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Defense Acquisition University
Navy Secretary Presented with Prestigious Communication Award
Written by: DAU Public Affairs
May 23, 2019
Assistant Secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition, the Honorable James Geurts accepted the Defense Acquisition University (DAU) Alumni Association’s most prestigious award during the annual Acker and Hall of Fame Award ceremony held at DAU’s Fort Belvoir campus May 23, 2019. The David D. Acker “Skill in Communication” Award is presented annually to an individual that demonstrates excellence in promoting and communicating acquisition management. Geurts was chosen this year for his ability to create a climate of innovation that is leading to game-changing capabilities for the modern warfighter, saving money for the taxpayer, and being delivered with speed and relevance.
DAU President Jim Woolsey presented Geurts with the award and shared insightful comments about Geurts’ daily efforts within the Defense acquisition community.
“It really takes a leader to develop leaders,” said Woolsey. “[Together] we’ve tried a lot of different strategies in our efforts to reach the [Defense Acquisition] Workforce and change the culture of leadership for the better,” said Woolsey.
Geurts makes it a point to keep open communication with workforce members, professors, and students alike. Woolsey described how Geurts uses all of the communications tools at his disposal—events, classes, and social media to interact with others.
After receiving the award, Geurts took a few moments to address his colleagues and mentors.
“Over the years, I’ve learned if you don’t impact institutional learning, you will never get sustained change,” said Geurts. “I ask that [DAU] continues pressing ahead, and I trust that everything you try will bring value.”
The award’s namesake, David Acker played a vital role in founding the Defense Systems Management College—now part of DAU. During his long career, Acker prepared the school’s charter and is recognized for being a professor, researcher, archivist and a prolific writer who authored more than 175 papers, magazine articles and books. Acker is also credited with being one of the original DSMC Alumni Association members in 1983 and even served on the board for directors until passing away in 1992.