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Senior level executives and the 2010 Presidential Rank Award winners. First Row: Melvin Williams; Neile Miller for James B. Lambert and Theodore D. Sherry; Daniel Poneman, Patricia R. Worthington, Sandra Waisley for David A. Brockman, Secretary Chu, Frank B. Russo, and Steven Aoki. Second Row: William Barker for Andrew Lawrence, Raymond V. Furstenau, Charles McConnell for Victor A. Der, Michael Weis, and Michael C. Kane | Photo courtesy of the Energy Department.
Senior executives gathered in the Energy Department’s Forrestal building in Washington, D.C. recently to recognize the winners of the Presidential Rank Awards for their contributions to the Department’s mission, contributions that have saved millions of dollars in avoided costs.
“It’s great to celebrate the things you’re doing to move us forward. The Energy Department is a terrific organization and that ultimately depends on the people,” Secretary Chu said as he shook hands and congratulated the winners of the 2010 Presidential Rank Awards.
The awards are given out every year by the President, who recognizes a small group of career senior executives for their accomplishments.
During the brief ceremony, Deputy Secretary Daniel Poneman handed out the plaques, signed by the President, and said that recognizing the work of employees is his favorite part of the job.
“Here, we see excellence across the full array of the Department.” Poneman said, “These are people who are tackling challenges to bring clean energy to the American people.”
Winners of this prestigious award are strong leaders, professionals, and scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to excellence in public service, according to the Office of Personnel Management.
There are two categories of rank awards: Distinguished and Meritorious.
Senior executives earning the rank of Distinguished included:
Chief Human Capital Officer Michael Kane, who won the rank of distinguished executive for his work to further contract methodology that is based on performance, among other wide-ranging improvements. In particular, he received accolades for changes he made that saved the National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) $100 million and for his efforts with the Business Management Advisory Council that are on track to save $150 million in a single year.
Senior executives earning the rank of Meritorious included:
• Steven Aoki, from the National Nuclear Security Administration, who was recognized for leading several special policy reviews for the Department and the White House, covering nuclear counterterrorism efforts and initiatives to secure radioactive sources;
• David A. Brockman, from the Office of Environmental Management, who was recognized for providing outstanding leadership which resulted in tremendous progress at the Hanford site.
• Victor A. Der, from Office of Fossil Energy, who was recognized for formulating and implementing a Fossil Energy program strategy that integrated the activities of the clean coal, oil and gas and Strategic Petroleum Reserve to support climate change mitigation, and domestic energy security for both the near and long-term;
• Raymond V. Furstenau, from Office of Nuclear Energy, who was recognized for providing federal oversight of nuclear energy research and development programs and operations, national security programs and operations, and other non-nuclear programs at the Idaho National Laboratory;
• James B. Lambert, from the National Nuclear Security Administration, who was recognized for his expertise on all NNSA programs and their respective budgets. He has provided well-thought out solutions to the current and former Administrators on major financial issues encountered over the years on NNSA programs and project matters;
• Andrew Lawrence, from the Office of Health, Safety and Security, who was recognized for being a strong, innovative leader in the Department of Energy for over 20 years and is well known for his valuable contributions to the goals of the Department and the nation. He is universally recognized as a nation-wide expert in nuclear safety, quality assurance and particularly environmental issues;
• Frank B. Russo, from the National Nuclear Security Administration, who was recognized for has sustained extraordinary accomplishments, program management expertise, and exceptional environment, safety, and health leadership, while serving as a Senior Executive in the national security programs of the Department;
• Theodore D. Sherry, from the National Nuclear Security Administration, who was recognized for his role as Manager of the Y-12 National Security Complex, in Oak Ridge, Tennessee. While he’s been the manager, the site has made remarkable improvements, is recognized for its superior management and is regularly benchmarked for best practices;
• Michael J. Weis, from the Office of Science, who was recognized for his institutional stewardship and oversight of the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory. His actions demonstrated project management excellence by transforming the laboratory into a vibrant billion dollar a year enterprise; and
• Patricia R. Worthington, from the Office of Health, Safety and Security, who was recognized for her leadership, which has improved the lives of hundreds of thousands of individuals and has enhanced the safety and health of the Department’s most valuable assets, its scientists, engineers, and other professionals who help maintain and advance the national security, energy security, and scientific leadership of the United States.