thesis stood out as an excellent example of Judge Kornblum's commitment to national security, civil liberties and outstanding scholarship."

Pearlman analyzed the strategic purpose for a counterterrorism program, and devised new evaluation metrics that intelligence professionals and policymakers may apply in measuring relative successes and program goals.  In doing so, he examined how legal considerations weigh on decision-making and the broader implications for foreign relations and resource prioritization.  Pearlman wrote his thesis outside of his work with OGC.

"This recognition is a surprise and honor," said Pearlman.  "I'm really pleased that my research on national security law contributes to the literature in a meaningful way, and am grateful for everybody who supported my efforts along the way."

Judge Kornblum was involved in the investigations of such notable spies as John Anthony Walker, Aldrich Ames, and Wen Ho Lee.  He also authored key parts of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) of 1978 and edited the first multi-volume casebook series on intelligence law while serving as adjunct faculty of the former Defense Intelligence College (now NIU).

NIU is the premier center of academic life for the intelligence community.  Its faculty of experts in strategic intelligence offer full- and part-time programs leading to degrees and certificates in intelligence studies, including two masters programs, a fourth-year bachelor program and specialized certificates in intelligence topics of interest.  Established in 1962, NIU evolved over the past 50 years to focus on education, research and outreach efforts that enable close integration and collaboration within the community.  Graduates include many notable intelligence and national security leaders past and present.  The opinions stated in student theses do not necessarily reflect those of the Department of Defense or any entity thereof, including DIA, NIU, or OGC.  For more information, visit