Golden Eagle Awards Dinner
The 2019 Golden Eagle Awards Dinner is a black-tie event that includes a reception, three-course dinner and presentation of the Golden Eagle Awards. For a complete list of previous SAME Golden Eagle Award recipients and a history of the award click here.
2019 Golden Eagle Award Winners
Douglas E. Lute
Robert F. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Social Sciences, United States Military Academy, West Point
Senior Fellow, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
Ambassador Douglas Lute is the former United States Permanent Representative to the North Atlantic Council, NATO’s standing political body. Appointed by President Obama, he assumed the Brussels-based post in 2013 and served until 2017. During this period he was instrumental in designing and implementing the 28-nation Alliance responses to the most severe security challenges in Europe since the end of the Cold War.
A career Army officer, in 2010 Lute retired as a lieutenant general after 35 years of service. In 2007 President Bush named him as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor to coordinate the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009 he was the senior White House official retained by President Obama and his focus on the National Security Council staff shifted to South Asia. Across these two Administrations, he served a total of six years in the White House.
Before being assigned to the White House, General Lute served as Director of Operations (J3) on the Joint Staff, overseeing U.S. military operations worldwide. From 2004 to 2006, he was Director of Operations for the United States Central Command, with responsibility for U.S. military operations in 25 countries across the Middle East, eastern Africa and Central Asia, in which over 200,000 U.S. troops operated.
Through his military-diplomatic career, he received numerous honors and awards, including three awards of the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, the State Department’s Distinguished Honor Award, the Grand Officer of the Order of Merit for the Italian Republic, and the Commander’s Cross of the Order of Merit for the Federal Republic of Germany.
General Lute holds degrees from the United States Military Academy at West Point and from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 2018 West Point presented him the Distinguished Graduate Award. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations; a charter member of the Senior Military Advisory Group of the United States Institute of Peace; and a director on the board of the Atlantic Council.
A recognized leader in all phases of business development for Department of Defense (DOD) contractors for more than 30 years. Ms. McKnight has held senior management positions in Versar, KBR, ZapataEngineering and Tetra Tech NUS, as well as provided consulting to a range of federal sector firms. Her career is focused on strategic planning, client relations, capture development, and process improvement. Her success if founded in a broad perspective from experience in small business to Fortune 500 firms. Ms. McKnight’s strengths are mentoring and development of strong business relationships, assessing organizational structures and their resources, market potential, and competitive positioning to shape and enhance and increase market share to guide firms to their next level of success.
Ms. McKnight has led opportunity, strategy, and client development to pursue and capture major DOD contracts for environmental, engineering, design/construction, logistics and base operations services, achieving top win rates. Concurrently, she serves as a valued mentor, helps growing industry professionals to develop and enhance their professional network and shape careers. A Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Fellow and National Committee Member, Ms. McKnight has also held leadership positions in National Defense Industry Association (NDIA) and Women In Defense (WID) from 1996 to 2013.
Ms. McKnight led Versar corporate business development from 2013-2018. She oversaw development of marketing strategies and long-range strategic business and marketing plans, as well as, ensures all business development systems and activities were synchronized across business lines. She currently serves as an executive consultant to Versar.