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News Release

Friday, September 24, 2004
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director James Solicits Nominations to the Presidential Rank Awards Program

James says award recognizes executives for their "strength, integrity and commitment" to public service

Washington, D.C. -- U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director Kay Coles James has issued a call for nominations to the prestigious 2005 Presidential Rank Awards Program, an honor granted by President George W. Bush to recognize federal senior executives and professionals for their personal leadership and the achievement of outstanding results for America's taxpayers.

In a September 14 memorandum (attachment) to agency and department heads, James said nominations for the award offer an "excellent opportunity to recognize those who have made significant progress in advancing the President's Management Agenda and have produced results for the American people."

Said James: "These prestigious awards recognize and celebrate our very best career civil service executives and senior professionals, those leaders who consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry and a relentless commitment to public service."

The memo provides a general background on the award and the nomination and selections procedures, as well as the criteria that must be met by Senior Executive Service and Senior Professionals nominees. The criteria, which reflect the President's disciplined, business-like approach to managing government and emphasizing real results over process, focus on a candidate's demonstrated ability to lead change and people, communicate, build coalitions and drive exceptional results.

OPM administers the Presidential Rank Award Program, which includes the ranks of Distinguished Executive (reserved for the top 1 percent of career executives and professionals) and Meritorious Executive (reserved for the top 5 percent).

The qualifications and accomplishments of nominees for a Presidential Rank Award are evaluated by prominent, private citizens selected by the OPM Director to serve as members of Presidential Rank Review Panels. These panels are convened across the country and this year were held in Bangor, Maine; Des Moines, Iowa; Raleigh, North Carolina; Santa Fe, New Mexico: and, Washington, D.C. Director James then reviews each panel's recommended award recipients and forwards her recommendations to President Bush, who makes the final selections and announces the award winners.

Agencies wishing additional information about the Presidential Rank Award Program should contact OPM's Center for Leadership and Executive Resources Policy on 202-606-2747.

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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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