The awards are known as the Oscars of government.

The awards are known as the Oscars of government. karenfoleyphotography /

Federal Employees to Be Honored for Achievements in Fighting Cancer, Ebola and More

Service to America Medal winners will be celebrated at black tie event in Washington.

Exemplary federal employees will be honored Wednesday night at what has come to be known as the “Oscars” of government, for work ranging from fighting Ebola to helping repair key infrastructure in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

The winners of the annual Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals were selected from among 30 finalists announced in May; they will receive cash awards ranging from $3,000 to $10,000.

“Too often, the vital work of our nation’s public servants goes unnoted and unappreciated,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service, which puts on the awards each year. “The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals recognize and celebrate the many exceptional federal employees who have quietly, proudly and passionately dedicated their lives to making a difference for our  country—and our world.”

This year’s top honor – the Federal Employee of the Year award – will go to Steven A. Rosenberg, chief of the surgery branch at the National Cancer Institute. Rosenberg has conducted 40 years of research to develop immunotherapies and gene therapies that have worked in patients with metastatic cancers where chemotherapy, radiation and surgery alone are not effective.

For the first time this year, the Partnership let the public pick a favorite from among the finalists. The winner of the People’s Choice Award will be announced during the ceremony Wednesday.

The other winners are:

Adam R. Schildge, Call to Service Medal
Senior Program Analyst, Federal Transit Administration
Developed a grant program to help repair infrastructure after Hurricane Sandy, and also a tool for measuring the cost-effectiveness of proposed projects based partly on the likelihood of a future disaster.

Edward C. Hugler, Management Excellence Medal
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Operations, Labor Department
Among other achievements, Hugler took the lead on, which helps citizens access more than 1,200 government benefits and assistance programs in one place.

Hyun Soon Lillehoj, Career Achievement Medal
Senior Research Molecular Biologist, Agricultural Research Service
Lillehoj has developed treatments for commercial poultry that reduce the need for antibiotics and make the meat safer to eat.

Jacob E. Moss, Science and Environment Medal
Senior Adviser, Environmental Protection Agency
Led an initiative to bring cleaner, more efficient cook stoves and fuels to developing countries (while on detail at the State Department).

Lucile Jones, Citizen Services Medal
Science Adviser for Risk Reduction, U.S. Geological Survey
Jones, a seismologist, has worked with government officials, engineers, public utilities, emergency managers and others to build models showing the likely consequences of large-scale natural disasters.

Ron Ross, Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Medal
Fellow, National Institute of Standards and Technology
Helped secure federal computer networks and reduce costs by developing the first set of governmentwide information-security standards and guidelines.

Mia Beers and the U.S. Ebola Disaster Assistance Response Team, National Security and International Affairs Medal
Director, Humanitarian Policy and Global Engagement Division, U.S. Agency for International Development
Led a 40-person team and coordinated U.S. personnel from five federal agencies fighting the spread of the deadly Ebola virus in Guinea, Liberia, Mali and Sierra Leone.

(Image via karenfoleyphotography /