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Partnership for Public Service Announces 2018 Service to America Medal Finalists

May 6, 2018

WASHINGTON – The nonprofit, nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service today announced 27 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists for 2018 – outstanding federal employees who serve the public good and are addressing many of our country’s greatest challenges.


The Service to America Medals are the nation’s premier awards dedicated to honoring America’s best in government. On May 8, the finalists will be honored in Washington, D.C. as part of Public Service Recognition Week.


“Amid the political headlines, it’s easy to overlook our nation’s career public servants who perform the essential day-to-day work of 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 remarkable men and women who assist their fellow Americans with passion to maintain the safety, health and prosperity of the nation.”


The 2018 finalists’ achievements include pioneering research to understand the prevalence of autism and other developmental disabilities; coordinating nationwide investigations that restored financial losses of nearly $600 million for hundreds of thousands of people defrauded by money transfer scams; providing electricity to some 50 million people in sub-Saharan Africa through ambitious public-private partnerships; and identifying an entire new class of rare genetic diseases and treatments to alleviate suffering for thousands of patients in the U.S. and around the world.


Other finalists established sophisticated forensic exploitation laboratories to investigate terrorist activities, contributing to thousands of convictions and thwarting attacks on Americans overseas and in the U.S.; led important advancements in satellite technology to help protect people and property from approaching severe weather; and developed a first-of-its-kind traffic management system for large-scale, commercial use of unmanned aerial vehicles.


A list of the 27 Service to America Medal finalists can be downloaded on this webpage.


The finalists are contenders for seven Service to America Medals, including Federal Employee of the Year. Other medal categories include Promising Innovations; Science and Environment; Homeland Security and Law Enforcement; National Security and International Affairs; Management Excellence; and Career Achievement. More than 300 nominations were submitted for consideration this year.


Medal recipients will be announced October 2 during a gala at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.


In addition, the Partnership will present its first honorary private-sector Service to America Medal at the gala to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who has collaborated with government through many of his wide-ranging business endeavors to advance the fields of space exploration and sustainable energy.


All 27 finalists also will be eligible for the Service to America Medals People’s Choice Award. Beginning Friday, May 11, members of the public can vote online for the federal employee they believe has made the most significant contribution to the American people. The People’s Choice winner will be announced at a Partnership event on July 19.


The Service to America Medal recipients will be chosen by a prestigious committee that includes American University President Sylvia Mathews Burwell; President of the University of North Carolina System Margaret Spellings; Co-Anchor of “CBS This Morning” John Dickerson; Axios Founder and CEO Jim VandeHei; President of DEKA Research & Development Corporation Dean Kamen; best-selling author Michael Lewis; Rep. David Price (D-N.C.); Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.); Corporate Vice President of Microsoft Worldwide Public Sector and Industry Toni Townes-Whitley; and additional leaders from government, media, academia, the private sector and philanthropic community.


The premier and national sponsors for the 2018 Service to America Medals include Mrs. Ronnie Heyman and the Heyman Family, and Chevron.


Renamed the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals in 2010 to commemorate the organization’s founder, the program has honored more than 510 outstanding federal employees since its inception in 2002. More information about the program and the 2018 finalists is available at


During the past 17 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective for the American people. We work across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation. Visit to learn more.