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News | March 23, 2023

NSA Employee Wins Intelligence and National Security Alliance Award for Mentorship

FORT MEADE, Md. - National Security Agency (NSA) employee MSgt Amanda Scurry was honored with the Joan A. Dempsey Mentorship Award at the 13th Annual Intelligence and National Security Alliance (INSA) Awards late last month.
The evening event at the Army Navy Country Club in Arlington, Virginia, attended by GEN Paul M. Nakasone, Commander, USCYBERCOM, Director, NSA/Chief, CSS and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence and Security Ron Moultrie, celebrated six early and mid-career professionals. Scurry was honored for her mentorship work as the senior enlisted leader for NSA/CSS Hawaii’s (NSAH) Information Operations Office.
INSA Chairwoman Tish Long lauded Scurry for her work at NSAH. “Ensuring that your folks are getting recognized is the hallmark of a true leader,” Long said.
During her time at NSAH, Scurry organized quarterly professional development sessions, held small group professional leadership sessions, worked to analyze and uproot toxic followership and behavioral tendencies, and created a diversity, equity, and inclusion program for her office.
“To me, a mentor is a trusted counselor, an influential supporter, a coach, a role model,” Scurry said as she accepted her award. “It's the natural process of seeking the counsel of another person based on their life experiences, their personality, or even their character in order to achieve one's goals.”
“Mentorship is vital to strengthening individual development, which in turn strengthens an entire team or organization,” she added.
Moultrie spoke about the importance of being a mentor throughout an entire career.
“Be a continuous mentor. Continue to mentor all your life. Continue to teach. Continue to coach. Realize also one other thing — everything you do is being watched,” he told the audience.  “You're actually a mentor when you're not talking. It’s how you hold yourself when you are having a bad day or you’re having a difficult moment — or somebody is mad or you’re mad. How do you handle that? … That's being a mentor.”
Scurry also serves as an advocate for women in the joint-military environment and is a champion for female mentorship relationships.
“Growing up in the Air Force and NSA, I could barely count on two hands the number of women leaders and role models in my organizations,” she said. “They showed me compassion was not a weakness and that I shouldn't change my personality or my behavior to fit a more traditional view of strength.”
Scurry explained that although she had only a few women leaders to look up to, having representation in the workplace made a difference to her.
 “I in no way coined this phrase, but representation matters. It makes a difference and it is inspiring to see someone who looks like you at higher echelons of leadership,” she said. “To know that if they could do it, I could, too.”
Scurry concluded with a reflection: “While I did not achieve all I have solely because of female mentorship in my professional communities, it showed me what I could one day be for others.”

NSA Media Relations