Homeland Security Center Awards Top Writing Honors to Security Expert Nick Catrantzos

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• The winner of the Center's top writing award is judged on innovative ideas, analytical rigor, and sophisticated presentation. • Catrantzos has extensive career field experience and a record of leadership in national intelligence, national defense, and Fortune 100 corporate security, including high-level hostage rescue planning and international risk assessment.

No Dark Corners: Defending Against Insider Threats to Critical Infrastructure.

The Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security has announced that Center graduate Nick Catrantzos, head of security for the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, has been given the Center's highest writing award for his thesis "No Dark Corners: Defending Against Insider Threats to Critical Infrastructure."

Catrantzos graduated on the Monterey campus with a Master's Degree in Security Studies, Homeland Security and Defense, from the Center on September 25 in a ceremony keynoted by Marine Corps Major General Thomas L. Conant.

The vast Metropolitan Water District of Southern California, where Catrantzos serves as the head of security, is one of the nation's biggest water utilities and the largest bulk water supplier for municipal use in the world.

The winner of the Center's top writing award is chosen from among each graduating class based on the relevance and innovation of the ideas in the thesis, the rigor of its methodology and analysis, and the sophistication of its presentation. In bestowing the Fall 2009 award on Catrantzos, the Center's award selection committee noted: "This thesis best exemplifies the contribution of scholarship to the study and practice of homeland security."

National security expert Catrantzos, who is headquartered in Los Angeles, completed his Master of Arts Degree in Homeland Security Studies at the Naval Postgraduate School Center for Homeland Defense and Security on Sept. 25. Catrantzos is a board certified protection professional with extensive career field experience in national intelligence, national defense, and Fortune 100 corporate security, including high-level hostage rescue planning and international risk assessments.

In 2007, Catrantzos received the Association of Metropolitan Water Agencies prestigious Donald R. Boyd Award for contributions to infrastructure protection on behalf of the U.S. water sector. The Donald R. Boyd Award is named after a founding member of the AMWA, and is given annually to an individual who has made extraordinary contributions to drinking water quality.

From 1987 to 1992, Catrantzos guarded stealth technology and other top secret projects at Lockheed Corporation's fabled Skunk Works, including production of the F-117 Stealth Fighter and design work for the F-22 Raptor.

Earlier in his 30-year career, as a young Air Force officer, Catrantzos provided intelligence support at Nellis Air Force Base, home to the United States Air Force Warfare Center, where he was honored as outstanding officer for 1980 by Tactical Air Command.

In 1986 the Air Force awarded then Captain Catrantzos the Meritorious Service Medal for outstanding achievements while serving as one of a handful of special intelligence collectors on loan to the Central Intelligence Agency. Later, in 1999, as security director for Kroll Associates, Los Angeles, he took charge of four highly visible corporate takeovers - crafting and managing in each case elaborate protection plans for high-value human and property assets.

In July 2009 Catrantzos contributed to the development of an industry-wide facility security measures guideline for the American Society for Industrial Security, and is now working with the Society on a new international guideline on workplace violence. He comments on national and corporate security issues at http://www.all-secure.blogspot.com on the Web.

About the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California

The Metropolitan Water District of Southern California is a cooperative of 26 cities and water agencies serving 19 million people in six counties. The district imports water from the Colorado River and Northern California to supplement local supplies, and helps its members to develop increased water conservation, recycling, storage and other resource-management programs.

About the Center for Homeland Defense and Security

The Center for Homeland Defense and Security (CHDS) has been the nation's premier provider of homeland security graduate and executive level education since 2002. CHDS is located at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, CA, and conducts a wide range of graduate and executive-level coursework, seminars, and research focused on assisting current and future leaders in Homeland Defense and Security to develop the policies, strategies, programs and organizational elements needed to counter and defeat terrorism in the United States.

The programs are developed in partnership with and are sponsored by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's National Preparedness Directorate, FEMA.

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