Government Success Database

Every day, public servants working across the federal government improve our lives for the better.

Yet for many Americans, this work remains a mystery. We notice government when it fails, but not when it succeeds, and as a result, public trust in our federal institutions declines.

The stories below highlight hundreds of career civil servants who have made significant contributions to our country. From protecting public health and defending our national security to addressing climate change and supporting our economic well-being, their achievements speak to the vital importance of our government and the nonpartisan civil service to the public good.   

Help us promote these achievements and inspire more trust in government by exploring and sharing these success stories.

Video
ClimateCommunity Engagement
Call to Serve: Louie Ocaranza's Story
Louie Ocaranza shares his unique experience as wildlife refuge manager at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service where he oversees the national wildlife...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Technology
Jerry Ma
The first U.S. patent was granted in 1790. Today, hundreds of thousands of patent applications are approved every year, and patents are a vital part...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024National Security
Kaitlin Sahni, Kate Naseef, Nhan Nguyen and the Chemical Prosecutions Team
The U.S. is experiencing a synthetic drug epidemic, with recent data showing that more than 70,000 Americans die annually from synthetic opioids,...
Podcast Episode
International Affairs
Modernizing the Asylum Process Experience 
Michael Boyce is a leading innovator at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, heading up a team that spearheads groundbreaking...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024JusticeTechnology
Trevor McAleenan, Michael Lane
In 2012, Jimmy Zhong, a student at the University of Georgia, stole more than 50,000 bitcoin, a digital currency exchanged over decentralized...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Human Services
Darnita S. Trower, Wanda J. Brown, Gerald D. Johnson and the Paperless Processing Initiative Team 
For decades, taxpayers have communicated with the IRS mostly through the mail, leading to slow service and frustrating delays.   Now,...
Video
AgricultureClimateCommunity EngagementHealthcareHuman ServicesInternational AffairsNational SecurityScienceTechnologyWorkforce Engagement
Our Government Explained (in 3 Minutes or Less): Who Is the Career Workforce?
In the series of “Our Government Explained” videos, the Partnership discusses where in the country federal employees work, the diversity of...
Video
National SecurityTechnology
Call to Serve: Sangi Ranadeeve's Story
  Sangi Ranadeeve shares her experience as a fresh graduate who joined the federal workforce as an IT Cybersecurity Specialist at the...
Video
Community EngagementHealthcare
Call to Serve: Ginnie Lin's Story
Ginnie Lin shares her unique experience as Public Health Analyst for the Health Resources and Services Administration where she works with the Rural...
Podcast Episode
Infrastructure
Building Bridges to Better Infrastructure
Since November 2021, public servants have collaborated across state, local and federal government to implement the Infrastructure Investment and...
Podcast Episode
Human Services
A New Mental Health Lifeline for America 
In 2022, James Wright and Tiffany Russell helped initiate a groundbreaking three-digit voice and text hotline, the 988 Lifeline, that enables...
Video
AgricultureClimateCommunity EngagementHealthcareHuman ServicesInternational AffairsNational SecurityScienceTechnologyWorkforce Engagement
Our Government Explained (in 3 Minutes or Less): Trust in the Federal Government
Does the public trust in government? It depends. The third video in the Partnership’s “Our Government Explained” series reveals varying...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Health care
Janet Woodcock 
When Janet Woodcock became head of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research in 1994, the agency was keeping key...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Infrastructure
Marc Levitan, Long Phan and the Tornado Wind Loads Team
Tornadoes kill more people per year in the U.S. than hurricanes and earthquakes combined. However, for years, American building codes lacked...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Infrastructure
Tony Mento, Camille Otto, Hari Kalla  
When a tanker truck loaded with gasoline overturned and caught fire under an Interstate 95 overpass just outside Philadelphia on June 11, 2023, the...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024International Affairs
Sammie Tafoya  
In 2022, a State Department team drafted a detailed U.S. visa revocation policy and sanctions package targeting more than 60 current and former...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Health careTechnologyVeterans
Christopher Johnston, Rachel Han, Ryan Thurlwell and the VA Mobile App Team
While the public has used mobile devices for many years to book airline tickets, check bank balances, find medical specialists and review lab...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Human Services
Andrea Fletcher 
It’s a distressing and all-too-common occurrence within the U.S. health care system: Patients go to the doctor and get a bill they don’t...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Consumer Safety
Elizabeth (Biza) Repko 
For decades, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has used crash test dummies that do not represent diverse groups of people who face...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Community EngagementHuman Services
Francine E. Alkisswani, Ph.D.
