Fifth Class of Inductees To Be Enshrined in Government Hall of Fame

Thurgood Marshall, Thad Allen and seven others join elite group. 

This year marks the fifth anniversary of the Government Hall of Fame, created by Government Executive to recognize those who have made historic achievements in service to the federal government and the American people. Since 2019, a distinguished group of 52 individuals, ranging from Clara Barton to Anthony Fauci, have been inducted into the hall.

This year, nine new inductees join that select club. Some of them are household names, and others made amazing achievements out of the limelight. They’ll all be honored at a gala “Evening of Honors” on April 20 at the Washington National Cathedral. The annual Fed 100 winners also will be recognized at the gala.

Here are the members of the Government Hall of Fame Class of 2023:

Thad Allen


Best known as the federal leader who salvaged the Hurricane Katrina response effort in 2005-2006, Allen served for four decades in the United States Coast Guard. His first assignment as a flag officer was as director of resources at Coast Guard headquarters. He went on to head several Coast Guard commands and eventually became the service’s chief of staff. After leading the Katrina response, Allen was appointed commandant of the Coast Guard, serving a four-year term. In 2010, he was named as the incident response commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. 

David Chu

Shaun Heasley/Getty

From 1968 to 1971, Chu served in the Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, and rose to the rank of captain. From 1978 to 1981, he was the assistant director of national security and international affairs at the Congressional Budget Office. He then joined the Defense Department as director of program analysis and evaluation. After a stint at RAND Corporation, Chu returned to the Pentagon to serve as undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, where he oversaw military recruitment, career development, pay and benefits and military readiness.                  


Ada Deer

A member of the Menominee Tribe, Deer became the first woman to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs after she was appointed an assistant secretary of the Interior by President Clinton. There, she oversaw policy for more than 550 federally recognized tribes. Before Deer’s service in the executive branch, she worked to restore federal recognition of the Menominee and was the first woman to chair the tribe in Wisconsin. In 1997, she served as chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission. 

Elizabeth Duke

University of Maryland School of Public Policy

During her lengthy and illustrious federal career, Duke served 10 years at the Office of Personnel Management and worked in senior positions under five different secretaries of the Health and Human Services Department. She spent 12 years in the Office of the Secretary before holding high-ranking posts at the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families. Duke received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive in 2006. She is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, teaching management and leadership. 

Barbara Hackman Franklin

Even before serving as Commerce secretary under President George H.W. Bush, Franklin had a distinguished career in government. In 1971, President Nixon tapped her to head an initiative aimed at increasing the appointments of women to high-ranking federal government posts, resulting in nearly quadrupling the number who served in such positions. Franklin was then appointed to head the newly created Consumer Product Safety Commision. There, from 1973 to 1978, she focused on ensuring the safety of products for children. Franklin then served four terms on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. As Commerce secretary, she was instrumental in normalizing trade relations with China, securing $1 billion in contracts for American companies. 

Carla Hayden

Shannon Finney/Getty

Hayden is both the first African American and first woman to serve as the Librarian of Congress. She has devoted her career to modernizing libraries, making research collections accessible onsite and online. From 1991 to 1993 she was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library. After that, Hayden was CEO of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, where she created an after-school center for teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. During the 2015 protests of the death of Freddie Gray, Hayden courageously kept Baltimore’s libraries open. She was nominated as Librarian of Congress by President Obama in 2016 and became the first professional librarian in the post since 1974.

Thurgood Marshall


A towering figure in civil rights law, Marshall was an attorney for the NAACP when he successfully argued the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court, which declared school segregation unconstitutional. After serving four years as a federal judge in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City, Marshall was named solicitor general of the United States by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Two years later, he was appointed as the first African American Supreme Court justice. Marshall  served with distinction on the high court until his retirement in 1991.

Sean O’Keefe

Joe Raedle/Getty

A member of the first class of presidential management interns in 1978, O’Keefe went on to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee staff, followed by a series of high-ranking federal positions, as NASA administrator, deputy assistant to President George W. Bush, deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, secretary of the Navy and chief financial officer of the Defense Department. O’Keefe also has worked in the aerospace industry and currently is a university professor and endowed chair at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Douglas Owsley

Smithsonian Institution

Owsley, the curator of biological anthropology at the Smithsonia’s National Museum of Natural History, has achieved fame through handling numerous high-profile cases of forensic anthropology over the years. These include identifying Jeffrey Dahmer's first victim, excavating the Jamestown Colony, analyzing victims of the siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Texas, and processing remains of U.S. servicemen killed during Operation Desert Storm. His life story served as the basis for a Discovery Channel documentary.


The members of the class of 2023 join those who have already been inducted into the Government Hall of Fame:

  • Madeleine Albright
  • Apollo 11 Astronauts: Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin, Neil Armstrong, and Michael Collins
  • Clara Barton
  • Hubert T. Bell
  • Lonnie Bunch III
  • Ralph Bunche
  • George H.W. Bush
  • Rachel Carson
  • Francis Collins
  • David O. “Doc” Cooke
  • Frederick Douglass
  • Tammy Duckworth
  • Anthony Fauci
  • Robert Gates
  • John Glenn
  • Virginia Hall
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • Patricia Roberts Harris
  • Oveta Culp Hobby
  • Walter Hollis
  • Grace Hopper
  • Dwight Ink
  • Shirley Ann Jackson
  • Howard Jenkins Jr.
  • Katherine Johnson
  • Frank Kameny
  • John Koskinen
  • John Lewis
  • Charles Lyman
  • Charles McGee
  • Norman Mineta
  • Patsy Mink
  • Constance Berry Newman
  • Ellen Ochoa
  • Ely S. Parker
  • Frances Perkins
  • Colin Powell
  • Condoleezza Rice
  • Elliot Richardson 
  • Alice Rivlin
  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Donna Shalala
  • Susan Solomon
  • Elmer Staats
  • Kathryn D. Sullivan
  • Linda Thomas-Greenfield
  • Harriet Tubman
  • Paul Volcker
  • James Webb
  • Marshalyn Yeargin-Allsop


This year’s inductees into the Government Hall of Fame were chosen by a panel made up of former federal officials and government management experts:

  • Anne Armstrong, vice president of strategic alliances at GovExec
  • Tanya Ballard Brown, executive editor, Government Executive
  • Jason Briefel, partner at the law firm Shaw, Bransford & Roth and director of policy and outreach of the Senior Executives Association
  • Timothy B. Clark, editor at large, Government Executive
  • Calvin Byrd, former senior level advisor for physical security at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission
  • Teresa Gerton, president and CEO of the National Academy of Public Administration
  • Robert Tobias, former president of the National Treasury Employees Union and distinguished practitioner in residence in Key Executive Leadership Programs at American University