ADL Honors Former Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson for His Dedication to the Safety of Our Nation

New York, NY, May 11, 2017 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) honored Jeh Johnson, the former Secretary of Homeland Security, with the ADL William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute Service Award in recognition of his distinguished career of public service, dedication to the safety and security of our nation and the ongoing fight against terrorism.

ADL CEO Jonathan A. Greenblatt and Adam Gerry, the son of Alan Gerry, an honorary ADL National Commissioner who created the institute to honor the memory of his late parents, presented the award on May 9 to Secretary Johnson during ADL’s National Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C., a gathering of hundreds of the League’s leaders and activists from across the country. The award recognizes outstanding achievements in the fight against terrorism, extremism and injustice.

“We are very proud that through the years, the ADL William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute Service Award has been presented to many of the most distinguished law enforcement and intelligence officials in the country,” Mr. Greenblatt said. “Secretary Johnson has pioneered and facilitated key counterterrorism and cyber security initiatives that have made our country a much safer place. “This award honors senior leaders from law enforcement, homeland security, intelligence, and defense who have played a significant role in protecting our nation, its people and communities from extremism and terrorism.”

Johnson served as Homeland Security Secretary from December 2013 to January 2017. Between 2009–2012, he was the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Defense, where he was a primary legal architect for the military’s counterterrorism missions, and was responsible for the prior legal approval for every military operation authorized by the President and the Secretary of Defense.

“We are extremely proud of our work with the Department of Homeland Security,” Mr. Greenblatt said. “For the past seven years, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, DHS’s largest investigative agency, has been sending senior personnel through ADL’s Law Enforcement and Society training program, which has trained more than 130,000 law enforcement professionals throughout the country on the Holocaust and its implications for law enforcement officers today. Johnson was a strong supporter of our collaborative efforts.”

“Racism and anti-Semitism are merely two different shades of the same evil,” Secretary Johnson said in his acceptance remarks. “We must remember that the root of the word ‘terrorism’ is terror, and terrorism cannot prevail if we refuse to be terrorized. He closed his remarks by urging the Summit participants to continue engaging their elected representatives in the nation’s capital.

The ADL William and Naomi Gorowitz Institute on Terrorism and Extremism advances the fight against terrorism through education and advocacy by providing timely information, cutting-edge training and educational opportunities to the law enforcement community. The Institute assists law enforcement by providing resources for tracking extremists and terrorists across the United States.

Past recipients of the award have included: Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Police Department Chief of Police Cathy L. Lanier, former Director of Central Intelligence and former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta; U.S. Homeland Security Secretaries Michael Chertoff and Janet Napolitano; former CIA Director George Tenet, former FBI Director Louis Freeh, and former New York Police Commissioner Ray Kelly.


ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.