Maj. Gen. Leah G. Lauderback, the Director of Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance for the U.S. Space Force, was awarded the General James Doolittle Award by MIT’s Security Studies Program on Thursday, April 7.
The General James Doolittle Award reception is an annual event commemorating the legacy of James "Jimmy" Doolittle, a US Air Force General, aviation pioneer, and MIT alumnus, who led the Doolittle Raid on Toyko during World War II. Each year, SSP faculty and students, and guests from the broader MIT and military communities gather to honor the recipient.
SSP Director and Arthur and Ruth Sloan Professor of Political Science, Dr. M. Taylor Fravel, opened the event with a review of General Doolittle's life and accomplishments, recounting the events of the famed 1942 raid on Tokyo that he led along with contributions to the development of high octane aviation fuel and space-based reconnaissance. Dr. Fravel then introduced General Lauderback, who spoke on challenges in the space domain and the role of intelligence. A lengthy Q&A session followed.
General Lauderback, who is an Air Force officer, serves as the Senior Intelligence Advisor to the Chief of Space Operations and is responsible to the Secretary of the Air Force and Chief of Space Operations for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight and leadership of Space Force intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance capabilities.
In 2017, Pierre (MIT SB 1988) and Amy Chao made a generous pledge to SSP in support of the Doolittle Award. Mr. Chao, who has had an active career in the aerospace and defense industry, earned dual Bachelor of Science degrees in Political Science and Management Science from MIT. The endowment allows SSP to sustain the Doolittle award event, ensuring that future MIT graduate students and fellows are acquainted with the contribution that science and engineering can make to national security.