Wasserman Awards Recipients

Joseph J. Wasserman Award 

The Joseph J. Wasserman Award is presented by the ISACA New York Metropolitan Chapter at its Annual Gala/Wasserman Award Dinner, typically held in NYC during June or July.  This award has been bestowed annually since the Chapter’s inception in 1978, and recognizes Outstanding Achievement and Contribution to the Information Systems Audit, Control, Security, Risk Management, and/or Governance professions (the “Community”). 

Each year, all Chapter members are invited to nominate candidates for the Wasserman Award. The nomination must include a short bio of the proposed candidate and specific examples of achievements, contributions, and essential characteristics as outlined below.

The award candidates must have made a significant contribution and be currently active in the Community.  Essential characteristics include, but are not limited to honesty, integrity, humility, non-self-promoting, selfless dedication to enriching the Community, and motivation for the best interests of the ISACA membership.

Examples of outstanding achievement and contribution are: working as a team leader across verticals to solve significant persistent issues in audit, control, information security, risk management, and governance; building an audit or cyber security tool or process that addresses a major industry gap; or contributing to innovative research on topics of importance to the Community. The achievements or contributions would be considered gold standards for reference in Community.

The achievements, contributions, and characteristics of each nominated candidate are carefully evaluated by the Chapter’s Wasserman Committee. This Committee is appointed annually by the Chapter Board of Directors, and may include current and former Board Directors, past Chapter presidents, and past Wasserman Award recipients.  The Committee conducts a rigorous impartial voting process to identify the best-qualified candidates, who are then recommended to the Chapter Board of Directors.  The Board of Directors considers the recommendations of the Wasserman Committee and votes to confirm the recipient of the Wasserman Award. 

Award Recipients

J. Wasserman Award Recipients


Medha Bhalodkar


Erik Guldentops


John Lainhart


Phil Venables


S. Rao Vallabhaneni


Martin King


Theresa Grafenstine


Peter Wild


William Murray


Robert Roussey


Gordon E. Smith


Steven Ross


Ron Ross


Thomas A. Dietz


Michael Cangemi


Charles Blauner


Emil G. D'Angelo


Richard Guiltinan


George Hertzberg


Kathleen O'Hare


Stanley Halper


Robert Stroud


Belden Menkus


Michael Sobol


Everett Johnson


Ira R. Weiss


William Perry


Miklos Vasarhelyi


Michael Donahue


Harold Weiss


Robert A. Clyde


Robert G. Parker


John Cullinane


Deepak Sarup


Stanley Stash Jarocki


Jerry Fitzgerald


Paul Williams


Lily Shue


Thomas Fitzgerald


Marios Damianides


Keagle Davis


Donald Adams


Eugene Spafford


About Joseph J. Wasserman (1932 - 1978) 


Joe Wasserman was born in New Haven, Connecticut on May 21, 1932, a depression-born Connecticut Yankee.  Upon completion of US Navy active duty in 1956, Joe was employed as an internal auditor with the Southern New England Bell Telephone Company in New Haven.  There he established the company's first IS Audit function and developed such concepts as the integrated test facility, the tagging of data and the use of audit software.

By 1965, Joe had advance to Audit Manager at AT&T's New York Headquarters, having responsibility for the audit of Bell Systems in the US and Canada.  In 1967, Joe moved to AT&T's Bell labs as manager of Audit R&D.  In 1969, together with Dick Hirschfield, he founded Computer Audit Systems, Inc. (CAS).  They developed the Computer Audit Retrieval System (CARS) and produced seminars in computer auditing including applications of the CARS software.  At the time, the only publicized computer audit software was Auditape available from Haskins and Sells.  Both systems generated COBOL programs on IBM mainframes using punched card control parameters.

Joe had placed CARS in over 400 computer centers and his marketing had reached the boardrooms of the Fortune 1000 and the partners of the largest public accounting firms.  His professional competence and energy earned him the respect and friendship of many.  Joe continued in a consulting capacity, including serving as an expert in the Equity Funding case until his untimely death in 1978.

Steve Ross

Wasserman Award Recipient – 1988

Current Award Recipient: MEDHA BHALODKAR

medha.jpgMedha is the Chief Information Security Officer and Enterprise IT Risk Officer of Columbia University and has served as the university's first CISO since 2006. Medha leads multiple teams of information security and risk management professionals to manage Columbia's IT Policies, Data Protection, Cybersecurity (approx. 150,000 network nodes), Identity Access Management (over 1 million IDs), Enterprise IT Risk Management and Governance across Columbia's 17 schools and 10 Global Centers.

Medha chairs the IT Security Council, co-chairs IT Leadership Council with the CIO and is also a Governing Body member of Columbia University's Compliance Committee. Prior to joining Columbia University, she spent nearly two decades in the financial industry across IT, security, audit, and risk management functions.

In addition to her work as a CISO, Medha was an advocate for the creation of a new master's degree program at Columbia, the Master of Science in Enterprise Risk Management (MSERM). Medha served as an advisor, along with executive leaders in industry and consulting, on the program design and planning committee and as an initial advisory board member for the Master's in Enterprise Risk Management program. Her ambition was to highlight the need to change the executive approach to risk management: shifting the assessment of risk in silos to analyzing risks at an enterprise level in a rapidly evolving global and regulatory environment and presenting risks through a single-pane of glass. The program, which was approved in 2015, set an industry precedent in enterprise risk management education and has gone on to serve hundreds of individuals who are now working to strategically view and address risks across the enterprise.
She holds several security certifications (e.g., CISA, CGEIT, CRISC, and ITIL) and a B.S. from Bombay University. Medha was recognized as the 2016 Global CISO of the Year (by EC-Council) and the 2015 and 2016 North America Information Security Executive of the Year (by ISE) for her leadership and contributions in the information security and risk management space. Her team was also awarded for their achievements in the academic and public sector receiving the North America Security Project of the Year twice, in 2015 and 2016. She was a nominee for Evanta's CISO Breakaway Leadership Award in 2019.
Medha serves on several governing bodies, steering committees of professional organizations and is a frequent panel speaker at major NY conferences. Medha is passionate about her role as a woman in IT and in helping other women pursue a career in Technology. She serves on Columbia University's Women in IT Panels, a frequent speaker at various women in technology conferences and was recently a panelist for the first SheLeads Tech hosted by the ISACA New York Metropolitan Chapter and ISACA Global