Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Medal

The Career Achievement Medal is named for the late Paul A. Volcker in recognition of his nearly three decades of distinguished federal service. This honor, made possible through the generous support of Ray and Barbara Dalio, recognizes career federal employees who have led significant and sustained achievements during 20 or more years of service in government. 

During his remarkable public service career, Volcker advised presidents from Richard Nixon to Barack Obama, held a series of critical government positions in which he maintained the highest ethical standards, promoted important financial reforms and exercised tremendous influence over U.S. economic policy. 

Volcker twice headed a nonpartisan Commission on the Public Service that recommended sweeping changes in the federal government’s organization and personnel practices. In 2013, he founded the Volcker Alliance, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advancing his vision of an empowered public sector workforce.

As chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System from 1979 to 1987, Volcker played a pivotal role in curbing high inflation and unemployment. In earlier stages of his career, Volcker served as an economist for the Federal Reserve, as director of the Treasury’s Office of Financial Analysis, as undersecretary of the Treasury for monetary affairs and as president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. 

Volcker also headed President Obama’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board from 2009 to 2011, making a significant contribution to the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

While finance and the economy dominated much of Volcker’s career, he was outspoken about the importance of an effective government and the need to restore faith in government. In 2018, Volcker told the Financial Times he would like his legacy to be his “attention to public service” rather than his economic achievements.

Volcker Alliance President Sara Mogulescu said Volcker committed himself to public service, to making life better for public servants, and to restoring trust in the U.S. government.

“Paul Volcker is an exemplar of distinguished public service,” Mogulescu said. “There is no one more fitting to embody the Service to America Career Achievement Medal.”