Jordan LaPier
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President Joe Biden, Axios, Partnership for Public Service and more to honor 2021 Service to America Medal finalists in a special virtual event today

May 5, 2021

WASHINGTON – The nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service and Axios will host a virtual event today at 12:30 p.m. featuring President Joe Biden and Tony-nominated actress Adrienne Warren to honor the 2021 finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, or the Sammies. 

The Sammies, affectionately referred to as the “Oscars” of government service, are the premier awards program recognizing the best in government. This year, the Partnership added a COVID-19 Response medal to recognize the extraordinary federal workers who played a leading role in responding to the pandemic and saving lives.

Today’s event will feature a conversation between Margaret Talev, managing editor for politics at Axios, and four Sammies finalists. Two of the finalists participating in the event, Kizzmekia S. Corbett, Ph.D. and Barney S. Graham, M.D., Ph.D., are nominated in the COVID-19 Response category for their groundbreaking research that led to the development of highly effective COVID-19 vaccines that are protecting hundreds of millions of people from the deadly coronavirus.

The event will also feature a special message from President Biden. 

WHAT:           Virtual event honoring the 2021 Service to America Medals finalists 

WHO:              President Joe Biden

Margaret Talev, managing editor for politics, Axios

Adrienne Warren, Tony-nominated actress

2021 Sammies finalists

WHEN:           12:30 – 1:15 p.m. EDT today, May 5, 2021

WHERE:         The event will be livestreamed. Closed captioning settings will be available on YouTube and Facebook during the event.       

BACKGROUND: Named after the Partnership for Public Service’s late founder who was inspired by President John F. Kennedy’s call to serve in 1963, the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals recognize dedicated civil servants who have made important contributions to the health, safety and prosperity of our country. Since its inception in 2002, the program has honored more than 500 outstanding federal employees who have made a difference and improved the lives of Americans and others around the world. The 29 finalists for the 2021 Service to America Medals were announced on Sunday, May 2, to mark the start of Public Service Recognition Week. Learn more about this year’s finalists at

MEDIA:          Please RSVP to Austin Laufersweiler by email or call 678-575-1030.

About the Partnership for Public Service 
During the past 19 years, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has been dedicated to making the federal government more effective. We work across administrations to help transform the way government operates by increasing collaboration, accountability, efficiency and innovation. Visit to learn more. Follow us on social @publicservice and subscribe today to get the latest federal news, information on upcoming Partnership programs and events, and more.