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Alicia Wadas notches FBI recognition for outstanding public service

A view of the FBI seal located outside the J. Edgar Hoover F.B.I. Building in downtown Washington. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress.com)
Alicia Wadas hailed for work in support of the FBI’s community outreach mission
Staff Reports | Digital Free Press

Alicia Wadas has been honored by the Federal Bureau of Investigation for her exceptional service in the public interest.

The award is a one-time, first-ever recognition that spotlights Ms. Wadas’ impact while serving as president of the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association, an FBI community outreach partner, according to a press release.

Ms. Wadas, chief operating officer and executive vice president at the Phoenix-based advertising agency LAVIDGE, has volunteered and led initiatives for the FBINCAAA since 2008.

“Thanks to Alicia’s leadership, the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association and affiliate chapters are thriving today,” said Cathy Milhoan, assistant director of FBI Office of Public Affairs. “Alicia’s vision and service will influence the program for years to come. We are grateful for her dedication to the FBI and our mission.”

Ms. Wadas graduated from the FBI Phoenix Citizens Academy in 2008 and was immediately elected to the board of directors of the FBI Phoenix Citizens Academy Alumni Association, the inaugural chapter among 58 throughout the U.S. and its territories.

In 2015, Ms. Wadas held the role of regional chapter coordinator for FBINCAAA and was elected to the National board in 2016. In 2019, she became president of FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

Ms. Wadas is driven by a passion for helping others and a desire for making a positive difference in the community. Once she became involved in the FBI Citizens Academy, she says she realized she had the potential to make a huge local and national impact.

“This recognition holds immense personal significance for me after dedicating more than 15 years to FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association through a number of volunteer leadership roles at the local and national level,” Ms. Wadas said. “I have always had a passion for helping others and my involvement in the FBI Citizens Academy Alumni Association allows me to help protect and serve my community.”

photo of Alicia Wadas
Ms. Wadas, chief operating officer and executive vice president at the Phoenix-based advertising agency LAVIDGE, has volunteered and led initiatives for the FBI since 2008. (File Photos/DigitalFreePress)
Alicia Wadas hailed for work in support of the FBI’s community outreach mission

Ms. Wadas is one of more than 50,000 citizens who have taken part in the FBI Citizens Academies offered at field offices across the United States, including Phoenix.

The FBI Citizens Academy equips community leaders with insights into federal law enforcement covering topics from investigative techniques to the safeguarding of civil rights. Graduates of the Citizens Academy program become eligible to join an FBINCAAA affiliate chapter and support the FBI’s mission by strengthening the FBI’s relationship with the community through education and volunteer service.

During her two-year presidency, Ms. Wadas inspired volunteers from across the nation to substantially enhance the FBINCAAA program, ensuring its long-term impact and sustainability as a nonprofit organization separate and apart from the FBI.

She led the development of innovative education and training programs, introduced new templates and tools for chapters, and established brand standards and operational protocols, transforming FBINCAAA into a highly effective organization.

Acknowledging the contributions of FBINCAAA board members, Ms. Wadas specifically noted the partnership of her brother, Attorney Charles R. Smith, who serves as general counsel for FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

“Working closely with Charles has been an incredible journey of growth and transformation,” she pointed out. “His experience and guidance have strengthened the FBINCAAA program and fueled its evolution. Together, we’ve forged new paths, implemented innovative strategies, and set high standards, shaping an all-volunteer organization that’s dynamic and poised for the future.”

Ms. Wadas remains dedicated to her role in the FBI’s community outreach through the FBI National Citizens Academy Alumni Association.

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