The Presidential Rank Awards Are Back


Nearly a year after a cost-conscious White House canceled the Presidential Rank Awards, the prestigious tool for federal executive recognition is being reinstated, the Office of Personnel Management announced.

In a memo to all agency heads, OPM Director Katherine Archuleta announced a “call for nominations” for the fiscal 2014 awards, due June 5. “Agency heads should consider the current challenging fiscal conditions and resources needed to meet overall agency mission priorities in determining the number of nominations to submit,” she wrote.

“You may also decide to re-nominate eligible Senior Executives and Senior Professionals that were nominated in fiscal 2013 since no monetary awards were conferred for Presidential Rank Award finalists in fiscal 2013 and therefore none of these nominees are currently subject to the statutory prohibition from receiving the same rank award more than once within a five-year period.”

The Senior Executives Association since last fall has been pressuring the White House to come up with an alternative to the awards and accompanying banquet that have taken place since 1978 but did not occur last year.

“Federal senior executive employees perform valuable services on behalf of the American public and those with the highest level of sustained performance deserve recognition for their contributions,” Archuleta wrote.

Carol A. Bonosaro, president of the Senior Executives Association, told Government Executive she was pleased the awards are returning. “The reinstatement of the Presidential Rank Awards is welcome and much needed,” she said in an email. “Deserving executives value the once-in-a-career recognition far more than the monetary award. Suspending the awards for 2013 was a morale buster.”

The SEA, however, remains disappointed in the Obama administration’s treatment of the 2013 Rank Award finalists whose awards were canceled. A letter these finalists received from Archuleta, SEA said in a May 13 release, was not sufficient as the “alternate recognition” SEA had recommended. SEA criticized President Obama for not coming forward to honor the finalists personally. “Greeting and taking a photo with these career executives who are essential to the success of his administration is at least as worthy of the President’s time as pardoning a turkey or welcoming the Miami Heat to the White House,” the SEA statement said.

Hence, barring new White House plans, the association will honor the cancelled finalists at a June 5 reception in the State Department Diplomatic Rooms. “We trust that the heads of their departments and agencies will attend and demonstrate their support for those who support them daily,” the SEA said.

(Image via sergign/

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
Close [ x ] More from GovExec

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

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation

  • The Big Data Campaign Trail

    With everyone so focused on security following recent breaches at federal, state and local government and education institutions, there has been little emphasis on the need for better operations. This report breaks down some of the biggest operational challenges in IT management and provides insight into how agencies and leaders can successfully solve some of the biggest lingering government IT issues.

  • Communicating Innovation in Federal Government

    Federal Government spending on ‘obsolete technology’ continues to increase. Supporting the twin pillars of improved digital service delivery for citizens on the one hand, and the increasingly optimized and flexible working practices for federal employees on the other, are neither easy nor inexpensive tasks. This whitepaper explores how federal agencies can leverage the value of existing agency technology assets while offering IT leaders the ability to implement the kind of employee productivity, citizen service improvements and security demanded by federal oversight.

  • IT Transformation Trends: Flash Storage as a Strategic IT Asset

    MIT Technology Review: Flash Storage As a Strategic IT Asset For the first time in decades, IT leaders now consider all-flash storage as a strategic IT asset. IT has become a new operating model that enables self-service with high performance, density and resiliency. It also offers the self-service agility of the public cloud combined with the security, performance, and cost-effectiveness of a private cloud. Download this MIT Technology Review paper to learn more about how all-flash storage is transforming the data center.

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care


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