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SIA unveils award winners for Women in Biometrics, other distinctions

Dignari, Idemia NSS, Princeton Identity, Rank One represented
Categories Biometrics News  |  Trade Notes
SIA unveils award winners for Women in Biometrics, other distinctions

The Security Industry Association (SIA) has announced winners of its 2022 Awards in three different categories, which include the Women in Biometrics Awards, Industry Advocate Award and the SIA Legislator of the Year Award.

Laureates across the three award categories will receive their distinctions during the SIA GovSummit billed for May 24 and 25 in Washington D.C.

Five women honored for biometrics leadership

In the Women in Biometrics Award category, a quintet of women who have shown leadership prowess through their works in the biometrics and security space, are up for recognition, according to a SIA announcement.

The women include Gena Alexa, CEO and founder of Dignari; Amanda Conley, Human Capital Branch, Office of Biometrics Identity Management (OBIM) at the U.S. Department for Homeland Security; Delia McGarry, senior director at the U.S. Department of State, and Director at Idemia NSS; Diane Stephens, biometric standards coordinator at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST); and Bobby Varma, co-founder and CEO of Princeton Identity.

The SIA says they are being honored for their leadership and contributions in biometrics and security.

The laureates have a combined experience pool of nearly ten decades in the biometrics and security landscape, having held different top executive roles across government and enterprise.

According to the SIA, Alexa has a rich portfolio with over 20 years of experience in different roles working to deliver strategic biometric programs for governments; Conley boasts sufficient experience in human capital aspects impacting the biometrics workforce; McGarry is a senior director and biometrics veteran with over four decades of experience in digital image processing and biometrics; Stephens has almost 20 years to her credit in the biometrics field, while Varma has a proven track record which spans at least 15 years in the biometrics arena.

“Each year, the Women in Biometrics Awards celebrate the accomplished leaders who are paving the way for biometric identity and security, and this year’s honorees have made outstanding contributions to biometrics technology innovation, education, program management, engineering and engagement across government and industry,” says SIA CEO Don Erickson. “SIA commends Gena Alexa, Amanda Conley, Delia McGarry, Diane Stephens and Bobby Varma for their impressive dedication, vision and leadership in this critical field and looks forward to recognizing them at SIA GovSummit.”

Rank One counsel grabs SIA Industry Advocate Award

Joseph Hogan, vice president and assistant general counsel, building management systems at Johnson Controls; and David Ray, chief operating officer and general counsel at Rank One Computing, are the 2022 recipients of the SIA Industry Advocate Award.

This award honors member volunteers of the SIA who make extraordinary contributions of professional time, leadership and resources to position SIA and its members to address the public policy challenges impacting the security industry, an SIA announcement explains.

Ray for his part has a rich legal background, and has worked over the years, supporting SIA’s efforts towards a more responsible public policy on the development and use of biometric technologies.

Thanks to his leadership, he has also helped Rank One to a leadership position within the industry through the creation and public dissemination of the company’s Code of Ethics, which has become a reference for the security industry, the announcement states.

Virginia officials recognized for contributions to biometrics legislation

The SIA has conferred its 2022 Legislator of the Year Award to Virginia Delegate Jay Leftwich, Jr. (R-Chesapeake) and Virginia Senator Scott Surovell (D-Fairfax) for their palpable contributions in advancing landmark biometrics legislation in the state.

In an announcement, SIA says they were earmarked for the award, among other things, for authoring “landmark biometrics legislation” for the state of Virginia, which was part of measures to guide the use of biometrics technologies by law enforcement services.

Enacted in April, the legislation also set the template for key requirements and restrictions that address privacy, civil liberties and accuracy concerns while at the same time ensuring that appropriate technology tools can be used effectively to help solve crimes and assist citizens in need, the announcement notes.

They also significantly contributed to the enactment of the bill through their advocacy.

“A key policy priority for SIA is advocating for measures that promote the responsible and effective use of facial recognition technology, and we applaud Sen. Surovell and Del. Leftwich’s tireless efforts to pass legislation that addresses concerns about the technology while ensuring law enforcement agencies are leveraging the software to benefit the communities they serve,” said Jake Parker, senior director of government relations at SIA.

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