Senator showcases exemplary feds

Being a federal employee isn't always that glamorous and, as recent attacks on government facilities have reminded us, it isn't always safe either.

One Delaware Democrat is doing his part to temper the negative perceptions of government that appear to be behind some of the incidents. "The worth of federal employees is not understood by the public," Sen. Ted Kaufman told Delaware Today. "I hope to spotlight at least 70 or more of these dedicated public servants during the balance of my term in hopes of changing that public perception to a positive one."

Since May 2009, Kaufman has addressed the Senate regularly with stories of extraordinary federal workers. In late February, he organized the Great Federal Employees exhibition at the Russell Senate Office Building Rotunda to further showcase 40 of the public servants he had honored.

The exhibition didn't come with lots of frills. In a series of modest posters, it made its point befittingly: Despite what French political philosopher Alexis de Tocqueville described as the "simple exterior of the persons in authority," feds are doing exciting things.

Visitors learned about former FBI Chief Information Officer Zalmai Azmi, who revamped the bureau's information technology infrastructure to meet the needs of a post-Sept. 11 environment. And Orlando Figueroa, who led NASA's Mars Exploration Rover project in 2001, taking space and science research where it had never been.

They could have observed a moment of silence for John Granville, who was gunned down by militants on a mission to distribute hand-operated radio receivers to villagers in Sudan for the U.S. Agency for International Development. Or they could have applauded Dave Carballeyra, the Air Force's director of stereolithography, for improving treatment for veterans with new 3-D bone and tissue imaging technology.

Kaufman will continue to highlight such exemplary public servants through the end of his term in November.

Click here to view a photo gallery of the Great Federal Employees exhibition

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:

  • Going Agile:Revolutionizing Federal Digital Services Delivery

    Here’s one indication that times have changed: Harriet Tubman is going to be the next face of the twenty dollar bill. Another sign of change? The way in which the federal government arrived at that decision.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • Featured Content from RSA Conference: Dissed by NIST

    Learn more about the latest draft of the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology guidance document on authentication and lifecycle management.

  • GBC Issue Brief: The Future of 9-1-1

    A Look Into the Next Generation of Emergency Services

  • GBC Survey Report: Securing the Perimeters

    A candid survey on cybersecurity in state and local governments

  • The New IP: Moving Government Agencies Toward the Network of The Future

    Federal IT managers are looking to modernize legacy network infrastructures that are taxed by growing demands from mobile devices, video, vast amounts of data, and more. This issue brief discusses the federal government network landscape, as well as market, financial force drivers for network modernization.

  • eBook: State & Local Cybersecurity

    CenturyLink is committed to helping state and local governments meet their cybersecurity challenges. Towards that end, CenturyLink commissioned a study from the Government Business Council that looked at the perceptions, attitudes and experiences of state and local leaders around the cybersecurity issue. The results were surprising in a number of ways. Learn more about their findings and the ways in which state and local governments can combat cybersecurity threats with this eBook.


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