December 1 2023

Rich Davis Honored with George P. Shultz Award

Rich Davis, The Security Foundation (TSF) President for the past six years, is the 2023 recipient of the prestigious George P. Shultz Award for Excellence to OSAC for his incredible service to the broader security community.

He received the award at the 12th Annual TSF Dinner Celebrating OSAC on November 15, 2023 at the National Building Museum before a capacity crowd of his security peers across public and private sectors. Rich, who will remain on TSF’s Board, steps down as President on December 31, 2023, when Dave Komendat, ISF Vice President, becomes ISF President.

Named for the founder of OSAC, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, this ISF award – separate and distinct from any U.S. government or State Department award program – recognizes exemplary, visionary service to the security profession. Rich embodies these ideals throughout his 40-year career with United Airlines. He spent 22 years at United as Director, Global Security. His leadership on the OSAC Council and his pioneering model of connection and collaboration between the private and public sectors helped to create the foundation upon which today’s public-private partnerships stand.

The George P. Shultz Award was presented to Rich by the Hon. Sue Gordon, former Principal Deputy Director of National Intelligence, who was the Dinner’s keynote speaker. Highly regarded for her role as an innovator in the security profession, Sue spoke to Rich’s reputation as a security legend and for his “passion for innovating in an industry that must constantly assess threats and determine new ways to mitigate danger,” she said.

“Your tool for transformative leadership is your ability to connect with others and across industries and sectors to forge needed partnerships and develop the lasting trust needed to create change. As you did before, during and after 9/11, over thousands of flights during your United career, at hundreds of OSAC and DSAC events, you have brought people together to create a better, more connected way to serve and protect our communities.”

Watch the presentation:

Prior to her remarks, Dave Komendat introduced a surprise video for Rich, noting that the word “partnership” encapsulates how Rich leads. Recalling how he met Rich through ISMA (The International Security Management Association) while Rich as at United and Dave, at The Boeing Company, he described for the 900-person audience how Rich created meaningful connections and trusted relationships between the private sector and all levels of the public sector – an approach that has become the standard for airline security and of all security. He touched on Rich’s genuine, personable approach with everybody, top security leaders and those new to the field: “No matter what kind of day you are having, you will always leave a conversation with Rich feeling just a little bit better than when you started it.

During her remarks, Peggy O’Neill, TSF Executive Director, shared the impact Rich has had on TSF and on her. “The relationship between an Executive Director and the Board President is critical to the success of any nonprofit organization,” she explained. “I have been blessed to have Rich as a partner in the role of ISF President. We worked hard together, laughed a lot and created a life-long friendship that I cherish. Thank you for sharing your gifts with me and so many others in this room. We are all better for having you in our lives.”

Watch the video of the full tribute to Rich during the dinner.



Read the recap of the 12th Annual TSF Dinner.

Thank you, Rich, for your incredible service!