2013 Service to America Medal Finalists

2013 Service to America Medal Finalists

Marking the start of this year’s Public Service Recognition Week, the Partnership for Public Service honored the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists—outstanding federal employees whose important, behind-the-scenes work is advancing the health, safety and well-being of Americans.

Call to Service Medal Finalists

This medal recognizes a federal employee whose professional achievements reflect the important contributions that a new generation brings to public service.

Andrew Rabens

Special Advisor for Youth Engagement, Bureau of Near East Affairs
Department of State
Washington, D.C.

Led an initiative to engage young leaders from the Middle East and North Africa to share ideas and learn about American democracy.
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David Vollman

Staff Ophthalmologist
Veterans Health Administration
St. Louis, Missouri

Gathered, organized and analyzed data on cataract surgery results to improve medical practices and outcomes for patients.
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Manan Vyas

Research Engineer
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Cleveland, Ohio

Advanced the national goal of developing hypersonic aircraft engines, the last frontier of aeronautics, through innovative testing and scientific analysis.
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Career Achievement Medal Finalists

This medal recognizes a federal employee for significant accomplishments throughout a lifetime of achievement in public service.

William J. Borucki

Space Scientist
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Ames Research Center
Moffett Field, California

Led the design and operation of NASA’s Kepler space mission which discovered Earth-like planets as far as 1200 light years away, adding an impressive capstone on a 50-year career that began with the Apollo program.
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Orice Williams Brown

Managing Director, Financial Markets and Community Investment
Government Accountability Office
Washington, D.C.

Provided Congress with impartial analysis and oversight regarding the nation’s financial regulatory system, issuing warnings about potential risks and making recommendations to improve the implementation of new laws and economic recovery programs.
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Mark DeMaria

Mark DeMaria

Supervisory Meteorologist
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Fort Collins, Colorado

Pioneered models to better forecast the path and intensity of hurricanes during the past three decades to help communities and first responders prepare for the severe storms, saving countless lives, homes and businesses.
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Michael Gottesman

Deputy Director for Intramural Research
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland

Throughout a four-decade career, led seminal studies in the treatment of drug-resistant cancer cells and played an instrumental role in improving the rigor of medical research.
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Philip Rosenfelt

Acting General Counsel
Department of Education
Washington, D.C.

As a federal legal adviser and litigator for more than four decades, improved education and helped ensure equal access for all students.
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Citizen Services Medal Finalists

This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to citizen services (including economic development, education, health care, housing, labor and transportation).

Dave Broomell

Project Manager
Social Security Administration, Chicago Region
Stillwater, Minnesota

Developed a number of technology innovations that have improved Social Security’s customer service and employee efficiency.
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Martha Dorris

Deputy Associate Administrator, Office of Citizen Services
General Services Administration
Washington, D.C.

Delivered timely information on federal programs and services and engaged citizens with our government through the use of web portals, social media, crowdsourcing tools and a powerful search engine.
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Daniel Madrzykowski

Fire Protection Engineer
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Gaithersburg, Maryland

Dramatically improved firefighting practices by conducting and sharing sophisticated research that has saved firefighters’ lives and protected property across the nation.
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Terence V. Milholland

Chief Information Officer and Chief Technology
Officer Internal Revenue Service
Washington, D.C.

Overhauled IRS’ information technology and tax processing systems, leading to quicker refunds and notices to taxpayers, reduced fraud and better internal management.
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J. Todd Weber and the CDC Multistate Outbreak of Fungal Meningitis and Other Infections Response Team

Chief, Prevention and Response Branch, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Georgia

Quickly identified contaminated medicine as the cause of a major meningitis outbreak in 2012, and led the national public health response, alerting 14,000 potentially exposed patients and providing treatment information to the medical community.
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Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Medal Finalists

This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to homeland security and law enforcement (including border and transportation security, civil rights, counterterrorism, emergency response, fraud prevention, and intelligence).

Charles Addington

Associate Director of Field Operations
Department of the Interior, Bureau of Indian Affairs
Washington, D.C.

Developed and implemented an innovative law enforcement program that reduced the high violent crime rate on four Indian reservations by 35 percent, providing a model for other Native American communities.
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Michelle Colby and the Foot-and-Mouth Disease Vaccine Development Team

Branch Chief of Agricultural Defense
Department of Homeland Security
Washington, D.C.