Historically Black colleges and universities and their surrounding communities are often at a disadvantage caused by the digital divide, cut off...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Science
Neil Cheatwood, Stephen Hughes
One of the greater challenges of sending payloads to Mars and other planets is the possibility that the heat will become very intense and pose a...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Science
Yan Ping (Judy) Chen, Jay D. Evans
Honeybees are vital to the world’s food supply, but their populations have been mostly in decline over the past two decades due to various...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Technology
Christopher Mark  
As a teen working in West Virginia coal mines, Christopher Mark first learned about “roof falls,” the chief cause of underground fatalities in a...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Community EngagementHuman ServicesTechnology
Pete Guria, Steve Calanog, Tara Fitzgerald and the 2023 Maui Wildfires Emergency Response Team
The deadly August 2023 wildfires in Maui that destroyed thousands of structures, claimed nearly a hundred lives and created toxic debris and ash,...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Technology
Robert J. McGaughey
During his 40-year federal career, Robert McGaughey created open-source computer software that converts large amounts of geospatial data into...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Human Services
Amira Choueiki Boland
At critical moments in their lives, Americans turning to the federal government often must navigate burdensome paperwork, balky websites and siloed...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Science
Tara McHugh 
Known as the Willy Wonka of healthy food, Tara McHugh is both a food scientist and a senior scientific leader, whose work has led to healthier...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024International Affairs
Thaddeus A. Ryba Jr.
Chemical weapons in Syria and Libya posed a threat of mass destruction, so when the United States and its allies won their elimination, the world...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Community EngagementHuman Services
Karl Simon, Christine Koester, Matt Lakin and the Clean School Bus Team
Each year, millions of children in the U.S. ride school buses powered by old, diesel-burning engines that emit harmful gases, exposing young people...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Human Services
Kyle Gardiner
Burdensome federal government forms, confusing questions, badly designed online applications or unnecessary documentation requirements can be a...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024International Affairs
Matthew S. Borman
When Ukraine was invaded in February 2022, Matthew Borman’s encyclopedic knowledge of targeted export controls enabled the U.S. and its allies to...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024National Security
Mike Schmidt and the CHIPS Program Team
In 2022, Congress passed the bipartisan CHIPS and Science Act, a historic public investment in private industry designed to increase the manufacture...
Service to America Medals Profile
2024Justice
Nancy Alcantara, Shannon Rebolledo, Justin Uphold and the Packers Sanitation Investigation Leads Team
In February 2023, Labor Department investigators discovered extensive child labor violations that involved 102 children, ages 13 to 17. These...
Video
Community EngagementHealthcareHuman ServicesInfrastructureInternational AffairsNational SecurityScienceTechnology
Highlights from the 2023 Service to America Medals gala
  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x85uYmzDJIQ On October 16, the Partnership for Public Service held the 22nd annual Samuel J. Heyman...
Podcast Episode
Community EngagementHuman Services
Increasing Accessibility and Inclusion One Library at a Time 
Jason Broughton and Dominick Spinelli are “living a librarian’s dream” at the Library of Congress’ National Library Service for the Blind...
Podcast Episode
Community EngagementTechnology
Sprinting Toward Civic Technology
Civic technology is critical to addressing some of the nation’s toughest challenges, from the opioid crisis to disaster relief and more. Today’s...
Podcast Episode
Climate
Listening to Communities to Advance Environmental Justice
Two leaders committed to ensuring equity in both federal and local environmental justice initiatives join “Profiles in Public Service” to speak...
