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Two NNSA leaders have received the 2019 Presidential Rank Award for demonstrating exceptional service and extraordinary accomplishments.

Nicole Nelson-Jean, Savannah River Field Office Manager, received the Distinguished Executive award, and Ed Herrington Sr., Program Manager for Prototype Operations and Training at the Office of Naval Reactors, received the Meritorious Executive award. 

The Presidential Rank Awards program honors exceptional members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), a designation reserved for skilled and experienced leaders serving in key positions throughout the U.S. Federal government. The awards were established in 1978 to recognize high-performing senior career employees for “sustained extraordinary accomplishment.”

Nicole Nelson-Jean, Manager, NNSA's Savannah River Field Office

The distinguished winners represent 1 percent of the SES workforce, and the meritorious honorees 5 percent. Being recognized with the Presidential Rank Award is a reflection of the outstanding workforce within the NNSA.

Nelson-Jean was recognized for her exceptional service as the NNSA Senior Executive at the Savannah River Site, where she is leading the site level effort and planning to produce 50 plutonium pits in 2030, while also overseeing the Nation’s only Tritium Plant that supports the nuclear weapons stockpile.

She is responsible for the people, processes, operations, products, safety, and security of the national security missions at Savannah River Site that are expected to reach $3 billion over the next five years.

I am humbled and honored to have received the Presidential Rank Distinguished Executive Award,” Nelson-Jean said. “I am blessed to be part of the Nuclear Security Enterprise and to work among the many talented women and men at the Savannah River Site.”

Ed Herrington of NNSA's Naval Reactors
Ed Harrington

Herrington was recognized for his sustained extraordinary accomplishments as the Program Manager for Prototype Operations and Training for the Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program. Herrington is the senior civilian overseeing all technical operations, training, and administrative actions for 2,900 contractors and U.S. Navy personnel, three program training sites including four reactor plant prototypes, seven fleet training centers, and an annual budget averaging over $475 million.

Herrington is responsible for providing initial operator and fleet training to over 17,000 nuclear-trained sailors that operate and maintain 82 active nuclear-powered warships and 97 operating reactors, compromising over 45 percent of the Navy’s major combat-ready warships.

“I am more than honored to have received this award,” said Herrington. “I am fortunate to have a talented and dedicated team working with me to ensure we meet our organizational goals. Managing the Prototype Operations and Training program has been a rewarding experience and I am grateful for the work we do on behalf of the Nation.”