WASHINGTON – Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman Tuesday received the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal, the highest recognition the intelligence community can award to one who is not part of the intelligence community.

At a ceremony in the Committee hearing room, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said the Senator was awarded the medal for his “extraordinary service to the nation” and for being “a steadfast ally of the intelligence community.”

“It is no exaggeration for me to say that the nation is more secure because of his leadership, interest, and support for the intelligence community,” Clapper said. “He is the epitome of an independent thinker and a problem solver.”

Lieberman was instrumental in passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorism Prevention Act of 2004, based on recommendations from the 9/11 Commission. The Commission had concluded that the intelligence community failed to connect the dots – bits of information about the planned 9/11 terror attacks – because of poor communications between agencies. To address that deficiency and improve coordination, the legislation established the Director of National Intelligence position to oversee the activities of 16 intelligence agencies scattered throughout the federal government and the National Counterterrorism Center as an intelligence clearinghouse.

Past recipients of the award include Senators Jay Rockefeller, D-West Va., and John Warner, R-Va.

The award certificate reads: The Honorable Joseph Lieberman is awarded the National Intelligence Distinguished Public Service Medal in recognition of his extraordinary service to the nation.  Senator Lieberman has been a steadfast ally of the Intelligence Community during his 24 years of service in the United State Senate. His years of public service and unwavering support for the men and women of the Intelligence Community is matched only by his dedication to its critical mission. Through his leadership as Chairman and Ranking Member if the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs and service on the Senate Committee on Armed Service, Senator Lieberman played a prominent role in the passage of the Intelligence Reform and Terrorist Prevention Act of 2004, which established the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Building on his experience in foreign affairs and as an intelligence customer, the Senator provided invaluable counsel and served as a critical yet encouraging advisor. His measured and constructive critiques have brought about significant changes that have improved every aspect of the intelligence process. Senator Lieberman’s service reflects the highest commitment to the security of the nation.