Honorees

Jerry Ma

Developed new technology tools for Patent and Trademark Office personnel and the public, and led efforts to establish the agency’s approach toward the use of artificial intelligence for inventions seeking patents.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Janet Woodcock

Transformed the Food and Drug Administration’s drug review process to expand access to generic medicines and promising medications to treat severe, life-threatening diseases.

Marc Levitan, Long Phan and the Tornado Wind Loads Team

Created the world’s first tornado-resistant building codes, conducting groundbreaking research that will save lives and protect critical facilities like schools, hospitals and emergency centers from extensive property damage.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Tony Mento, Camille Otto, Hari Kalla 

Provided critical coordination as well as technical expertise that led to the reopening of a major interstate highway in Philadelphia less than two weeks after a fiery gasoline tanker crash destroyed a bridge over an exit ramp.

Sammie Tafoya 

Led the drafting of a visa revocation policy for Haitians involved in criminal activity and human rights abuses while contributing to sanctions packages and a U.N. resolution that impose penalties against those undermining peace and stability in the Caribbean nation.

Andrea Fletcher

Led teams at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to create online services that help patients dispute unexpected medical bills and hospitals make their prices transparent to the public.

Elizabeth (Biza) Repko

Led critical research projects that exposed gaps in vehicle safety features, and uncovered shortcomings in the reliability of the U.S. rail and highway systems.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Francine E. Alkisswani, Ph.D.

Advocated for and implemented a federal program to promote historically Black colleges and universities as innovation hubs that bridge the digital divide for underserved communities.

Science, Technology and Environment

Neil Cheatwood, Stephen Hughes

Envisioned and led the development of a new inflatable heat shield for planetary entry, descent and landing that will enable spacecraft to deliver bigger payloads to distant planets, including during a future human mission to Mars.

Science, Technology and Environment

Yan Ping (Judy) Chen, Jay D. Evans

Revolutionized bee disease diagnosis and treatment, introducing cutting-edge technologies to detect virus pathogens and developing novel medicines to enhance bee health and prevent colony collapse.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Christopher Mark 

Devoted a lengthy federal career to preventing fatalities from roof falls and other underground mining disasters, saving countless lives.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Robert J. McGaughey

Developed open-source software that converts voluminous aerial data into detailed information that enables better management of forestlands.

Kaitlin Sahni, Kate Naseef, Nhan Nguyen and the Chemical Prosecutions Team

  Investigated and prosecuted the first case against individuals supplying precursor chemicals to a Mexican drug cartel, disrupting methamphetamine and fentanyl production in Mexico and establishing a framework to build similar cases in the future.

Amira Choueiki Boland

Pioneered policies to improve government services and the customer experience in areas ranging from newborn care and disaster assistance to renewing passports online.

Science, Technology and Environment

Tara McHugh

Partnered with innovators to develop novel healthy processed food products that have reduced food waste and created jobs in high-unemployment areas, and now leads more than 1,400 employees in eight Western states.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Thaddeus A. Ryba Jr.

Played a critical diplomatic and scientific role in international negotiations that led to the elimination of chemical weapons in Syria and Libya, contributed to the final destruction of the U.S. chemical weapons stockpile and enabled the banning of deadly nerve agents.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Trevor McAleenan, Michael Lane

  Spearheaded a cutting-edge investigation that led to the seizure and forfeiture of more than $3 billion worth of bitcoin, one of the largest financial seizures in the history of the U.S. government.

Kyle Gardiner

Played a leading role in streamlining burdensome government forms, shifting how federal agencies collect information and ensuring deserving recipients receive public benefits.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Matthew S. Borman

Led pivotal efforts to impose export controls on U.S. adversaries to deny them access to critical American technology that could be used for military purposes.

Mike Schmidt and the CHIPS Program Team

Implemented a multibillion-dollar program to supercharge the U.S. semiconductor industry that will increase domestic production of chips that are vital to our everyday life and strengthen American manufacturing and national security.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Melissa Emrey-Arras

Led investigations and proposed recommendations that have helped millions access federal student aid and have their student loans forgiven, while rooting out fraudulent student loan schemes.

Fletcher Schoen and Jennifer Harkins

Played integral roles in the release of 11 American prisoners wrongfully detained in Russia and Venezuela, contributing to creative diplomatic strategies and delicate negotiations while showing compassion to the families and keeping them informed.

Spirit of Service Award

Judy Woodruff

An iconic journalist who champions public service, public servants and a more effective government.

Anne Lord Bailey, Caitlin Rawlins and the VA Immersive Team

Built a cutting-edge nationwide immersive technology network to empower front-line staff and enable the treatment of veterans for a wide range of medical issues such as anxiety, depression, pain management, spinal cord injuries and more.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Carolyn Hightower

Empowered victims of crime, mass violence and terrorism by developing, implementing and overseeing landmark victim support programs and professionalizing the field of victim assistance.

Michael E. Camal 

Leads and has expanded a government campaign to help aviation personnel identify potential victims of human trafficking and report their suspicions to law enforcement.

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.

Adam M. Phillippy, Sergey Koren, Arang Rhie and The Telomere-to-Telomere Team

Conducted the first complete assembly of the human genome, sequencing the most difficult, final part of our genetic makeup, advancing our understanding of our biological blueprint and opening up scientific frontiers that could revolutionize the treatment of a multitude of diseases.

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.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Lisa Hsiao

Secured huge penalties against major corporations engaged in detrimental, unfair and deceptive trade practices.

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.

Shadrach Ludeman, Terah Yaroch, Brooke Harding and the Office of Transition Initiatives Ukraine Team

Provided ​critical ​assistance to the Ukrainian people following ​the​ 2022​ Russian invasion​, partnering with local organizations to help Ukrainians evacuate to safety and deliver food, clothing, ​power ​generators and other supplies to those in need.

Spirit of Service Award

Darren Walker

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

Rebecca Schmidt-Jeffris

Engaged in pioneering work that deploys insects as natural predators against other bugs that damage crops such as apples and pears, limiting the use of harmful pesticides, saving farmers money and protecting the environment.

Sarah L. Nelson, Samantha L. Calkins and the National Ignition Team

Managed a complex scientific enterprise that for the first time produced a fusion reaction that created a net energy gain, a breakthrough in the decades-long, multibillion-dollar quest that could lead to advancements in national defense and clean energy.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Michael Reardon

Successfully promoted a wide range of policies and practices to the states and businesses that have provided greater access to employment, transportation and technology for millions of people with disabilities.

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

J. Vincent Edwards 

Developed innovative and highly effective new cotton-based medical gauze and dressings for trauma and chronic wound patients that are now in use by hospitals and first responders.

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.

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.

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.

Safety, Security and International Affairs

Zachary Johnson

Played pivotal role in responding to radiological threats caused by the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine as well as securing the relocation of Department of Energy partners in Afghanistan following the Taliban takeover in August 2021.

Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement

Scott Busby

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

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.

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.

Krista Kinnard

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

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.

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.