Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

Accomplishments: Amazing. Bonuses: $0

ARCHIVES
Tobias Arhelger/Shutterstock.com

With all the talk these days of inappropriate bonuses for executives at the Veterans Affairs Department, last night provided a look at the other end of the spectrum. The Senior Executives Association honored dozens of high-ranking career federal officials for highly impressive accomplishments that have received scant attention from the public -- or the nation’s political leaders, for that matter. And this year, those achievements come with bonuses totaling $0.

SEA held a reception at the State Department honoring the finalists for the Presidential Rank Awards, which recognize the highest-achieving senior federal leaders. Only 1 percent of the Senior Executive Service can achieve the rank of Distinguished Executive and 5 percent can be designated Meritorious Executives.

Ordinarily, Distinguished Executives get bonuses equal to 35 percent of their salaries, and Meritorious Executives get 20 percent. But last year, in the midst of the fight over sequestration and with a government shutdown looming, the White House canceled the awards for 2013. Under the law, though, the nomination and selection process for the  awards went on, and last month OPM published the names of the finalists who agreed to be publicly recognized.

Those finalists included:

  • Shay D. Assad, director of defense pricing in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, who developed an acquisition plan that saved $15 billion over two fiscal years.
  • Deborah Jin of the National Institute of Standards and Technology, who is an international leader in research on new forms of matter involving the gases of ultracold atoms and molecules.
  • Ellen Ochoa, director of NASA’s Johnson Space Center, who successfully completed four space missions, two involving assembly of the International Space Station and two examining the science behind ozone depletion.
  • Walker Smith, director of the Office of Global Affairs and Policy at the Environmental Protection Agency, who was chief architect of the agency’s petroleum refinery initiative, involving 22 settlements that required billions of dollars in pollution control.

Ordinarily, the SEA event is a black-tie gala affair, befitting the achievements of those honored. This year’s event was a more subdued reception, followed by an address by Paul Volcker, former Federal Reserve chairman and current head of the Volcker Alliance, which continues his longtime work to improve the operations of government and implementation of public policy.

Volcker stressed the need for attention to federal management issues, noting that the Constitution doesn’t address the development of public policy, but specifically mandates that the president “shall take care that the laws be faithfully executed.”

High-ranking officials who attended the event in support of the honored senior executives included NASA Administrator Charles F. Bolden, Undersecretary of Defense and Comptroller Robert F. Hale, Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta, and Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director for Management Beth Cobert.

(Image via Tobias Arhelger/Shutterstock.com)

Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
 
 

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from GovExec.com.
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

    Dan McCrae, director of IT service delivery division, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)

    Download
  • Data-Centric Security vs. Database-Level Security

    Database-level encryption had its origins in the 1990s and early 2000s in response to very basic risks which largely revolved around the theft of servers, backup tapes and other physical-layer assets. As noted in Verizon’s 2014, Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR)1, threats today are far more advanced and dangerous.

    Download
  • Sponsored by One Identity

    One Nation Under Guard: Securing User Identities Across State and Local Government

    In 2016, the government can expect even more sophisticated threats on the horizon, making it all the more imperative that agencies enforce proper identity and access management (IAM) practices. In order to better measure the current state of IAM at the state and local level, Government Business Council (GBC) conducted an in-depth research study of state and local employees.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    The Next Federal Evolution of Cloud

    This GBC report explains the evolution of cloud computing in federal government, and provides an outlook for the future of the cloud in government IT.

    Download
  • Sponsored by LTC Partners, administrators of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

    Approaching the Brink of Federal Retirement

    Approximately 10,000 baby boomers are reaching retirement age per day, and a growing number of federal employees are preparing themselves for the next chapter of their lives. Learn how to tackle the challenges that today's workforce faces in laying the groundwork for a smooth and secure retirement.

    Download
  • Sponsored by Hewlett Packard Enterprise

    Cyber Defense 101: Arming the Next Generation of Government Employees

    Read this issue brief to learn about the sector's most potent challenges in the new cyber landscape and how government organizations are building a robust, threat-aware infrastructure

    Download
  • Sponsored by Aquilent

    GBC Issue Brief: Cultivating Digital Services in the Federal Landscape

    Read this GBC issue brief to learn more about the current state of digital services in the government, and how key players are pushing enhancements towards a user-centric approach.

    Download

When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.