Nonprofit group announces finalists for public service awards

The Partnership for Public Service on Monday announced 34 finalists from across the government for its annual awards honoring outstanding public service.

The federal workers, honored for their contributions to the public's health, safety and security, are contenders for eight Service to America Medals, including Federal Employee of the Year. The nonprofit organization will celebrate the finalists at a breakfast on Tuesday and will announce the winners in September at a black-tie gala in Washington.

The finalists hail from agencies across government, including four nominees from the Veterans Affairs Department. For example, Alfonso Batres, chief officer of the readjustment counseling service at the Veterans Health Administration, has spent his career building a network of community-based centers that provide vets with counseling, job assistance and medical referrals. Other finalists include:

  • Diane Braunstein, associate commissioner of the Social Security Administration's Office of International Programs, who created a system for terminally and seriously ill individuals to receive approval for Social Security benefits more quickly.
  • C. Norman Coleman, associate director of the radiation research program at National Cancer Institute, who developed a strategy for the United States to deal with the repercussions of a radiological or nuclear incident, and helped Japan respond to the problems with its nuclear power plants after the recent earthquake and tsunami.
  • Taryn Guariglia, special agent for the Internal Revenue Service's criminal investigation, who headed the investigation of a Ponzi scheme that led to a 50-year prison sentence for a South Florida lawyer who swindled more than $1 billion from investors.
  • Michael B. Smith, director of strategic sourcing at the Homeland Security Department, who saved taxpayers more than $750 million by consolidating the buying power of 22 agencies and offices within DHS.

"Amid the recent budget battles regarding the size and scope of government, the people who do our nation's work often go unnoticed," said Max Stier, president and chief executive officer of the Partnership for Public Service. "That's why the Service to America Medals are so important -- they showcase the good that our public servants do each and every day. You're seeing government at its very best."

The 34 finalists were chosen from among 400 nominations. The medals are accompanied by monetary awards ranging from $3,000 to $10,000.

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.