Sammies Award Finalists Announced

By on May 4, 2014 in Current Events with 0 Comments

The nonprofit Partnership for Public Service has announced the 33 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal finalists – outstanding federal employees who are making high-impact contributions to the health, safety and welfare of countless Americans and others around the world.

Samuel J. Heyman Award logo“The Service to America Medal finalists remind us about the true value and spirit of public service,” said Max Stier, Partnership for Public Service President and CEO. “Their stories showcase the good that our public servants do each and every day behind-the-scenes on behalf of the American public.”

The Service to America Medals have earned the reputation as the most prestigious awards to honor America’s civil servants. The finalists will be honored on May 6 in Washington, D.C. as part of Public Service Recognition Week.

The finalists’ achievements range from improving the health care of paralyzed veterans, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and energy consumption, and enhancing ambulance safety to protecting investors from fraud, using civil rights laws to help abused and exploited workers, safeguarding the nation’s seaports from terror threats, ensuring the well-being of our warfighters and making discoveries about the origins of the universe.

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. Medal recipients will be announced on September 22 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.

The Service to America Medal recipients will be chosen by a committee that includes leaders from government, academia, the private sector, the media and the 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 2014 finalists’ achievements is available at

2014 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal Finalists

Call to Service Medal Finalists
This medal recognizes a federal employee whose professional achievements reflect the important contributions that a new generation brings to public service.

Jonathan Baker
Delta IV Launch Systems Deputy Chief Engineer
U.S. Air Force Space and Missile Systems Center Launch Systems Directorate
El Segundo, California
Saved taxpayers more than $4 billion on the purchase of 40 new rockets, and led the engineering team responsible for launching 13 Air Force satellites into orbit.

Anthony Cotton, Amanda Femal, Jason Fleming, JP Gibbons and the Development Credit Authority Transaction Teams
Africa Team Leader (Cotton); Asia and Middle East Team Leader (Femal); Latin America/Caribbean and Eastern Europe Team Leader (Fleming); and Strategic Transactions Team Leader (Gibbons)
U.S. Agency for International Development, Development Credit Authority
Washington, D.C.
Generated nearly $1 billion in aid for 60 projects in 42 developing countries during the past two years through an innovative, public-private loan guarantee program.

Sofia Hussain
Senior Forensic Accountant, Division of Enforcement
Securities and Exchange Commission
Boston, Massachusetts
Helped federal investigators crack intricate securities fraud cases and return hundreds of millions of dollars to investors by introducing cutting-edge technology and data analysis.

Sara Meyers
Director, Sandy Program Management Office
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Washington, D.C.
Created sophisticated data analysis systems to evaluate the performance of federal housing programs, and set up processes to track $13.6 billion in economic stimulus and $50 billion for Hurricane Sandy disaster recovery.

Miguel O. Román
Research Physical Scientist, Terrestrial Information Systems Laboratory
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Goddard Space Flight Center
Greenbelt, Maryland
Provided timely and reliable information on wildfires, storm damage and global energy consumption to help scientists and policymakers better understand and respond to natural disasters and climate change.
Career Achievement Medal Finalists
This medal recognizes a federal employee for significant accomplishments throughout a lifetime of achievement in public service.

Scott Gerald Borg
Head, Antarctic Sciences Section, Division of Polar Programs
National Science Foundation
Arlington, Virginia
Directed a world-class research program in Antarctica that led to important scientific discoveries about climate change, the origins of the universe, previously unknown sea life and two new dinosaur species.

Thomas Browne
Deputy Director, Office of Anticrime Programs
Department of State, Bureau of International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs
Washington, D.C.
Transformed drug prevention and addiction treatment programs in 70 countries around the world, providing special care and assistance to women and children.

Robert A. Canino
Regional Attorney, Dallas District Office
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Dallas, Texas
Pioneered the use of civil rights laws to try human trafficking cases when criminal enforcement and labor laws proved ineffective in defending foreign-born and intellectually disabled workers who were abused and exploited.

