The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) first national resilience award for superior leadership and innovation by a non-governmental individual or organization who exemplifies the qualities and achievements of Rick Rescorla, emphasizing leadership in effective preparation, response, and recovery in the face of disasters.
Rescorla served as Vice President of Security for Morgan Stanley at their Headquarters in the World Trade Center. Following the 1993 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Rescorla regularly drilled his Morgan Stanley employees in disaster preparedness and response, especially evacuation. On 9/11, he personally led a massive evacuation of Morgan Stanley’s 2,700 employees, and all but six of Morgan Stanley’s workers in the South Tower survived. His commitment to preparedness ensured that the 2,700 Morgan Stanley employees who worked in the South Tower knew how to evacuate and where to go on 9/11.
On September 21, 2011, during a month of commemoration of the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano honored the memory of Richard “Rick” Rescorla by presenting the DHS Distinguished Public Service Medal to Mr. Rescorla’s widow at a ceremony in New York City. Secretary Napolitano noted: "Since the 9/11 attacks, we have seen exceptional models of resilience all around us. By honoring Richard Rescorla with the Distinguished Public Service medal, we remember his heroism and commitment to the preparedness of the thousands of employees under his watch." During her presentation, Secretary Napolitano announced that DHS would create a first-ever national award inspired by the actions and resilience of Rick Rescorla.
Eligibility and Criteria
Outstanding performance during 2012 in withstanding, adapting, and rapidly recovering from natural or human caused incidents that impact lives or property
- Demonstrable success in saving lives, protecting property and the environment, and meeting basic human needs because of outstanding prior preparation and/or extraordinary efforts during or after incidents
- Outstanding leadership in assisting individuals, families, organizations and/or communities in response or recovery from natural or human caused incidents
Outstanding performance during 2012 in developing resilience in anticipation of future incidents threatening life or property
- Motivating and assisting individuals (including those with special needs), families, organizations, and/or communities to take steps that effectively achieve resilience, for example, developing personal and community preparedness plans and organizing communities so as to promote the rapid recovery of essential services
- Implementing regular training and exercises that test the resilience of individuals, families, organizations and/or communities
- Implementing private sector preparedness, for example, developing plans for business continuity and the adoption of cyber security consensus standards and industry best practices to the fullest extent possible
- Exceeding existing building and other codes in the design and construction of infrastructure, including homes, office buildings, and highway bridges and tunnels
How to Nominate for the Award
Eligible candidates may be nominated for the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience during the nomination period that begins on April 1, 2013 at 12:00 a.m. and closes on May 31, 2013 at 11:59 p.m. All nominations must be submitted by email to the following DHS email address: email@example.com.
The nomination form can be found here.