Amanda Farnan
Press Secretary

Halea Kerr-Layton
Deputy Press Secretary

Partnership for Public Service announces finalists for the 2023 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals 

May 8, 2023

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

WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service today announced the finalists for the 2023 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals®, the premier awards program honoring excellence and innovation in federal service.  

“This year’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals finalists are at the center of some of the most important work happening across our government,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. “The awards recognize the excellence and dedication of civil servants who work to better our nation every day. For more than 20 years, we have honored federal employees through this program to shine a light on their dedication and hard work, and to change public perceptions about the role of government.”  

Accomplishments of the 2023 Service to America Medals, or “Sammies,” finalists represent how our government leads in innovation, delivers services to the public, engages around the world, and demands transparency and accountability from both itself and the private sector. Finalists’ accomplishments include successfully handling international hostage negotiations, addressing the evolving situation in Ukraine, improving access to education and student loan forgiveness programs, implementing infrastructure investments, protecting the rights of air travelers, working to reduce human trafficking, fighting the opioid epidemic, increasing naval aircraft safety, advancing space research and safety and much more.  

This year’s 27 Service to America Medals finalists representing both individuals and teams can be found at

The announcement of the 2023 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 Thursday, May 11, attended by agency leaders, colleagues, family members and leaders in the business, philanthropic and media communities.  

The finalists for the 2023 Service to America Medals, are contenders in five categories: the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement medal; Emerging Leaders; Science, Technology and Environment; Safety, Security and International Affairs; and Management Excellence. All finalists are also eligible to be chosen as the Federal Employee of the Year. Winners will be announced in fall 2023.   

The 27 finalists are also eligible for the Service to America Medals People’s Choice Award. Beginning Monday, May 8, 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 sixth 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 longtime senior correspondent and former anchor and managing editor of PBS “NewsHour” Judy Woodruff, who is recognized for reporting that has shone a vital light on the contributions of public servants, and the successes and failures of the U. S. government in meeting the public’s needs. 

Recipients of the 2023 Service to America Medals will be chosen by a prestigious committee that includes: Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and 2020 Federal Employee of the Year; Alyssa Farah Griffin, co-host of ABC’s “The View” and former White House director of strategic communications; Geoff Bennett, co-anchor of PBS “NewsHour”; Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.); Rep. William Timmons (R-S.C.); Ruchi Bhowmik, vice president of public policy at Netflix; Damon Wilson, president and CEO, National Endowment for Democracy; Dan Helfrich, chairman and CEO, Deloitte Consulting LLP; Dan Tangherlini, managing director of the Emerson Collective and board member of the Partnership for Public Service; Said Sewell, director and chief academic, research, and student success officer at the Atlanta University Center Consortium; Dean Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto, the Clinton School of Public Service; Sara Mogulescu, president of the Volcker Alliance; Nazzic Keene, CEO of SAIC; Peter Nguyen, immediate past president of the Federal Asian Pacific American Council; Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union; and Ronnie F. Heyman, Partnership for Public Service co-founder and chairman. 

The Service to America Medals program is made possible by the generous support of our sponsors. Previous sponsors include Premier sponsor, Mrs. Ronnie F. Heyman and family; National sponsors, Bloomberg Philanthropies, Jennifer and David Millstone, Standard Industries and Patricia A. and George W. Wellde Jr.; and Capital sponsors Tom and Andi Bernstein, Charina Endowment Fund, Google and Lockheed Martin. 

Renamed the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals in 2010 to commemorate the organization’s founder, the program has honored more than 700 outstanding federal employees since its inception in 2002. For profiles of current and past honorees, visit  

During the past 21 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.