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:

  • Sponsored by G Suite

    Cross-Agency Teamwork, Anytime and Anywhere

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

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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.


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