28th Annual SEA Banquet Honors Distinguished Executives Responsible for Saving Government Over $94 Billion
ODNI Director James Clapper Delivers Keynote Address
Washington, D.C. Recipients of the nation's highest civil service awards, the Presidential Ranks of Distinguished Executive and Distinguished Professional, were announced and honored by the Senior Executives Association (SEA) at the group's 28th annual black tie Distinguished Rank Awards Banquet held on April 25. A review of the accomplishments detailed in the 2012 award winners' nominations reveals they have saved the federal government over $94 billion. The banquet, sponsored by the Senior Executives Association Professional Development League, was held at the State Department Diplomatic Reception Rooms. ODNI Director James Clapper delivered remarks.
Only one percent of the Senior Executive Service is eligible to receive the rank of Distinguished Executive; one percent of executives in Senior Level and ST (Scientific and Professional) positions may receive the rank of Distinguished Senior Professional.
Dignitaries in attendance to honor the award winners included: Commissioner of the Nuclear Regulatory Commission George Apostolakis, Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Charles F. Bolden, Jr., Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission Julius Genachowski, Deputy Secretary of Transportation John Davis Porcari, Deputy Secretary of Veterans Affairs W. Scott Gould, Under Secretary of the Army Dr. Joseph Westphal, Under Secretary for Management at the Department of State Patrick Kennedy, Inspector General of Health and Human Services Daniel Ronald Levinson, Assistant Secretary for Research, Development and Acquisition for the Navy Sean Joseph Stackley, Assistant Secretary and Chief Financial Officer of the Interior Rhea Suh, Assistant Secretary for Manpower and Reserve Affairs for the Air Force Daniel Ginsburg, Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education from the Department of Education Brenda Dann-Messier, Acting Administrator of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Dr. Kathryn Sullivan, and Acting Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Robert Perciasepi.
SEA's President Carol A. Bonosaro recognized some of the recipients' notable achievements in her remarks:
- Establishing Medicare Fraud "Strike Force" operations, with almost 1200 defendants charged for falsely billing Medicare for more than $3.6 billion.
- Leading US efforts in Japan for 11 months after the Fukushima nuclear plant accident, securing vital equipment and assisting in the development of criteria for the restart of nuclear plants.
- Developing in less than one year a small, back-packable air vehicle to locate, track, and precisely engage high-value fleeting targets, essentially a guided bullet operated by a single soldier in the field.
- Developing the afterhours Tele-Nurse Triage Program which provides clinical telephone care services to seven networks of hospitals in multiple time zones; it serviced 1.4 million veterans in 2011.
- Following the September 11 terrorist attacks, leading a team of government and private-sector members in developing and implementing a plan to retrofit over 6,000 commercial airplanes with hardened cockpit doors.
- Developing a website to provide near-real-time information about the response to the Deepwater Horizon BP oil spill. The site, which provided map-based data with over 600 layers and 22,000 datasets, received 3.5 million visitors on the first day.
- Patenting a turbine-based MHD energy bypass engine capable of extending the operation of a conventional jet aircraft engine to Mach 7. He's a world-leading innovator of high-speed powered atmospheric flight.
- Leading numerous landmark policy changes including implementation of the V-chip in TV receivers and closed captioning for digital receivers. Early in his career, he developed a flexible approach to regulation that established general interference standards without regard to the type of device, enabling the development of products such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, cordless phones, baby monitors, security alarm systems, and keyless entry systems.
- Launching a program to install equipment at major seaports to detect the presence of radioactive material that could be used to make a nuclear weapon or "dirty bomb," a program now operational in over 30 international seaports and under construction in 25 more.
- Recommending and implementing premium rate changes in the $100 billion federal crop insurance program he manages, saving over $2 billion.
- Achieving the concurrent design and production of a battlefield life saving medical capability - the Mobile Trauma Bay - in 80 days.
- Directing protective activities for the sensitive and hazardous overseas operations associated with the covert trips of 3 Presidents to war zones in Iraq and Afghanistan.
- Advancing China trade policy issues for U.S. industry, securing key "deliverables" in pharmaceuticals, strengthening anti-counterfeit drug efforts and stemming losses of billions of dollars.
- Leading drafting and implementation of the 3-hour tarmac delay rule, and rules that require airlines to disclose hidden fees, increase compensation to passengers involuntarily bumped from flights and include taxes and mandatory fees in advertised airfares, the most comprehensive consumer protections in the history of the industry.
- Providing real-time technical support to the Chilean Minister of Health for the design of the escape module used to rescue 33 trapped Chilean miners in 2010, including producing a detailed set of design requirements for the module in only 4 days.
- Effectively managing $7 trillion in Defense resources over the past decade; with hundreds of accounts, thousands of programs, a three million person military and civilian workforce, countless IT systems, and multi-billion-dollar acquisitions, no career official has been responsible for a larger budget.
- Serving as lead attorney in several landmark tax cases and winning virtually every corporate tax shelter appeal his Division has litigated, establishing significant precedents and safeguarding billions of dollars of tax revenue.
- Playing a key role in maintaining student loans during the financial crisis of 2008; as a result no student was denied a guaranteed loan from 2008 through 2010 despite the lack of private capital.
- Developing and implementing Grants.gov, a single electronic system unifying hundreds of billions of dollars in grants from more than 35 agencies; the website has received eight major honors and awards.
- Spearheading the Identity Theft Assessment and Action group, developing filters which screened and stopped hundreds of thousands of questionable tax returns with fraudulent refunds of over $1 billion.
- Getting a new health insurance program up and running in 4 months; over 48,000 Americans who had been denied coverage now are receiving long-delayed medical care for a wide range of pre-existing conditions such as brain cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and organ failure.
- Directing the destruction of over 4,300 tons of chemical agents while achieving an OSHA Recordable Injury Rate of 0.77, a rate normally seen in insurance offices, not at sites storing and transporting high hazard chemical weapons or at industrial-scale operating plants destroying lethal chemicals and explosively configured munitions.
- Developing a revolutionary global weather prediction model which has shown the best hurricane track predictions of all global models, predicting the inception of Hurricane Irene two days before the storm appeared, and producing an almost perfect five-day-track prediction up the East Coast. He also led his staff in a Working Group of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change which resulted in a 2007 Nobel Peace Prize shared by many in his organization.