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News Release

Friday, April 30, 2004
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director Convenes Expert Review Board to Consider Nominees for the Prestigious Presidential Award of Distinguished Rank

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James today welcomed 12 private citizens who will serve as members of the Presidential Rank Award Distinguished Review Board.

Members of the board will review the accomplishments of nominees -- career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES), and Senior-Level (SL) and Scientific and Professional (ST) communities -- for the 2004 Presidential Award of Distinguished Rank against the Bush Administration's goals and criteria for improving government services, before sending to James a list of individuals recommended for the award.

"I want to express my sincere appreciation to the volunteer members of  the Presidential Rank Award Distinguished Review Board for their time, their service, and their commitment to helping President George W. Bush recognize the truly extraordinary public servants among us," said James. Appointments to the board were made by the White House and James from among the professional community with expertise in a variety of occupational fields, and prominent private citizens. "Members of the board have taken their task to heart, and I know their recommendations reflect the honesty, objectivity and integrity each has brought to the table."

The Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Service is the nation's highest honor bestowed upon career federal employees. The prestigious award recognizes members of the career SES, SL and ST communities, the federal government's top cadre of managers and senior professionals, who have a consistent record of integrity, industry and commitment to public service. Members of these communities manage many of the nation's most vital programs in defense, intelligence, the environment, energy, agriculture and others.

The SES, SL and ST are comprised of 7,300 dedicated employees out of afederal workforce of 1.8 million, and their members are highly valued for their management, leadership and technical skills. And while they are small in numbers, an even smaller population is recognized each year with a Rank Award.

Nominees for the award must demonstrate a commitment to public service and possess a record of extraordinary leadership that is recognized at the agency level or acknowledged on a national or international level. Nominees are evaluated against meaningful and balanced criteria that have been adjusted to reflect the evolution of government services and the increasing complexity of federally managed programs. Successful nominees must demonstrate a record of achievement in:

  • Leading Change
  • Leading People
  • Being Results Driven
  • Possessing Business Acumen
  • Building Coalitions/Communications

Members of the SL and ST communities are evaluated under different criteria, including technical leadership in the professional community and noteworthy improvements in the quality and efficiency of the civil service.

Over the next few months, Presidential Rank Award Meritorious Review Boards will meet across the country to consider nominees for the Presidential Award of Meritorious Rank.

Members of the Presidential Rank Award Distinguished Review Board are:

  • Susan Alvarado, Principal, Alvarado, Gerken & Bennett
  • Paul Boyle, Senior Vice President, Newspaper Association of America
  • Christopher Craig, Associate Attorney, Herge Sparks & Christopher, LLP
  • Marilyn Dimock, Private Citizen
  • Kevin Gentry, Vice President, Charles G. Koch Foundation
  • Charlie Ingersoll, Senior Partner, Korn-Ferry International
  • Dennis Kless, Canon U.S.A., Inc.
  • James Mazzarella, Director, New York State Office of Federal Affairs
  • Twanna Powell, Private Citizen
  • Kristine Simmons, Vice President for Government Affairs, Partnership for Public Service
  • Michael W. Thompson Jr, Chief Information Officer and Director, Corporate Development at Creative Response Concepts
  • Stephen Wallis, Principal, Harper's Choice Middle School, Columbia, Maryland
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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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