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Partnership for Public Service announces finalists for the 2022 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals

May 2, 2022

The finalists for the 2022 “Oscars” of government service are solving the world’s most urgent and complex challenges.  

WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service today announced the finalists for the 2022 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals®, the premier awards program honoring excellence and innovation in federal service. The 30 finalists have made outstanding contributions to safety, public health and sustainability across our nation and the world.  

“This year’s Sammies finalists show the tremendous breadth and deep impact of federal workers—at home and abroad,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “With the many challenges that face our country and the global community, we should take pride and comfort knowing that dedicated public servants—our friends and neighbors—are working tirelessly to serve the public and make our world a better place. These and all federal workers deserve recognition and praise, and we gladly take this opportunity to honor them.” 

This year’s Sammies finalists are contenders in seven Service to America Medal categories: the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement medal; COVID-19 Response; Emerging Leaders; Science, Technology and Environment; Safety, Security and International Affairs; Management Excellence; and Federal Employee of the Year. Winners will be announced in fall 2022. 

Accomplishments of the 2022 Sammies finalists include coordinating housing and services for Afghan refugees after the U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan—the largest refugee resettlement in modern U.S. history; successfully restoring the U.S. Capitol after the January 6 insurrection in preparation for the January 20 inauguration; and spearheading efforts to create disability education programs that have reached 300,000 children around the world. This year’s finalists also eliminated long delays and greatly increased the payments to individuals who were affected by the September 11 terrorist attacks; led the effort to supply community health centers serving low-income and underserved communities with life-saving COVID-19 vaccines; and developed a revolutionary system to detect methane leaks in oil and gas production to prevent pollution and fight climate change. 

Attached is a list of the 44 individuals who are finalists for a 2022 Service to America Medal, either as an individual or as part of a team. 

The announcement of the 2022 Sammies finalists marks the beginning of Public Service Recognition Week, which honors those who serve our nation as federal, state, county, local or tribal government employees. 

The finalists will be celebrated at a reception on May 5 attended by agency leaders, colleagues, family members and leaders in the business, philanthropic and media communities. 

All 30 finalists are also eligible for the Service to America Medals People’s Choice Award. Beginning Sunday, May 1, at 6 p.m. EDT, the public can vote online for the federal employee or team they believe has made the most significant contributions in public service. The People’s Choice winner will be announced during the summer.  

In addition, the Partnership will present its fifth annual Spirit of Service Award, which honors individuals outside the federal workforce who have made significant contributions to public service. This year’s Spirit of Service award recipient is Darren Walker, president and CEO of the Ford Foundation, a $16 billion international social justice philanthropy. A leading voice in American and global human rights and social justice, Walker advocates across sectors to better address the needs of all the people of our nation and for the advancement of underserved communities. 

The 2022 Service to America Medal recipients will be chosen by a prestigious committee that includes Rep. Stephanie Murphy (D-Fla.); Kate Bolduan, anchor and host of CNN’s “At This Hour”; Adam Conover, host of “The G Word” on Netflix; Heather Gerken, dean of Yale Law School; Shirley Jones, national president of Blacks in Government; Steven Preston, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries; Anand Giridharadas, journalist and author of “Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World”; Craig Newmark, president of Craig Newmark Philanthropies and founder of Craigslist; Natalie Tran, executive director of the CAA Foundation; Ronnie F. Heyman, Partnership for Public Service co-founder and chairman, GAF Industries and other academic, media, nonprofit and private sector leaders. 

Confirmed premier, national and capital sponsors for the 2022 Service to America Medals include Mrs. Ronnie F. Heyman and Family, Jennifer and David Millstone, Tom and Andi Bernstein and Lockheed Martin.  

Renamed the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals in 2010 to commemorate the organization’s founder, the program has honored nearly 700 outstanding federal employees since its inception in 2002. More information about the program and the 2022 finalists is available at  

During the past 20 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to building a better government and a stronger democracy. We work across administrations to help transform the way government works by providing agencies with the data insights they need to succeed, developing effective leaders, inspiring the next generation to public service, facilitating smooth presidential transitions and recognizing exceptional federal employees. Visit, follow us @PublicService and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.