Honorees

Federal Employee of the Year

Gregory Robinson

Oversaw the successful launch of NASA’s revolutionary James Webb Space Telescope after years of delays and billions of dollars in cost overruns, setting the stage for spectacular discoveries about the origins of the universe.

Krista Kinnard

Ignited a technology transformation at the Department of Labor by automating repetitive administrative processes, saving time and money, and creating greater efficiencies.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Dr. H. Clifford Lane, M.D.

Conducted pioneering work to combat HIV/AIDS that has saved countless lives, organized breakthrough clinical trials for Ebola in Africa and helped establish medical guidelines to treat COVID-19 during the pandemic.

Science, Technology and Environment

Cynthia A. Newberg

Played an instrumental role internationally and in the U.S. to curb the use of hydrofluorocarbons, incredibly potent greenhouse gases that are major contributors to climate change.

Barbara C. Morton

Built trust and a customer-oriented culture among veterans and their families seeking services and benefits from the Department of Veterans Affairs by listening and responding to their needs.

People's Choice Award

Josh Josa

Leveraged U.S. resources and influence to promote educational opportunities in developing nations for children and youth with disabilities.

Spirit of Service Award

Darren Walker

A philanthropic leader and innovator working to build a more equitable and just world.

Suma Nair, Ph.D., M.S.

Coordinated the federal initiative to supply community health centers nationwide that assist underserved populations with life-saving COVID-19 vaccines, antiviral medications, testing kits and protective face masks.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Rupa Bhattacharyya

Managed three separate victim’s compensation funds during a lengthy federal career, most recently revitalizing the fund that provides payments to those harmed by the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Science, Technology and Environment

Steven Musser, Ph.D.

Championed the use of whole genome sequencing and a public database to identify foodborne diseases that sicken millions of people every year, enabling authorities to remove dangerous products more quickly from the marketplace and protect public health.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Scott Busby

Designed and oversaw landmark efforts to advance human rights overseas and hold violators accountable.

Samantha Sutton

Played an important behind-the-scenes role across three presidential administrations as an adviser on U.S. policy toward Israel and the Palestinians.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Roy Dotson and the CARES Act Team

Conducted a nationwide criminal investigation that recovered $1.2 billion in stolen federal pandemic relief payments meant for small businesses and the unemployed, and halted the dispersal of $2.2 billion more in fraudulently requested funds.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Mitchell Zeller, J.D.

Directed federal efforts to regulate the marketing and accessibility of tobacco products that can cause death and disease, instituting policies that cut back on cigarette usage and saved lives.

Mark Williams, Ph.D.

Documented how agricultural runoff containing nitrogen and phosphorous used in fertilizers migrate into and pollute waterways, prompting new farming conservation practices to protect the environment.

Science, Technology and Environment

Joseph Poux Jr.

Organized a series of global environmental law enforcement operations targeting marine pollution and hazardous waste dumping that uncovered thousands of violations and led to the prosecution of countless individuals, companies and criminal networks.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Jonathan Dworken

Coordinated the delivery of critical U.S. assistance to the people of Ethiopia amid a violent conflict.

Robert Fenton

Orchestrated the creation of 39 mass vaccination centers in early 2021 that in a short time administered lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines to 5.6 million people while also providing federal support to 1,600 smaller vaccination sites throughout the country.

Management Excellence

Yolanda López

Guided Voice of America through a tumultuous period of political upheaval, restoring the integrity and independence of its news operations while providing strong support for the workforce.

Science, Technology and Environment

Brandon Wales

Protected government and commercial computer networks from highly sophisticated and damaging cyberattacks, safeguarding the COVID-19 vaccine supply chain and reducing the risks of devastating ransomware attacks.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Craig McLean

Played a critical role for decades in the exploration and mapping of the oceans which has provided insights into climate change, helped improve weather forecasting and led to a better understanding of marine life.

Management Excellence

Antonio Rios

Instituted an innovative system that has reduced opioid addiction among federal employees receiving workers’ compensation benefits, while also streamlining and speeding up the process for filing claims.

David Rader

Led a critical initiative to monitor and prevent foreign investments in American technology companies that can be used by adversaries to gain an economic and military advantage over the United States.

Diana Bianchi, M.D.

Initiated critical clinical research to understand the medical implications of COVID-19 on underserved populations, including pregnant women, children and people with disabilities.

Mark Reed, Valerie Hasberry, James Kaufmann

Led the cleanup, restoration and enhanced security of the U.S. Capitol Building and grounds following the violent attack on Jan. 6, 2021, ensuring that the work of Congress could continue and the presidential inauguration could take place two weeks later.

Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Ph.D., Barney S. Graham, M.D., Ph.D.

Conducted groundbreaking research that led to the development of highly effective vaccines in record time that are protecting hundreds of millions of people from contracting the deadly coronavirus that swept across the globe in 2020 and 2021.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Ana B. Hinojosa, Eric Choy and team

Directed enforcement actions against companies seeking to import goods produced by forced labor in China and other countries as part of a broader human rights effort to curb modern–day slavery.

Michelle Daniels, Charles D. Eldridge, Ryan E. Jones and the Office of Public and Indian Housing Foster Youth to Independence team

Created an innovative program offering housing assistance and social services to young people aging out of foster care to prevent them from becoming homeless and to provide an opportunity for self-sufficiency.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Evan R. Kwerel, Ph.D.

Pioneered the use of competitive spectrum auctions to allocate the public airwaves for sound, data and video transmissions, helping fuel the digital revolution while adding more than $200 billion to the government’s coffers.

Science, Technology and Environment

Reem M. Ghandour, DrPH

Transformed and revitalized a national survey on children’s physical, emotional and developmental health, providing timely and insightful data to state and federal policymakers.

Callie I. Higgins, Ph.D.

Invented a groundbreaking technology to detect and remedy microscopic flaws that threaten the safety and reliability of 3D–printed products, potentially revolutionizing the medical, plastics, coatings, optics and additive manufacturing fields.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Anne Schuchat, M.D.

As one of the nation’s leading infectious disease experts, has led numerous high-profile and consequential disease outbreak investigations to protect public health and save countless lives.

Science, Technology and Environment

Brigitte C. Widemann, M.D. and team

Developed a breakthrough medical treatment for children with inoperable tumors that cause disabling pain, disfigurement, blindness and motor dysfunction.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Chong Le

Oversaw the development of a $1 billion Air Force satellite system that will enable prediction of major weather events and natural disasters, providing military leaders and civilian authorities with information needed to make crucial, life-saving decisions.

Edward Sisco, Ph.D.

Devised a new method for crime laboratories to identify opioids and other drugs more quickly and safely, providing critical information to law enforcement while protecting lab employees from dangerous substances.

Lori Vislocky

Developed and implemented a new system that enables authorities to quickly identify foreigners who pose a threat to national security or public safety before they travel to the United States.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Gregory M. Ruiz, Ph.D.

Played a major role over three decades highlighting the environmental harm caused by the marine transport of invasive species, resulting in a federal reporting system, enforcement policies and improved shipboard management practices.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.

Led the development of a satellite-based monitoring system that provides accurate forecasts and early warnings to environmental officials worldwide at a time when rising ocean temperatures threaten the health of coral reefs.

Ian Brownlee and the Interagency COVID Repatriation team

Created and managed a State Department-led task force that repatriated more than 100,000 Americans who were stranded in countries all over the world when borders were closed and airports shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Science, Technology and Environment

Jay Barlow, Ph.D.

Played an influential national role in monitoring and managing marine mammals by creating new survey methods and technology to protect and save the lives of whales, dolphins and other species.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Kenneth Graham

Coordinated the national response to the most active hurricane season on record during the coronavirus pandemic, leading to a 100% evacuation rate in the hardest–hit area during Hurricane Laura, the strongest U.S. landfall in 2020 season.

Mary Frances Matthews

Reduced the lengthy backlog of disability appeals for veterans by 87% in two years, providing long-awaited decisions on benefits to thousands of individuals.

Adam Jacoff and the Emergency Response Robotics team

Developed sophisticated testing standards to ensure ground, underwater and aerial robots have the capability to help emergency responders and the military handle disasters and other dangerous situations.

Management Excellence

Mary D. Gibert

Successfully coordinated the federal assistance effort for the 2020–21 presidential transition in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and a disputed election.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Paul Friday

During six decades of federal service, invented, engineered and implemented systems that enabled the Census Bureau to more accurately tabulate and analyze data on paper census forms, speeding the process and saving millions of dollars.

Gary Washington

Led a technology transformation at the Department of Agriculture, dramatically increasing efficiency, productivity and security, and improving service to the public.

Peter Marks, M.D., Ph.D.

Laid the groundwork for strict scientific regulatory standards used for the rapid development, testing and approval of lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines amid a deadly, once-in-a-century pandemic.

Stephen G. Jurczyk

Oversaw the landing of a rover on Mars, two successful U.S. astronaut flights to the International Space Station and the planning to put the first woman and first person of color on the moon while leading NASA through the pandemic.

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