The eight award winners (or group of awardees) were chosen from 32 finalists and more than 350 nominees by a selection committee that includes leaders from government, business, the foundation and nonprofit community, academia, entertainment and the media.
The winners will be honored at an awards ceremony at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium, hosted by actor Michael Kelly (“House of Cards”) and journalist Stephanie Ruhle of NBC News/MSNBC.
Here they are!
Federal Employee of the Year: Paul McGann, Dennis Wagner, and Jean Moody-Williams, a team at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
Each year, it’s estimated that tens of thousands of U.S. hospital patients die because of medical errors and avoidable infections, costing billions of dollars annually and eroding patient trust in the health-care system. McGann, Wagner and Moody-Williams created a public-private initiative to increase patient safety and reduce hospital readmissions. The results were an estimated 87,000 lives saved, 2.1 million fewer medical errors and $20 billion in cost savings.
Career Achievement Medal: Kathleen B. Hogan, deputy assistant secretary for the Department of Energy. In two decades in government, Hogan has overseen a number of pivotal national energy-efficiency initiatives and new standards that will lead to 3 billion fewer tons of carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 and save taxpayers a half-trillion dollars.
Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Medal: Thomas A. Mariani, Jr., Steven O’Rourke and Sarah D. Himmelhoch of the Department of Justice led the government’s five-year, landmark case against BP for the massive 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. In litigating the case, the trio secured for the Department of Justice and five states a record-breaking $20.8 billion settlement, the government’s largest-ever civil penalty against a single defendant. It will help redress the devastating environmental and economic damage caused to the Gulf Coast region.
National Security and International Affairs Medal: Kirk Yeager, chief explosives scientist for the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Yeager has assisted with virtually every high-profile bomb attack in the past several years, including bombings in European cities this past spring. As the FBI’s premier bomb expert, Yeager leads U.S. and foreign law enforcement to determine how terrorist-made explosives work and finds new ways to detect and stop them.
Science and Environment Medal: Jaques Reifman and the APPRAISE team at the U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command. Undetected internal bleeding is the greatest risk to the lives of seriously wounded soldiers, yet taking vital signs does not supply all the information medics need to figure out if someone is in critical condition. Reifman led the team that created a first-of-its-kind, portable computer system to detect internal bleeding quickly and accurately during emergency transport. The system enables medics to treat patients and alert trauma centers to get ready to provide immediate blood transfusions to save these patients’ lives.
Call to Service Medal: Tate Jarrow, special agent for the U.S. Secret Service. Jarrow played a vital role in two of the government’s biggest cybercrime cases, and helped bring to justice individuals involved in computer hacking, stock manipulation, credit-card fraud, money laundering and other illicit activities.
Citizen Services Medal: Lisa M. Jones, program manager for the Department of the Treasury. Jones stood up and now directs a long-term bond program that has resulted in $852 million in loans to low-income communities since 2013. The loans have financed small businesses, affordable rental housing, day-care centers, senior living facilities, charter schools and health-care facilities.
Management Excellence Medal: William Gregory Burel, director of the division of Strategic National Stockpile at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Burel expertly manages the $7 billion repository of critical medication and supplies available to supplement state and local resources during a public health emergency. He has led 10 large-scale and more than 30 smaller emergency deployments, from an influenza pandemic to the Ebola crisis.
Service to America Medals People’s Choice: This award will be announced at the ceremony. This is the second time the public was able to vote for the federal employee they think has made the most admirable contribution to the American people. All 32 Sammies finalists were eligible to win.