NIP Presents The 2020 RED TIE Award


The Naval Intelligence Professionals Present

The 2020 RED TIE Award

Posthumously To Ms. Melissa A. Drisko

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For exceptional service and outstanding contributions during a distinguished 37-year Navy and Intelligence Community career. Let it be widely known that Ms. Melissa A. Drisko has earned the respect, admiration and appreciation of all Naval Intelligence Professionals.

Prior to her untimely passing in November 2018, Melissa served as Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) from August 2016. In this capacity, she assisted the Director’s management of a workforce with more than 16,500 military and civilian employees worldwide. Prior to assuming this position, she was the Director for Rank-in-Person Implementation at DIA.

A graduate of the University of Virginia and commissioned in the U.S. Navy in May 1981, Melissa completed assignments of increasing complexity in a range of duties. These included service as a manpower officer with Naval Intelligence Headquarters, Indications & Warning watch stander with the Navy Operational Intelligence Center, current intelligence officer with the State Department’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research, aide to the Director of Naval Intelligence, and Soviet submarine readiness analyst with the Office of Naval Intelligence.

In subsequent positions at ONI, Melissa managed programming and budgeting followed by a three-year assignment as the command operations officer. She also served for four years in the Directorate of Operations, Central Intelligence Agency, before joining DIA in October 2004 as the Chief of the Community Enterprise Office within the Directorate for Analysis. She later became the Deputy Chief Financial Executive at DIA in November 2007.

From April 2009 to September 2010, Melissa served as the Deputy Director of Naval Intelligence where she had a major role in directing and resourcing all of Naval Intelligence. Returning to DIA in 2010, she served as the Vice Deputy Director for Collection Management, followed by her assignment as DIA’s Chief of Staff and then as Director for Science and Technology until August 2015.

Known for her analytical insight, courage, integrity and keen knowledge of the facts, Ms. Melissa Drisko inspired all who knew her. She was an exemplary and trailblazing Naval Intelligence professional who distinguished herself and will not be forgotten.

For the Naval Intelligence Professionals,

Tony L. Cothron
Rear Admiral, USN, Retired
Chairman, Board of Directors