Feds focused on digital service, drones and data win at 2018 Sammies

The finalists for the 2018 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal awards. The Partnership for Public Service selected nine winners for its annual awards, known as the “Sammies”, for their outstanding contributions to civil service. (Photo by Braun Film and Video, Inc.)


Written by

The Partnership for Public Service tapped nine winners from a slate of public sector superlatives Tuesday for its annual Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal awards, including data scientists and executives innovating the use of drone technology.

The “Sammies” — dubbed “the Oscars of government service” — recognize federal employees who have crafted impactful and innovative solutions to advance the mission of government.

“These are not normal times for our nation’s civil servants. Yet, they continue to serve in extraordinary ways, and we need to recognize and celebrate their important work,” Max Stier, Partnership for Public Service president and CEO, said in a statement. “The 2018 Service to America Medal recipients represent the best in government, the dedicated, smart and innovative public servants who work tirelessly behind-the-scenes to serve the public interest.”

Among the awardees are agency leaders who have leveraged technology and data solutions to improve on agency mission and showcase innovation, including:

  • Marcy Jacobs and the Department of Veterans Affairs Digital Services Team won the Management Excellence Medal for their efforts to make agency benefits and services more customer-focused with the development of Vets.gov.
  • NASA’s Parimal Kopardekar and his team at the Ames Research Center won the Promising Innovations Medal for their work on designing a seminal air traffic management system for unmanned drones.
  • Margaret Honein of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention won the Science and Environment Medal for her work to stand up a data team to track the spread of the Zika virus.
  • Alison Smith of the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Naval Sea Systems Command, won the People’s Choice Award for her work in utilizing nanoparticles to mark and track electronic components for supply chain authenticity.

The winners will be showcased Tuesday night at the Partnership for Public Service’s annual awards dinner. For more information on this year’s winners and finalists, visit the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals site.

-In this Story-

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), drones, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Partnership for Public Service, Sammies, supply chain, vets.gov, Zika virus