Edwin Kneedler
Deputy Solicitor General
Department of Justice
Washington, D.C.
Argued 125 cases and helped shape the government’s legal position on hundreds more before the Supreme Court, while setting a high standard for integrity and protecting the long term interests of the United States.

E. Ramona Trovato
Associate Assistant Administrator, Office of Research and Development
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, D.C.
Helped transform national environmental health policy by focusing attention on the impact of pollutants on children, and by devising strategies to respond to biological, chemical and radiological contamination from a terrorist attack.
Citizen Services Medal Finalists
This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to citizen services (including economic development, education, health care, housing, labor and transportation).

Michael Byrne
Former Geographic Information Officer
Federal Communications Commission
Washington, D.C.
Put detailed data about our nation’s broadband availability and communications systems in the hands of citizens and policymakers through the use of interactive online maps and other visualizations.

Marcia Crosse
Director, Health Care
Government Accountability Office
Washington, D.C.
Directed congressional attention and prompted reforms to the Food and Drug Administration’s global role in the regulation of drugs and medical devices, to help the agency better protect public health.

James D. Green
Project Officer, Division of Safety Research
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Morgantown, West Virginia
Collaborated with the ambulance manufacturing industry and multiple federal agencies to create ambulance crash standards to help reduce injuries and fatalities among EMS workers and patients.

Douglas James Norton
Senior Environmental Scientist, Watershed Branch
Environmental Protection Agency
Washington, D.C.
Engaged citizens, scientists and state agencies in protecting their local streams, lakes and rivers by providing access to water quality data and assessment tools via the Web.

Günter Waibel, Adam Metallo and Vincent Rossi
Director, Digitization Program Office (Waibel) and 3D Program Officers (Metallo and Rossi)
Smithsonian Institution
Washington, D.C.
Made iconic treasures from the Smithsonian’s vast collection accessible to students, teachers, historians and curious visitors everywhere through the use of computerized 3-D imaging and printing technologies.
Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Medal Finalists
This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to homeland security and law enforcement (including border and transportation security, civil rights, counterterrorism, emergency response, fraud prevention, and intelligence).

Omar Pérez Aybar, Reginald J. France and the Miami HEAT Teams
Assistant Special Agents in Charge, Miami Regional Office
Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General
Miami Lakes, Florida
Led hundreds of Medicare fraud investigations that have resulted in more than 600 convictions in South Florida, recovering hundreds of millions of dollars and providing an investigative roadmap for other jurisdictions to follow.

Susan M. Hanson
Senior Resident Agent
Federal Bureau of Investigation
Dothan, Alabama
Brought to justice four prison guards who brutally beat and murdered an inmate, and exposed a culture of abuse in Alabama prisons.

Anthony Regalbuto
Chief, Office of International and Domestic Port Security
U.S. Coast Guard
Washington, D.C.
Assessed the vulnerabilities of hundreds of marine facilities and created comprehensive security plans for domestic and international shipping ports to guard against terrorist attacks.

Gilbert Bindewald, Alice A. Lippert and Patrick Willging
Program Manager, Advanced Grid Modeling Research (Bindewald); Senior Technical Advisor, Energy Infrastructure Modeling and Analysis (Lippert); Senior Logistics Specialist (Willging)
Department of Energy, Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability (Bindewald and Lippert); Office of Petroleum Reserve (Willging)
Washington, D.C.
Helped government authorities and power companies deliver emergency services and restore electricity following widespread natural disasters by creating critical information sharing and assessment tools.
Management Excellence Medal Finalists
This medal recognizes a federal employee for demonstrating superior leadership and management excellence through a significant contribution to the nation that exemplifies efficient, effective and results-oriented government.

Sonny Hashmi
Acting Chief Information Officer
General Services Administration
Washington, D.C.
Led the General Service Administration’s “Cloud Initiative,” improving employee effectiveness, reducing agency costs and creating a model for other federal agencies to follow.

Alan J. Lindenmoyer
Program Manager, Commercial Crew and Cargo Program
National Aeronautics and Space Administration, Johnson Space Center
Houston, Texas
Transformed NASA’s space travel programs, helping the U.S. continue important space research while reducing taxpayer costs and stimulating the commercial space industry.

