Meet the top 6 finalists for the 2023 Service to America Medals® People’s Choice Award
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Meet the top 6 finalists for the 2023 Service to America Medals® People’s Choice Award

June 21, 2023 | Updated on June 30, 2023

We recently announced the top six finalists still in the running to receive this year’s Service to America Medals® People’s Choice Award. While all our Sammies finalists represent the very best in government, this award grants special recognition to the finalist who receives the most votes from the general public.  

Continue reading to learn more about these outstanding civil servants and vote for your favorite to be crowned the 2023 People’s Choice Award winner. You can vote once every 24 hours until July 14.  

Our 2023 People’s Choice Award top 6 finalists 

At the Department of Homeland Security, Senior Advisor Michael Camal spearheaded the Blue Lightning Initiative, a government campaign to help aviation personnel identify potential victims of human trafficking and report their suspicions to law enforcement. Camal’s efforts have played a key role in improving airport safety and better equipping staff and the public to address potential trafficking scenarios.

Lisa Gifaldi, Shelly Pierce and Andrea Gold-O’Conner led a teamwide effort at the Department of Agriculture to transform the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, more commonly referred to as “food stamps.” Their work enabled millions of low-income urban and rural residents lacking access to supermarkets and healthy food choices to use their SNAP benefits online for the first time.

Rear Admiral Nancy Hann, director of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Commissioned Officer Corps, instituted policies to dramatically curb sexual harassment, assault and bullying among employees aboard NOAA’s marine fleet and aircraft, creating a safer workplace and changing the organization’s culture.

At the U.S. Agency for International Development, Shadrach Ludeman, Terah Yaroch and Brooke Harding led a team that played a crucial role in the federal government’s response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine. The team provided critical assistance to the Ukrainian people through partnerships with local organizations to help Ukrainians evacuate to safety and to deliver food, clothing, ​power ​generators and other supplies to those in need.

At the Department of Health and Human Services, a team led by Megan Meacham, Allison Hutchings and Sarah O’Donnell established the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program. The program provides funding for a wide array of opioid use prevention, treatment and recovery services, helping millions of people suffering from opioid use in rural communities across the country.

During his four-decade career at NASA, former Chief Engineer Ralph Roe Jr. dramatically reshaped the agency’s safety culture to help ensure the successful exploration of the universe. After the tragic explosion of the space shuttle Columbia in 2003, Roe’s innovative new approach—which focused on identifying and communicating technical risk and assuring a fuller, data-driven understanding of safety—changed the way NASA and the aerospace industry operate for the better.

Let us know which finalist YOU think should be recognized as the People’s Choice Award winner by voting here by July 14. You can help spread the word and encourage others to vote on social media by using our #Sammies2023 hashtag.  

Julia Kingston is an intern in the Partnership’s communications team.

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