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The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience

The Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience is the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) first national resilience award for superior leadership and innovation by a non-governmental individual or organization who exemplifies the qualities and achievements of Rick Rescorla, emphasizing leadership in effective preparation, response, and recovery in the face of disasters.

Rescorla served as Vice President of Security for Morgan Stanley at their Headquarters in the World Trade Center. Following the 1993 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center, Rescorla regularly drilled his Morgan Stanley employees in disaster preparedness and response, especially evacuation.  On 9/11, Rescorla led a massive evacuation of Morgan Stanley's 2,700-person workforce located in the South Tower, saving the lives of all but six. His commitment to preparedness ensured that the 2,700 Morgan Stanley employees who worked in the South Tower knew how to evacuate and where to go on 9/11.

Eligibility and Criteria

To be eligible for the 2014 award, the nominee must be:

  • An individual, residing legally in the United States or its territories, who is not an employee of a governmental entity – including federal, state, local, tribal or territorial governments.  Volunteer first responders are eligible.  This includes firefighters, emergency medical providers, and law enforcement personnel who serve on a volunteer basis. 
  • An organization, other than a governmental entity, based in the United States or its territories.  In 2014, there will be two separate award categories for organizations, one for “for-profit organizations” and one for “not-for-profit organizations.”

How to Nominate for the Award

Eligible candidates may be nominated for the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience during the nomination period that begins on April 17, 2014 at 12:00 a.m. and closes on July 17, 2014 at 11:59 p.m (EDT). All nominations must be submitted by email to the following DHS email address:

The nomination form can be found here.