2019 Golden Eagle Award Recipients

The SAME Academy of Fellows will honor Linda McKnight, F.SAME, with the Golden Eagle Award for Significant Contributions to the Engineering Profession, and Ambassador Doug Lute with the Golden Eagle Award for Significant Contributions to National Security, during the 2019 Golden Eagle Awards Dinner, March 13, 2019 at the Hyatt Regency Dulles in Herndon, Va.

Part of SAME Capital Week, the black-tie Golden Eagle Awards Dinner will be held following the 2019 Academy of Fellows Investiture, which will invest 19 new Fellows into the Academy. The Academy of Fellows Golden Eagle Awards Dinner, first held in 1996, annually recognizes two national leaders—an SAME Fellow for significant contributions to the engineering profession; and a prominent national leader for significant contributions to national security. Past award recipients have included Senator Robert J. Dole, The Honorable David H. Petraeus, Ph.D., Lt. Gen. Henry J. Hatch, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.), and Charles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., F.SAME (see full list below).


For Contributions to the Engineering Profession

Linda M. McKnight, F.SAME, is being presented with the Golden Eagle Award for outstanding contributions to the engineering profession. A recognized leader in all phases of business development for Department of Defense contractors for over 30 years, she is currently an Executive Consultant with Versar Inc., where she led corporate business development from 2013-2018. She provided oversight of marketing and business plans and ensured sales systems and activities were synchronized across business lines.

McKnight has held senior positions with other leading A/E/C firms, including KBR, Zapata and Tetra Tech, as well as provided consulting to a range of federal sector clients. Throughout her career, she has focused on strategic planning, client relations, capture development, and process improvement. Her success is founded in a broad perspective from experience in small business to Fortune 500 firms. Her strengths are cultivation of business relationships, assessing organizational structures and resources, market potential, and competitive positioning to shape and increase market share to guide firms to success. McKnight has led opportunity, strategy, and client development for capture of defense contracts for environmental, engineering, design/construction, logistics and base operations services, achieving top win rates.

Throughout her career, she has served as a valued mentor, and helps industry professionals to develop and enhance their network and shape their careers. She became a member of SAME in 1991 and has been an active member of several Posts over the years.

While managing SAME Sustaining Memberships for firms during her career, she made it possible for young professionals to attend and contribute to Society meetings, workshops and conferences, and encouraged them to serve as mentors at the annual Engineering & Construction Camps.

McKnight was invested into the Academy of Fellows in 2002 and served as Chair of the Academy from 2005-2007. In 2010, she was honored with the Gerald C. Brown Mentoring Award, in which she was recognized for her “tireless dedication to mentoring the future leaders of the architecture, engineering and construction profession.” She is now only the second person to receive the SAME Academy of Fellows’ two highest honors, joining the late Maj. Gen. Joseph A. “Bud” Ahearn, P.E., F.SAME, USAF (Ret.), as recipients of both the Golden Eagle Award and Gerald C. Brown Mentoring Award.

McKnight has also been active and held leadership positions with the National Defense Industrial Association and Women In Defense, including as President of its D.C. Capital Chapter. She holds an associate’s degree from Eastern Florida State College.

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For Contributions to National Security

Ambassador Douglas E. Lute is being presented with the Golden Eagle Award for outstanding contributions to national security. Formerly the United States Permanent Representative on the Council of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization from 2013-2017, he served 35 years as an officer in the U.S. Army, retiring in 2010 at the rank of lieutenant general.

He is presently President of Cambridge Global Advisors LLC, which works with government agencies, nonprofit organizations, and Fortune 500 companies to provide advisory, project management, communications and stakeholder engagement services. He is also the Robert F. McDermott Distinguished Chair of Social Sciences at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, and a senior fellow at the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

Among many senior positions in his distinguished career, he served a total of six years in the White House across two administrations, including under President George W. Bush as Assistant to the President and Deputy National Security Advisor for Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2009, he was the senior White House official retained by President Barack Obama and his focus on the National Security Council staff shifted to South Asia. Before being assigned to the White House, 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 U.S. Central Command, with responsibility for military operations in 25 countries across the Middle East, Eastern Africa and Central Asia, in which more than
200,000 U.S. troops operated.