Marion Mollegen McFadden and the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force Staff
Senior Attorney for Disaster Recovery
Department of Housing and Urban Development
Washington, D.C.
In the months following Hurricane Sandy, coordinated efforts of numerous federal agencies to help rebuild stronger and safer communities.

Ronald E. Walters
Acting Principal Deputy Undersecretary for Memorial Affairs
Department of Veterans Affairs
Washington, D.C.
Honored our country’s veterans by delivering the pinnacle of care and service at their final resting place, while increasing availability and access to burial sites throughout the country.

National Security and International Affairs Medal Finalists
This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to national security and international affairs (including defense, military affairs, diplomacy, foreign assistance and trade).

Jill Boezwinkle
Senior Program Manager, Development Innovation Ventures
U.S. Agency for International Development
Washington, D.C.
Guided a U.S. initiative to provide safe drinking water to 5 million people in Kenya and Uganda, saving lives and preventing illnesses for thousands of individuals.

R. Patrick DeGroodt
Deputy Product Manager
Department of the Army
Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland
Helped America’s warfighters achieve mission success and stay out of harm’s way by developing and deploying a new mobile communications network that gives Army units continuous connectivity on the battlefield.

Jonathan Gandomi
Former Field Representative for the Counter-Lord’s Resistance Army Mission
Department of State, Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations
Washington, D.C.
Coordinated U.S. efforts to end the atrocities of the Lord’s Resistance Army, one of Africa’s oldest and most brutal extremist groups, and help victims overcome decades of violence.

Dr. Rana A. Hajjeh and the Hib Initiative Team
Director, Division of Bacterial Diseases
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Atlanta, Georgia
Led a global campaign to convince some of the world’s poorest countries to use a vaccine to fight bacterial meningitis and pneumonia, an initiative that is estimated to save the lives of seven million children by 2020.

Sean C. Young and Benjamin James Tran
Electronics Engineer
Air Force Research Laboratory
Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Ohio
Saved U.S. soldiers’ lives in Afghanistan by creating and deploying a new aerial sensor system to help Army units detect and destroy deadly improvised explosive devices.
Science and Environment Medal Finalists
This medal recognizes a federal employee for a significant contribution to the nation in activities related to science and environment (including biomedicine, economics, energy, information technology, meteorology, resource conservation and space).

William A. Bauman, M.D., and Ann M. Spungen, Ph.D.
Director (Bauman) and Associate Director (Spungen), National Center of Excellence for the Medical Consequences of Spinal Cord Injury
Department of Veterans Affairs, James J. Peters VA Medical Center
Bronx, New York
Greatly improved the health care and the quality of life of paralyzed veterans by developing new ways to treat long-overlooked medical problems.

William Charmley and James Tamm
Division Director, Assessment and Standards Division (Charmley); Chief, Fuel Economy Division (Tamm)
Environmental Protection Agency (Charmley); National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (Tamm)
Ann Arbor, Michigan (Charmley); Washington, D.C. (Tamm)
Led an interagency team that developed standards for cars and light trucks that will double fuel economy by 2025 and reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 6 billion metric tons.

John Cymbalsky
Program Manager, Appliance and Equipment Standards
Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy
Washington, D.C.
Brought together industry and environmental groups to adopt new efficiency standards for appliances and commercial equipment that will save consumers money and reduce energy consumption and air pollution.

Richard Rast
Senior Engineer
Air Force Research Laboratory
Kirtland Air Force Base, New Mexico
Developed a new, low cost method of locating and tracking space debris that could severely damage or destroy vital communications, navigation and weather satellites and spacecraft.

Jeffrey Rogers
Program Manager (Ret.)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Arlington, Virginia
Created a wearable sensor that provides real-time information on the risk of traumatic brain injuries to soldiers exposed to bomb blasts, resulting in quicker medical treatment and uncovering previously undiagnosed injuries.

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About the Author

Ian Smith is one of the co-founders of He enjoys writing about current topics that affect the federal workforce. Ian also has a background in web development and does the technical work for the web site and its sibling sites.