National Nuclear Security Administration

Naval Reactors employee earns Presidential Rank Award

December 21, 2017

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Troy MuellerA senior executive with the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program (NNPP) was recently honored with a Distinguished Presidential Rank Award for sustained extraordinary accomplishment.

Troy Mueller has been a federal civilian employee for 24 years after serving six years as a U.S. Naval officer. He is currently Director of the Nuclear Technology Division at NNPP’s headquarters location at the Washington Navy Yard.

The Presidential Rank Awards program singles out exceptional members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), a high-ranking position classification for U.S. federal government employees. The awards were established in 1978 to recognize high-performing senior career employees for "sustained extraordinary accomplishment." Only one percent of the SES workforce is selected for this honor.

Mueller recently proposed a technical innovation to NNSA’s approach in shielding radiation in our nuclear-powered warships. This change has netted more than $250 million in savings through lower construction costs over the last eight years.

He also spearheaded a multi-agency U.S. government initiative to deploy a U.S. Navy nuclear-powered aircraft carrier in Japan. This deployment garnered broad support from foreign officials and was crucial for the stabilization of the Western Pacific.

Mueller’s technical expertise had previously benefitted our allies in the wake of the reactor accidents at Fukushima. Mueller went to Japan on behalf of both NNSA and the Navy as a senior nuclear expert. He helped ensure the safety of personnel providing humanitarian assistance in highly contaminated areas and advised the U.S. Ambassador to Japan. His recommendations limited radiological harm to hundreds of thousands of residents and thousands of square miles of land.  

“I thoroughly enjoy taking care of our country the best I possibly can. I am equally passionate about developing the public servant leaders of the future and dedicate most of my time carrying out this important work,” said Mueller.

A recent NNSA retiree, Kim Lebak, was also awarded the Distinguished Presidential Rank Award. During her career, Lebak managed the Sandia Site Office, Livermore Field Office and Los Alamos Field Office. She was responsible for administering the Los Alamos National Laboratory Management and Operating contract and all federal activities on the site. 

There were also Meritorious Presidential Rank Award winners from NNSA this year. Kelly Cummins, uranium program manager for Major Modernization Programs, and Elmer Naples, program manager for Surface Ship Nuclear Propulsion, both received the honor.