President honors top feds

Each year the president holds up an exclusive group of top senior executives as prime examples of dedication to good government by awarding them the Presidential Rank Award. The 2009 winners represent a wide range of professionals working to save time, money and lives through better health care and financial systems; uncover financial and cyber fraud; advance scientific research on Earth and in space; and shore up the nation's defenses against terrorism, natural disaster and crime.

Executives are nominated by their agency heads and reviewed by boards made up of private citizens before the president's final selection. They are evaluated on leadership qualities and performance results. Distinguished Rank Award recipients receive a payment of 35 percent of their annual salary and Meritorious Rank Award recipients receive 20 percent of pay.

For a full list of the winners, click here.

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