Podcast Episode
Community Engagement
Moving $3 Billion Boulders to Invest in American Communities 
The third season of “Profiles in Public Service” is off to an exciting start as we highlight all that our federal government does to strengthen...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023Infrastructure
Paul Nissenbaum, Gloria M. Shepherd, Maria S. Lefevre and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law Implementation Team
The $1 trillion Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act approved by Congress in 2021 is the largest investment in highways, rail, shipping ports and...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023Human ServicesJustice
Michael E. Camal  
In 2022, Department of Homeland Security investigators received a tip from an airline pilot who suspected that a teenage girl traveling on his...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023ScienceTechnology
Brian Key, Scott Bellamy and The NASA Double Asteroid Redirection Test Team
It’s the stuff of Hollywood sci-fi thrillers: altering the path of an asteroid smaller than two football fields and millions of miles from Earth...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023Human ServicesInternational AffairsNational Security
Fletcher Schoen and Jennifer Harkins
When Americans are wrongfully detained or held hostage overseas, a State Department team works quietly behind the scenes with government officials...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023ScienceTechnologyVeterans
Anne Lord Bailey, Caitlin Rawlins and the VA Immersive Team
The Department of Veterans Affairs has created a nationwide network that is enabling its medical centers to use immersive technology like virtual...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023Human Services
Carolyn Hightower
The 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City—the deadliest domestic terror attack in U.S. history—posed...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023Justice
Joshua C. Mellor, Nicholas I. Cheviron, Stephanie Stevens and Operation Trojan Shield
Criminals around the world began texting each other about drug deals, money laundering and a host of other crimes in 2019 on devices they...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023Justice
Lisa Hsiao
In a string of landmark cases since 2020, Lisa Hsiao has achieved major victories protecting the public from harmful or misleading trade practices...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023EducationTaxpayer Savings
Melissa Emrey-Arras 
During a 21-year career at the Government Accountability Office, Melissa Emrey-Arras has transformed the oversight of critical higher education...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023International Affairs
Laura K. Cooper and The Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia Policy team
What began in late 2021 as increasingly urgent conversations about supplies, in a small Defense Department office headed by Laura Cooper, by spring...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023HealthcareHuman Services
Adam M. Phillippy, Sergey Koren, Arang Rhie and The Telomere-to-Telomere Team
After seven years of painstaking research, three scientists from the National Institutes of Health were instrumental in cracking the last 8% of the...
Service to America Medals Profile
2023HealthcareHuman Services
Sarah O’Donnell, Allison Hutchings, Megan Meacham and the Rural Communities Opioid Response Program Team   
This team was selected as the 2023 People's Choice Award winner. Learn more about the award here and watch a conversation with them about...
Podcast Episode
International Affairs
Managing the People, Partnerships and Processes in Government  
Paloma Adams-Allen, the deputy administrator for management and resources at the U.S. Agency for International Development, is responsible for...
Podcast Episode
Human Services
Stories from Humans of Public Service 
The government is filled with public servants leading in technology, innovation, and improving government customer experiences for the public. On...
Video
AgricultureClimateCommunity EngagementHealthcareHuman ServicesInternational AffairsNational SecurityScienceTechnologyWorkforce Engagement
Highlights from the 2022 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals Event
On September 20, the Partnership for Public Service held the 21st annual Samual J. Heyman Service to America Medals gala at the Kennedy Center in...
Podcast Episode
Climate
A Deep Dive into Ocean Science and Scientific Integrity
Hear from one of our incredible 2022 Service to America Medals® finalists, Craig McLean, who spent four decades at the National Oceanic and...
Podcast Episode
Community Engagement
Keeping Promises to the 9/11 Community
As we honor the 21st anniversary of September 11th, we will be hearing from Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals® finalist Rupa...
Podcast Episode
Community EngagementHealthcare
Collaborating with Communities to Improve Health Equity
Today’s “Profiles in Public Service” guests have provided care to communities across the country during the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2021,...
Podcast Episode
Human Services
The Customer is Always Right
Co-hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher speak with two experts about how agencies are working to improve their performance and...
