There are 27 individuals who are finalists, either on their own or as part of a team.

There are 27 individuals who are finalists, either on their own or as part of a team. Al Seib/A.M.P.A.S. via Getty Images

And the Finalists for This Year’s ‘Oscars’ of Government Service Are …

Announcement marks the start of Public Service Recognition Week.

Government employees who assisted Ukrainians after Russia’s invasion, built technology to help veterans and implemented the $1 trillion infrastructure law are among those selected as finalists for the prestigious annual Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. 

The awards––known as the “Sammies” and the “Oscars of government service”––were renamed in 2010 for entrepreneur and nonprofit Partnership for Public Service founder Samuel J. Heyman. The program initially launched in 2002 to highlight public sector talent and has honored more than 700 federal employees since then. 

The 27 individuals who are finalists, either on their own or part of a team, are contenders for awards in these categories: the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement medal; Emerging Leaders; Science, Technology and Environment; Safety, Security and International Affairs; and Management Excellence. Additionally, all finalists are eligible to win the Federal Employee of the Year and the People’s Choice Award. The winners will be unveiled in the fall for most categories except the People’s Choice, which will be announced over the summer. 

“This year’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals finalists are at the center of some of the most important work happening across our government,” said Max Stier, Partnership president and CEO. “The awards recognize the excellence and dedication of civil servants who work to better our nation every day.”

Some of the finalists’ achievements are: reshaping NASA’s safety culture for explorations; helping to release 11 Americans held as prisoners in Russia and Venezuela; instituting policies to curb sexual harassment, assault and bullying aboard the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s marine fleet; working to craft and implement the $1 trillion infrastructure law; providing assistance to the Ukraine people after Russia’s invasion; and building a new technology network to treat veterans for various medical issues. 

The award winners will be chosen by a selection committee that includes: Dr. Anthony Fauci, former director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases; Alyssa Farah Griffin, co-host of ABC’s “The View” and former White House director of strategic communications; Tony Reardon, president of the National Treasury Employees Union; and other leaders from Congress, government, businesses, foundations, academia and entertainment. 

The Partnership will also present its sixth annual Spirit of the Service Award to Judy Woodruff, former anchor and managing editor of PBS’ “NewsHour,” for her “reporting that has shone a vital light on the contributions of public servants, and the successes and failures of the U.S. government in meeting the public’s needs,” the nonprofit said in a statement. 

The announcement of the finalists comes at the start of Public Service Recognition Week.