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Press Release

Wednesday, March 3, 2021
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-594-6827

RELEASE: Office of Personnel Management Announces Return of the Presidential Rank Awards

OPM Calls for 2021 Presidential Rank Awards Nominations

Washington, D.C. – Today, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced a call for nominations for the 2021 Presidential Rank Awards. The awards – which recognize exceptional performance by members of the career Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Career Employees (SL/ST) – will resume this year after having been canceled in 2020. The resumption of the Presidential Rank Awards reflects the Biden Administration’s commitment to supporting the federal workforce and recognizing federal employees who serve with distinction.  

“The Presidential Rank Awards have a rich history of awarding well-deserved individuals in Federal career service,” said Ronald Klain, White House Chief of Staff. “We are pleased that the Office of Personnel Management has made it a priority to bring back these distinguished awards to honor our dedicated civil servants in the Federal workforce. The President looks forward to being part of the selection process and lifting up individuals that consistently demonstrate strength, integrity, industry, and a relentless commitment to public service.”

As administrator of the PRAs, OPM develops criteria for agencies to use, makes determinations of eligibility, and convenes meetings of PRA Review Boards to evaluate the nominees. The OPM Director then recommends finalists to the President, who selects the PRA recipients.

“I am pleased to announce the call for nominations for the FY2021 Presidential Rank Awards (PRA) program and we are thrilled that the Presidential Rank Awards are making their return,” said Kathleen McGettigan, Acting Director of OPM. “After a hiatus in 2020, we’re proud to be bringing back this annual recognition of a select group of career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Career Employees for exceptional performance. A Presidential Rank Award is one of the most prestigious awards in the Federal career civil service and these awards are critical to recognizing the hard work of dedicated civil servants in the American Federal workforce.”

The Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 established the Presidential Rank Awards Program to recognize a select group of career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) for exceptional performance over an extended period of time. The statute was amended in 2001 to include Senior Career Employees.

The deadline for submitting nominations to OPM is April 9, 2021.


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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, 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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