Earlier in his career, Lute served as Deputy Director of Operations for U.S. European Command in Stuttgart, Germany; Assistant Division Commander in the 1st Infantry Division in Germany; Commander of U.S. Forces in Kosovo; and Commander of the Second Cavalry Regiment.

Throughout his military-diplomatic career, he received numerous honors, 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.

A 1975 graduate of the U.S. Military Academy, Lute also holds a master’s degree from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard. 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.

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Past Golden Eagle Award Recipients

The SAME Academy of Fellows Golden Eagle Awards were first presented in 1996. Over the last 20-plus years, many prominent Americans have been honored with the award.

For Contributions to the A/E/C Profession
  • 2018 Col. Edward Gibson, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2017 Harold I. Rosen, F.SAME
  • 2016 Lt. Gen. Robert L. VanAntwerp, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2015 Suzanne DiGeronimo, FAIA, F.SAME, PP
  • 2014 Honorable James A. Rispoli, P.E., BCEE, F.SAME, USN (Ret.)
  • 2013 Col. James L. Lammie, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2012 Brig. Gen. Ralph V. Locurcio, P.E., F. SAME, U.S. Army (Ret.)
  • 2011 Rear Adm. Benjamin F. Montoya, USN (Ret.)
  • 2010 William A. Brown Sr., P.E., HAIA, F.SAME
  • 2009 Rear Adm Jack Buffington, P.E., F.SAME, USN (Ret.)
  • 2008 Maj. Gen. Joseph A. “Bud” Ahearn, P.E., F.SAME, USAF (Ret.)
  • 2007 Col. F.H.“Bud” Griffis, Ph.D., P.E.,NAC, USA (Ret.)
  • 2006 Maj. Gen. Charles E. Williams, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2005 Rear Adm. David J. Nash, P.E., F.SAME, USN (Ret.)
  • 2004 Brig. Gen Gerald E. Galloway Jr., Ph.D., P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2003 Lt. Gen. Henry J. Hatch, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2003 Charles H. Thornton, Ph.D., P.E., F.SAME
  • 2002 Brig. Gen. Forrest T. Gay III, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2001 Frank H. Walk, D.E., P.E., F.SAME
  • 2000 Michael Haratunian, P.E., F.SAME
  • 1999 E. Manning Seltzer, F.SAME
  • 1998 Lt. Gen. John W. Morris, P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 1997 Seymour S. Greenfield, P.E., F.SAME
  • 1996 Maj. Gen. Clifton D. Wright Jr., P.E., F.SAME, USAF (Ret.)
For Contributions to National Security
  • 2018 Gen. Craig McKinley, USAF (Ret.)
  • 2017 Gen. J.H. Binford Peay III, USA (Ret.)
  • 2016 Adm. Vernon E. Clark, USN (Ret.)
  • 2015 Gen. Gordon R. Sullivan, USA (Ret.)
  • 2014 Lt. Gen. Theodore G. Stroup Jr., P.E., F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2013 Lt. Gen. Daniel W. Christman, USA (Ret.)
  • 2012 Honorable David H. Petraeus, Ph.D.
  • 2011 Adm. Thad W. Allen, USCG (Ret.)
  • 2010 Honorable Eric K. Shinseki
  • 2009 Lt. Gen. Julius W. Becton, USA (Ret.)
  • 2008 Richard H. Carmona, M.D., M.P.H., FACS
  • 2007 Gen. Barry R. McCaffrey, USA (Ret.)
  • 2006 Adm. James M. Loy, USCG (Ret.)
  • 2005 Gen. Andrew J. Goodpaster, F.SAME, USA (Ret.)
  • 2004 Gen. Henry Hugh Shelton, USA (Ret.)
  • 2002 Stephen E. Ambrose
  • 2001 Honorable David Hobson
  • 2000 Gen. Ronald R. Fogleman, USAF (Ret.)
  • 1999 Senator Robert J. Dole
  • 1998 Honorable W.G. Hefner
  • 1997 Honorable Richard B. Cheney
  • 1996 Norman R. Augustine

For more information on the Academy of Fellows Golden Eagle Awards, visit www.same.org/GoldenEagle.