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Our Director Director's Blog

graphic with white background and red bars coming from the top down to the center. Primary image is blue, faded green, with 2 black stars on each side of the headline which reads: PUBLIC SERVICE. Subhead with small red star from onto: RECOGNITION WEEK.

Last week was another great Public Service Recognition Week. Together, we took time to reflect on the great work our Federal workforce does every day. I am continually impressed by the dedication and commitment our two million-strong Federal workforce has to serving the American people. And here at OPM, whether it’s helping agencies make sure employees have the tools and training they need to do their jobs, administering health benefits for Federal workers, retirees and their families, or helping our nation’s veterans transition into Federal civilian service, our team works hard to help agencies across government fulfill their missions.

The President said it best in his annual PSRW proclamation: “Civil servants demonstrate resolve and inspire optimism in sectors throughout our country. They are engineers and educators, military service members and social workers, and their individual and collective contributions drive us forward on the path toward an ever brighter tomorrow.  Both at home and abroad, they carry forward the notion that as Americans, we are committed to looking out for one another and to working together to forge a bright future for generations to come.”

Last week, I co-authored an op-ed with Max Stier, president and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service. In it we highlighted some of the good work Federal employees do every single day. We know that Federal employees work hard to serve the American people.   Whether it’s processing Social Security checks, fighting wildfires, or searching for the next groundbreaking cancer treatment – Federal employees deliver the services the American people need.

Many Federal employees do some pretty amazing things in their jobs. In the op-ed, we highlighted a few of this year’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal – or “Sammie” – finalists. Among them were Dr. Paul McGann, Jean D. Moody-Williams, and Dennis Wagner, three Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services employees who have been working tirelessly for the past four years to reduce medical errors and avoidable infections in hospitals. Their efforts have led to 2.1 million fewer patients harmed and 87,000 lives saved.

We also showcased Lisa Jones of the Department of the Treasury. Lisa designed a program to help low-income communities get access to money to fund health-care centers, charter schools, housing, and small businesses.

And, I was proud to mention that one of the Sammie finalists is OPM’s own Kimya Lee and our Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey team. Those team members include: Kim Wells, Craig Simons, Rose Miller, Taylor Lewis, Shannon Lewis, Stephanie Westphal, Lauren Sobek, Karl Hess, Mari Raviele, Megan Poore, and Lorraine Latimore. Each year, this talented team analyzes survey data and creates thousands of reports managers can use to help them improve employee engagement and productivity throughout the Federal service.

There are countless more examples in every Federal agency of employees doing equally innovative and groundbreaking work. Without Federal employees, this country simply would not run. So for that, we should all be grateful. 

I want to again thank each and every Federal employee for the work you do every day – often behind the scenes – to keep our country running efficiently, safely, and productively.

Each May, we stop and make time to let Federal employees know how much they are valued and appreciated for the work they do. But even when it’s not Public Service Recognition Week, know that the President, me, and all Federal leaders recognize, honor, and are grateful for the work that you do. 


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