Selection Process and Committee

Selection Process and Committee


An award winner is selected for each of the following categories:

  • Federal Employee of the Year
  • Career Achievement
  • Homeland Security and Law Enforcement
  • Management Excellence
  • National Security and International Affairs
  • Promising Innovations
  • Science and Environment

For each category, nominees must show:

  • Strong commitment to federal service
  • A significant accomplishment within their field that meets the needs of the American people
  • Excellence in customer service to citizens or other beneficiaries

* Promising Innovations is a new category the Partnership for Public Service introduced in 2017 to recognize federal employees who are developing cutting-edge technologies or driving innovative approaches that have demonstrated measurable success and great potential but are still in progress. Promising Innovations, which replaced the Call to Service category, will also highlight young people who have made important contributions toward a significant accomplishment early in their federal careers.

Following a careful review and vetting process by the Partnership for Public Service, finalists are selected and announced in late spring.

Award recipients are chosen from the field of finalists by a selection committee comprised of national leaders representing government, business, entertainment, media and the non-profit/foundation community. The members of the selection committee rank the finalists in each category based on:

  • The significance and impact of their accomplishments
  • How well they foster innovation
  • Demonstrated leadership
  • The extent to which they exemplify excellence in public service

Winners are announced at a black-tie gala in the early fall.


Joshua Bolten

President and CEO
Business Roundtable

Douglas R. Conant

Founder and CEO, ConantLeadership 
Former CEO and President, Campbell Soup Company

John Dickerson

Co-Anchor, CBS This Morning
CBS News

Dean Kamen

DEKA Research & Development Corporation

Michael Lewis


U.S. Representative David Price

North Carolina

Cynthia Robinson

Robertson Foundation for Government

Jennifer Rubin

Opinion Writer
The Washington Post

Max Stier

President and CEO
Partnership for Public Service

Jim VandeHei

Founder and CEO

Sylvia Mathews Burwell

American University

J. David Cox, Sr.

National President
American Federation of Government Employees

Ronnie F. Heyman

GAF Industries

Carol Larson

President and CEO
David and Lucile Packard Foundation

Bob Peck

Board Member, S. D. Bechtel, Jr. Foundation
Managing Director, FPR Partners

Tony Reardon

National President
National Treasury Employees Union

U.S. Representative Phil Roe, M.D.


Margaret Spellings

The University of North Carolina System

Toni Townes-Whitley

President, US Regulated Industries
Microsoft Corporation

Elizabeth Williamson

Feature Writer
The New York Times