Podcast Episode
Workforce Engagement
Civil Servants Fighting for Civil Rights
Stuart Ishimaru and Jacinta Ma, two longtime civil servants, join “Profiles in Public Service” to discuss their careers advocating for a more...
Podcast Episode
International Affairs
Anybody Have a Map? The Government Does.
Our co-hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher speak with Carrie Stokes and Sawyer McCarley about how digital mapping tools and...
Video
National Security
Call to Serve: Meet David Rader
Meet the Department of Defense's David Rader, who works to protect American businesses, investors, innovators, and technologies. As a 2022 Sammies...
Video
AgricultureCommunity EngagementHuman Services
Call to Serve: Meet Mark Williams
Meet USDA's Mark Williams, a 2022 Sammies Emerging Leader finalist  who is dedicated to working alongside farmers to help them solve water and...
Service to America Medals Profile
2022Human ServicesInternational Affairs
Josh Josa
Worldwide, less than three percent of children and youth with disabilities can read. In many countries, basic education has been unavailable for...
Video
Community EngagementHuman ServicesInternational Affairs
Call to Serve: Nikki Tyler's Story
Nikki Tyler shares her experience as a young fed at USAID where she makes a meaningful impact by helping countries around the world get access to...
Podcast Episode
Climate
The Fearless Forecaster
Jamie Rhome has revolutionized the way the government tracks and predicts storm surges. In this episode, Rhome, a storm surge specialist at the...
Video
Community Engagement
Serving the People: Investing in Congressional Capacity​
During this program, you will hear from legislative branch leaders about ongoing efforts to modernize Congress while addressing the institutional...
Podcast Episode
Healthcare
Moving Beyond "One Bug, One Drug" In the U.S. Army
Dr. Kayvon Modjarrad, director of the Emerging Infectious Diseases Branch at the Walter Reed Army Institute of...
Podcast Episode
HealthcareVeterans
Revitalizing Veterans' Health Care
When Victoria Brahm arrived as the new acting director of Wisconsin’s Tomah VA Medical Center in 2015, she encountered declining staff morale,...
Podcast Episode
Community EngagementHuman Services
Closing The Gap
Monica Hawkins and Charles D. Eldridge, two leaders at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, discuss the Foster Youth to Independence...
Podcast Episode
HealthcareInternational AffairsNational Security
Going to the Ends of the Earth
Hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher talk to Ian Brownlee, acting assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, about the...
Podcast Episode
HealthcareScience
Battling COVID-19 Health Disparities at the National Institutes of Health
Hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher talk to Drs. Gary Gibbons and Eliseo Pérez-Stable from the NIH about their groundbreaking...
Service to America Medals Profile
2021Community EngagementHuman Services
Michelle Daniels, Charles D. Eldridge, Ryan E. Jones and the Office of Public and Indian Housing Foster Youth to Independence team
Each year, more than 20,000 foster children in the U.S. are sent into the world on their own when they turn 18. Within four...
Service to America Medals Profile
2021Technology
Evan R. Kwerel, Ph.D.
During more than three decades as a Federal Communications Commission economist, Evan Kwerel has been a key driver of...
Podcast Episode
ScienceTechnology
Per Aspera Ad Astra
Hosts Loren DeJonge Schulman and Rachel Klein-Kircher talk with three NASA leaders about how the agency thrived in the midst of unprecedented...
Video
Human ServicesTechnology
Transforming Federal Agencies Using Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation: Department of Health and Human Services
Artificial intelligence and intelligent automation are improving how federal agencies operate internally and serve customers externally to an...
Podcast Episode
Presidential Transition
Preparing the Government for a Presidential Transition
Mary Gibert has one of the most important jobs in Washington today, preparing the federal government for a possible presidential transition. As the...
Video
Technology
Transforming Federal Agencies Using Artificial Intelligence and Intelligent Automation: Department of Homeland Security
Artificial intelligence and intelligent automation are improving how federal agencies operate internally and serve customers externally to an...