The Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) will hold the 4th Annual Achievement Awards Ceremony Wednesday, November 13th, at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown. The ceremony will honor six young professionals in the intelligence and national security sectors for their professional contributions to the community.
The ceremony’s keynote speaker is Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, Director of the U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), and the event will be held from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m., with registration closing November 6th.
WashingtonExec chatted with award recipients about their nominations, what it means to them, their mission and more.
Today’s featured interview is with Dr. Anton Pfeiffer of Northrop Grumman, recipient of the Edwin H. Land Industry Award.
WashingtonExec: Did you know you were nominated for the award, or was it a surprise?
Dr. Anton Pfeiffer: I was aware that I was nominated, but I was surprised to win the award given the caliber and accomplishments of the previous recipients.
WashingtonExec: Have you prepared a speech, or do you plan on saying the first thing that comes to mind?
Dr. Anton Pfeiffer: I will prepare a short speech.
WashingtonExec: How would you describe your mission?
Dr. Anton Pfeiffer: My mission is to help address the challenges facing the Intelligence and National Security communities through advanced technology and innovation. I’m a strong advocate for creating non-traditional solutions to currently unsolved problems in mission management.
WashingtonExec: Finish the sentence: The best part of about my job is…
Dr. Anton Pfeiffer: The best part of my job is working with my government customer and my team to solve hard problems for the Intelligence Community (IC). It is very rewarding to have the opportunity to apply my passion for science and technology to help our country.
WashingtonExec: Could you name an aspect of your job that you did not expect when you were first brought on?
Dr. Anton Pfeiffer: I joined Northrop Grumman after receiving a doctorate in engineering, where I spent several years developing deep expertise in particular focused technical areas. My degree helped me create new technical approaches to mission management that challenge conventional thinking and traditional concept of operations within the IC.
However, I underestimated how things like policy, economics, law, business, ethics and personal relationships play a critical role in moving science and technology advancements forward. Understanding the interrelationships between these areas is not something that is typically taught at Universities, but is now an important part of my job at Northrop Grumman.
WashingtonExec: Who is someone you admire? or Who has been a mentor to you throughout your career?
Dr. Anton Pfeiffer: I had the privilege to work with and learn from many great teachers, colleagues and mentors over the course of my academic and professional career. However, my biggest influence in life came from my parents who are both artists and teachers. From an early age, they inspired me to be creative, to think critically and to love learning. These attributes have never let me down.
WashingtonExec: What is something you are most proud of, personally?
Dr. Anton Pfeiffer: I am proud of the fact that I have been able to create a balance between work and family life. I feel very lucky to have a wonderful family. Time with my family helps me gain perspective and adds meaning to what I do professionally.
WashingtonExec: What organizations are you involved with outside of work?
Dr. Anton Pfeiffer: My wife and I have a two-year-old and a two-month-old. Any free time I have outside of work I spend with them.
WashingtonExec: What is your favorite intelligence movie or book?
Anton Pfeiffer: The Manchurian Candidate. The plot of this story is a complex mix of satire and suspense thriller that is incredibly far-fetched, but can leave you questioning your own reality. It also provides a glimpse into the mindset of the early cold war, which shaped decades of National Security policy.