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2016 Service to America Medals Finalists Announced

May 1, 2016

WASHINGTON—The nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service today announced the 32 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists—exceptional federal employees who are engaged in important work to strengthen the national defense, spur the economy, protect the environment, and advance the health, safety and welfare of Americans and others around the world. 

Celebrating their fifteenth anniversary this year, the Service to America Medals have earned the reputation as the most prestigious awards to honor America’s civil servants. The 2016 finalists will be honored May 3 on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. as part of Public Service Recognition Week. 

“Amid the heated rhetoric and hyperbole of the primary election season, it’s easy to overlook the public servants who perform the essential day-to-day work of our government,” said Max Stier, Partnership for Public Service President and CEO. “That’s why the Service to America Medals are so important – they showcase the many extraordinary men and women who keep our country safe, carry out critical tasks and improve the lives of the American people. You’re seeing government at its very best.”

The finalists’ achievements include finding new ways to detect and stop terrorist-made explosives, halting the spread of the largest animal disease outbreak in U.S. history, designing a new generation of personal protective equipment to improve the safety of construction workers, truck drivers, firefighters, police and others in high-risk professions, and significantly reducing preventable medical errors in U.S. hospitals.

Other finalists led major cybercrime investigations, developed national energy efficiency initiatives to greatly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and crafted a comprehensive, multibillion dollar plan to repair the immense damage caused by the massive 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The finalists are contenders for eight Service to America Medals, including Federal Employee of the Year. Medal categories include Science and Environment; Homeland Security and Law Enforcement; National Security and International Affairs; Citizen Services; and Management Excellence. All 32 finalists will also be eligible for the Service to America Medals People’s Choice Award. More than 350 nominations were submitted for consideration this year.  

Medal recipients will be announced September 20 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

The Service to America Medal recipients will be chosen by a committee that includes Time Warner Inc. Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Bewkes, Chief Legal Officer and Secretary of Procter and Gamble Deborah Majoras, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation President Larry Kramer, National Treasury Employees Union National President Tony Reardon, U.S. Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), U.S. Representative Mark Takano (D-Calif.), and additional leaders from government, academia, the private sector and philanthropic community. 

Renamed the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals in 2010 to commemorate the organization’s founder, the program has honored more than 400 outstanding federal employees since its inception in 2002. More information about the program and the 2016 finalists’ achievements is available at 

Over the last 15 years, the Partnership for Public Service has inspired a new generation to serve in government; helped develop federal leaders; increased the engagement and commitment of federal employees; helped modernize government management systems; and built networks of businesses, policy-makers, foundations and others to advocate for and invest in effective government.