Following the loss of millions of farm animals throughout England in 2001, developed a new, safer vaccine for foot-and-mouth disease to protect America’s livestock industry and prevent harm to our national economy.
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John MacKinnon and the Operation Holitna Team

Group Supervisor
Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
Boston, Massachusetts

Rescued more than 160 victims of child pornography and developed new forensic investigatory techniques to track down the predators that abuse them, resulting in over 50 arrests since 2010.
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Seamus McElearney and the C-38 Team

Supervisory Special Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation
New York, New York

Led lengthy undercover investigations that have severely disrupted two of New York’s notorious and violent organized crime families.
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Stephen Richardson

Stephen Richardson and Team

Special Agent in Charge
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Mobile, Alabama

Led a team of FBI agents and Alabama police that saved the life of a five-year-old boy who was kidnapped and held hostage by an armed killer for six terrifying days in an underground bunker.
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Management Excellence Medal Finalists

This medal recognizes a federal employee for demonstrating superior leadership and management excellence through a significant contribution to the nation that exemplifies efficient, effective and results-oriented government.

Margaret Focarino and Team

Commissioner for Patents
U.S. Patent and Trademark Office
Alexandria, Virginia

Led bold reforms that dramatically improved the speed and quality of patent examinations and approvals, helping incentivize new technologies and spur economic growth.
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Kevin T. Geiss

Deputy Assistant Secretary for Energy
Department of the Air Force
Washington, D.C.

Championed the safe use of alternative fuels to ensure energy independence for combat and support missions around the globe and reduced U.S. Air Force fuel and energy consumption, saving more than $1 billion in 2012 alone.
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Harry Haskins and Team

Deputy Associate Administrator for Investment
Small Business Administration
Washington, D.C.

Revitalized a faltering small business investment program, putting billions of dollars in the hands of entrepreneurs who created thousands of jobs since 2009.
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Claire Votaw

Director, Project Services Office
Department of State
Arlington, Virginia

Developed a shared information technology network for American embassies and federal agencies operating overseas, saving money and reducing duplication.
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National Security and International Affairs Medal Finalists

This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to national security and international affairs (including defense, military affairs, diplomacy, foreign assistance and trade).

Cara Christie and the USAID Horn Drought Humanitarian Response Team

Disaster Operations Specialist
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C.

Identified a looming humanitarian crisis in the Horn of Africa and coordinated a complex U.S. relief effort to help millions of people who faced starvation and death due to the worst drought in six decades.
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Hamid Jafari

Hamid Jafari

Medical Officer
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Georgia

Directed the global initiative that eradicated polio in India and is leading the effort to eliminate this crippling and potentially fatal disease in the final three countries where it persists.
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Kenneth J. Linthicum

Director, Center for Medical, Agricultural and Veterinary Entomology
Agricultural Research Service
Gainesville, Florida

Developed techniques to predict outbreaks of insect-borne illnesses and protect livestock and humans, including military personnel, from debilitating and life-threatening disease.
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Erica Keen Thomas

Erica Keen Thomas and the U.S. Mission to China Air Monitoring Team

Environment, Science, Technology and Health Counselor
Department of
State Beijing, China

Collected and publicly shared data that revealed dangerous air pollution levels in Chinese cities, increasing public awareness of the health risks and causing the Chinese government to confront the issue.
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Science and Environment Medal Finalists

This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to science and environment (including biomedicine, economics, energy, information technology, meteorology, resource conservation and space).

Paul D. Jablonski

Metallurgist
Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory
Albany, Oregon

Revolutionized coronary stent technology by developing a new platinum-chromium alloy that makes the device thinner, more flexible and visible by x-ray.
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David Lavery and the Mars Science Laboratory Team

Program Executive for Solar System Exploration
National Aeronautics and Space Administration
Washington, D.C.

Led the Curiosity rover mission to Mars that is exploring the Red Planet’s geology and climate, and assessing whether conditions are favorable for microbial life and future human exploration.
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Julie Segre, Tara Palmore and Team

Senior Investigator (Segre) and Deputy Hospital Epidemiologist (Palmore)
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland

Stopped the spread of a deadly hospital-acquired infection through the first-ever use of genome sequencing to identify the source and trace the transmission of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, creating a groundbreaking model for the health care industry.
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Josh Silverman

Director, Office of Sustainability Support
Department of Energy
Washington, D.C.

Discovered and led efforts to halt the release of more than one million tons of the world’s most potent greenhouse gas from Energy Department facilities, the equivalent of taking over 200,000 cars off the nation’s roads every year.
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Nora D. Volkow

Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse
National Institutes of Health
Bethesda, Maryland

Demonstrated that drug addiction is a disease that changes brain function and created new strategies for treating patients with substance abuse issues.
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The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals are presented annually by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service to celebrate excellence in our federal civil service.

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2013 SAMMIES FINALISTS

Finalist photos by Sam Kittner / kittner.com