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News | March 15, 2023

ORTA Deputy Director Wins Federal Laboratory Consortium Representative of the Year

FORT MEADE, Md. - Karen Presley, deputy director of NSA’s Office of Research and Technology Applications (ORTA), has been named Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC) Representative of the Year.
The FLC is the formally chartered, nationwide network of over 300 federal laboratories, agencies, and research centers that fosters commercialization, best practice strategies, and opportunities for accelerating federal technologies out of the labs into the marketplace.
“I am extremely humbled and honored to be selected as the FLC’s Representative of the Year,” said Presley. “To be honored by your peers is incredibly gratifying.”

Karen Presley

Presley was recognized on the basis of her avid advocacy, ambitious nature, and persistent passion for creative collaboration between NSA and other government agencies, academia, industry, and non-profits.
As deputy director of ORTA, Presley serves a critical role in the office’s mission to partner with industry, academia, and other government agencies to help advance NSA mission, technology, and innovation. She orchestrated several premier ORTA efforts, including the Minority-Serving Institution (MSI) Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADA) Working Group. Created in 2019, the working group facilitates Agency work with knowledgeable yet underrepresented communities on NSA mission problem sets. Presley developed a streamlined process of engagement with MSIs.
“Thanks to her tireless dedication, there are now eight universities participating in this agreement with a dozen more forthcoming,” said Lydia Hierl, business development and marketing director for ORTA. “The process took years to refine and perfect, and the program has proved to be an overwhelming success for both Agency and university participants.”
Presley also serves as the chair of the FLC’s Educate Committee, which works to provide full-spectrum education and mentoring opportunities for federal tech transfer professionals and stakeholders. She has been an active member of the FLC since 2013, and her work has benefitted more than 300 federal labs, agencies, and research centers.
“Karen is an integral part and a leader of the NSA ORTA team, and we are proud of her outstanding accomplishments,” said ORTA Director Linda Burger.
Presley will be recognized at the FLC National Meeting this March in Cleveland, Ohio.

NSA Media Relations