Andrew Harnik/AP

Winners of 2017 Presidential Rank Awards Announced

Recipients will receive monetary awards in honor of their achievements.

The professional association for senior federal executives on Wednesday announced the winners of the prestigious Presidential Rank Awards, who will earn bonuses and be honored along with their 2016 counterparts at an all-day Dec. 7 leadership summit at Washington’s Mayflower Hotel.

The 36 winners of the annual Distinguished Rank Awards collectively saved taxpayers an estimated $650 billion last year, the Senior Executives Association said. These executives on average manage budgets or projects worth more than $12.8 billion, SEA calculated. The average “positive economic benefit/efficiency per project headed by a 2017 Distinguished PRA recipient is $9.16 billion,” the association added.

The Distinguished Rank winners will receive a bonus of 35 percent of their base salary for their extraordinary results during their careers.

“It is an honor to recognize this year’s Presidential Rank Award recipients,” SEA President Bill Valdez said. “These recipients have proven themselves to be exemplars of public service excellence and have demonstrated a consistent and lasting dedication to the service and leadership ideals of the federal government’s career civil service.”

 The 115 winners of the Meritorious Rank Award, given for sustained accomplishment, will receive a bonus of 20 percent of their salaries. The winners of both awards, who represent a small percentage of the 9,700-member Senior Executive Service and other high-level executives, will receive recognition from the president.

Review boards composed of current and former public- and private-sector officials choose finalists among the nominees, whose backgrounds are then vetted by the Office Personnel Management’s Federal Investigative Services.

Winners can opt not to have their names publicly released as recipients because of personal privacy exemptions under the Freedom of Information Act. While most agree to public recognition, some are reluctant because it is easy to figure out the amount of their Presidential Rank Award since it is based on publicly available salaries, and due to the sensitive fiscal and political climate. 

The 2017 Distinguished Rank Award winners include:

Agriculture Department

  • Jere Dick

Commerce Department

  • Fiona Alexander
  • Richard Merrick
  • Sae Nam
  • Sivaraj Shyam-Sunder

Energy Department

  • Kimberly Lebak
  • Troy Mueller  

Environmental Protection Agency

  • Gerald Ankley

Health and Human Services Department  

  • Dara Corrigan  
  • Betsy Humphreys  
  • Elizabeth Richter
  • James Seligman

Homeland Security Department

  • AnnMarie Highsmith
  • Brenda Smith  

Justice Department

  • Robert Moossy  

Air Force Department

  • Randall Walden
  • Patricia Young  

Army Department

  • Kirby Brown
  • Elizabeth Fleming
  • Kathleen Miller
  • Bruce West

Navy Department

  • Gerald Borsuk
  • Anne Brennan

  • Jodi Greene

  • Bryan Wood

Veterans Affairs Department

  • Michael Frueh
  • Ronald Walters
  • Robert Worley II

National Aeronautics and Space Administration

  • Dawn Schaible
  • Kirk Shireman
  • Joan Singer

National Transportation Safety Board

  • Dana Schulze  

Office of the Secretary of Defense

  • Richard Burke
  • John Casciotti
  • Terry Halvorsen
  • Theresa Whelan