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GW Alumni 2015 Achievement Award Announced

The GWAA is proud to recognize the 2015 Achievement Award recipients at a ceremony on Thursday, September 24, 2015, during Alumni Weekend:

Richard D. Heideman, LAW JD ’72, is Senior Counsel of Heideman Nudelman & Kalik, PC and represents victims of terrorism whose rights have been violated. On their behalf, actions have been brought against Libya, Syria, Islamic Republic of Iran and banking institutions accused of funding or sponsoring heinous acts of terror. He received the Distinguished Merito de Mayo decoration by President Duhalde of Argentina, the Heritage Award from Israel Bonds, the Joseph Papp Racial Harmony Award from the Foundation for Ethnic Understanding and numerous other recognitions. Currently serving as Chair of The Institute for Law and Policy at the Hebrew University Faculty of Law, Chair of the Israel Forever Foundation and Honorary President of B’nai B’rith International, he has served as President of the George Washington University Law School Alumni Association, Co-Chair of The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum Lawyers Committee and Chair of The Herzliya Conference International Advisory Board. He is the author of “The Hague Odyssey: Israel’s Struggle for Security on the Front Lines of Terrorism and Her Battle for Justice at the United Nations”.

Christyl C. Johnson, SEAS Ph.D. ’12, joined NASA Goddard as Deputy Center Director for Technology and Research Investments in December 2010. She manages the Center’s research and development portfolio, formulates the Center’s future science and technology goals, and leads an integrated program of investments aligned to meet those goals. She came to NASA Goddard from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. She served under the President’s Science Advisor as the Executive Director of the National Science and Technology Council, which is the principal means within the executive branch to coordinate science and technology policy across the Federal research and development enterprise. She was responsible for ensuring the establishment of clear national goals for Federal science and technology investments in a broad array of areas across the executive branch. Prior to joining the White House staff, Dr. Johnson served as the Assistant Associate Administrator of NASA. She along with the Associate Administrator provided the oversight of the agency’s technical mission areas and field center operations. Dr. Johnson earned her bachelor’s degree in physics from Lincoln University, a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Pennsylvania State University, and a Ph.D. in Systems Engineering from the George Washington University.

Elad I. Levy, SMHS MD ’97, is Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery at the State University of New York at Buffalo.  Dr. Levy is among the youngest tenured professors in the history of SUNY. He has created a thriving department, integrating traditional values with modern physician alignment models. Director of Endovascular Stroke Treatment Research, Dr. Levy has provided leadership for cutting edge innovations in stroke treatment, culminating in the recent New England Journal of Medicine publication of the groundbreaking SWIFT trial, which provided compelling, convincing evidence that endovascular therapy benefits selected stroke patients. Committed to continuing education, Dr. Levy has trained physicians from Asia, Europe and Middle East, lectured on numerous occasions throughout these regions, and published over 300 peer-reviewed and invited articles. Additionally, he has been the Scientific Program Chair and the Annual Meeting Chair at the Congress of Neurological Surgeons’ Annual Meeting. Devoted to his three children and supportive wife, Dr. Levy’s involvement in his children’s sports and concern for the safety of children has inspired his foundation of the charitable organization PUCCS (Program for Understanding Childhood Concussion and Stroke), to help children with traumatic head injury and stroke.

Gregory H. Williams, LAW JD ‘71, CCAS MPHIL ‘77, PhD ’82,  joined the University of Iowa Law Faculty in 1977 as an Assistant Dean rising to Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs of the University.  He later served as Dean of the Ohio State University College of Law and as President of the Association of American Law Schools.  He received the Judge A. Leon Higginbotham Award from the National Bar Association, and “Dean of the Year” Award from the National Association of Public Interest Law. Dr. Williams later served as President of The City College of New York and President of the University of Cincinnati. Dr. Williams overcame racial and economic obstacles in his childhood, which he chronicled in his 1995 best-selling autobiography, Life on the Color Line for which he received the Los Angeles Times Prize for Book of the Year.  Dr. Williams has been recognized for his contributions in Scholarship, Academic Leadership, Fundraising, Diversity, and College Athletics.  Notably, Dr. Williams received the Austrian Cross of Honor, First Class in 2006.

Jay S. Kaplan, SEAS BS ‘08, MS ’09, is the CEO and founder of Synack, a venture-backed cyber security startup that leverages a global hacker network to uncover potential attack-vectors across enterprise organizations. Synack was recently selected by CNBC as number 21 of the most disruptive companies across private industry. Prior to Synack, Jay served in multiple cyber-related capacities at the Department of Defense, including the DoD’s Incident Response and Red Team. Most recently, Jay was a Senior Cyber Analyst at the National Security Agency (NSA) where his focus was supporting counterterrorism-related intelligence operations. Jay received multiple accolades for his work at the NSA. He was selected as one of Forbes 30 Under 30 in Technology after raising over $34MM in venture capital in under two years. In 2008, Jay graduated with a BS in Computer Science and MS in Engineering Management from the George Washington University studying under GW’s CyberCorps program funded by DoD/NSA.

Winner Biographies originally published HERE on GWU Website.