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SEA Reception Honors Finalists for the Presidential Ranks of Distinguished and Meritorious Executive

Paul Volcker of The Volcker Alliance Delivers Keynote Address

Washington, D.C. – Finalists for the nation's highest civil service awards, the Presidential Ranks of Distinguished and Meritorious Executive and Professional, were honored by the Senior Executives Association's (SEA) Professional Development League at a reception held on June 5.

The reception, sponsored by the Senior Executives Association Professional Development League, was held at the State Department Diplomatic Reception Rooms. Paul Volcker, Chairman of The Volcker Alliance, delivered remarks. Those wishing to obtain a copy of Mr. Volcker's remarks can visit for The Volcker Alliance's media contact information.

A nonpartisan organization based in New York, The Volcker Alliance ( was launched in 2013 to address the challenge of effective execution of public policies and to rebuild public trust in government. Working in partnership with educational institutions, governmental organizations, business, and public interest enterprises, The Alliance seeks to rekindle intellectual, practical, and academic interest in the implementation of policy – the "nuts and bolts" of governance – and serve as a catalyst for sustained government improvement.

Only one percent of the Senior Executive Service is eligible to receive the rank of Distinguished Executive and only one percent of executives in Senior Level and ST (Scientific and Professional) positions may receive the rank of Distinguished Senior Professional. Five percent of the Senior Executive Service is eligible to receive the rank of Meritorious Executive and five percent of executives in Senior Level and ST (Scientific and Professional) positions may receive the rank of Meritorious Senior Professional. The Obama Administration suspended the awards in 2013, however, the nomination and selection process is required by statute and the Office of Personnel Management announced the finalists on May 13. Their names can be found at /presidential-rank-award-finalists/2013-presidential-rank-award-finalists.pdf.

Dignitaries who attended the event include:

Administrator of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Charles F. Bolden, Jr., Under Secretary of Defense (Comptroller) and CFO Robert F. Hale, Deputy Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency Bob Perciasepe, Department of State Under Secretary for Management Patrick Kennedy, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Juan M. Garcia, III, Assistant Secretary of the Department of Agriculture Dr. Gregory Parham, Assistant Secretary of the Army Heidi Shyu, Deputy Administrator of the United States Agency for International Development Mark Feierstein, and Assistant Secretary for Management at the Department of the Treasury Nani Coloretti.

SEA's President Carol A. Bonosaro recognized some of the notable achievements of the Distinguished Executives and Senior Professionals in her remarks:

• Developed a contracting and acquisition plan that saved $15 billion dollars over two fiscal years.

• Opened a door for the nation's most talented female engineers by leading efforts to recruit, interview, and approve the first group of women to serve on nuclear submarines.

• Is the world leader in research on exotic new forms of matter based on gases of ultracold atoms and ultracold molecules. She produced the world's first Fermi condensate and the world's first ultracold gas of polar molecules, and demonstrated the world's first ultracold chemical reactions.

• Was the chief architect of the petroleum refinery initiative, and concluded 22 settlements, including with every major refiner, which covered nearly 87% of petroleum capacity, and required billions of dollars of pollution control and tens of millions in civil penalties.

• Is the first and only member of the career civil service in the history of the State Department to hold the position of Assistant Secretary of State in a geographic bureau.

• Leads the largest organization in the IRS, with an operating budget of almost $2.8 billion and over 50,000 employees in nearly 400 locations, processing 190 million individual and business returns, issuing over 109 million refunds, and depositing 214 million remittances totaling over $2.3 trillion.

• Created the world's four most accurate atomic clocks.

• Led development of a revolutionary concept in Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance technologies which led to the deployment of a multi-intelligence weapon system in Afghanistan – capturing multiple terrorists and reducing the number of roadside bombs by early detection.

• Successfully completed all mission objectives, as an astronaut, on four space missions, two involving assembly of the International Space Station and two devoted to examining the science behind ozone depletion.

The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career federal executives. Founded in 1980, SEA's goals are: to improve the efficiency, effectiveness and productivity of the federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions. The SEA Professional Development League (PDL) is a nonprofit educational organization committed to advancing the professionalism of career federal executives through the sponsorship of training, recognition, and research activities.

Ten Considerations For Civi Service Modernization

Summary: The Senior Executives Association (SEA) and the Hoover Institution hosted three Civil Service Modernization Dialogues in the summer and fall of 2018 that had a goal of developing a consensus around general themes and concepts that a diverse group of organizations could support. Those Dialogues were organized around three general themes:

  • Civil Service Workforce Modernization
  • Civil Service Administrative Modernization
  • Civil Service Regulatory Modernization
Read More

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