Gala honors those who go the distance

Brig. Gen. Susan Lawrence, Defense Executive of the Year, received a standing ovation when she appeared on screen from Qatar.

Kristy Niro, daughter of the late Arthur Cebrowski, Hall of Fame inductee, speaks.

At the GCN Awards Gala, hundreds of women milled about the Washington Hilton ballroom dressed in flowing chiffon gowns, diamonds and strappy high heels. Brig. Gen. Susan S. Lawrence, attending the event via live feed from Qatar, was wearing desert camouflage.

She was the best-dressed woman in the room.

Lawrence, winner of the 2006 DOD Executive of the Year award, drew a standing ovation from the 1,100 people in the room and conversed easily over the satellite feed provided by Tandberg of New York. It was 3 a.m. in Qatar, and temperatures there had recently reached 122 degrees. Lawrence reported that her group had made great strides in increasing its bandwidth, allowing them to move forward into the battlefield.

The award for GCN Hall of Fame inductee Vice Adm. Arthur K. Cebrowski was accepted by his daughter, Kristy Niro, in a poignant eulogy. A former Navy fighter pilot, Cebrowski had a pilot's characteristic ability to improvise on the spur of the moment, Niro said.

She spoke of how her father applied his priorities of 'God, family and faith' to his work. Cebrowski was much more than 'the father of net-centric warfare,' Niro said; he also acted as a father to the 19-year-olds on his ships, six months at a time.

While it is said that prophets are not honored in their own countries, Niro said, 'If Arthur Cebrowski was a prophet in his own land, he was the most honored man I knew.' She urged the audience to continue Cebrowski's work.

'He believed in young people and young ideas,' Niro said.

For full coverage and more photos from the event, which also honored top agency projects, go to and enter 709 in the box.

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