Presidential Distinguished Rank Award Winner Accomplishments

Selected Accomplishments of Winners Honored at the 2016 Banquet

• Being the on-scene legal adviser to the national-level decision makers over the 72 hours that led to the successful rescue of the Maersk Alabama’s Captain Richard Philips.

• Directing development and implementation of the "my Social Security portal," the premier platform for self-service for the public with a comprehensive and clear suite of services and robust authentication and anti-fraud protections.

• Leading the IceCube project, emplacement of a gigantic neutrino detector nearly a mile below the surface of the South Pole Station, bringing in this $270 million construction project with 6 US institutions and 5 foreign partners on time and within budget; IceCube will provide unprecedented information regarding the origins and nature of our universe.

• Developing and delivering to Afghanistan – within 4 and a half months - mobile, armored medical trauma bays capable of deploying forward with units in combat.

• Leading the International Space Station program during its assembly in orbit and now directing an $8.5 billion portfolio which includes developing and building the next generation launch and crew vehicles and ground systems to extend human presence beyond low Earth orbit and conduct health and technological research vital to future deep-space exploration and life on Earth.

• Guiding an interagency operation that resulted in the arrest and return of Ahmed Abu Khatallah, who was wanted in connection with the 2012 attack on the US Temporary Mission Facility in Benghazi.

• Inventing the world’s best atomic clock based on ultracold atoms of strontium held in a lattice of laser light, with accuracy equivalent to one second in 5 billion years. His 5 patented inventions based on laser technologies include a “breathalyzer” system for medical diagnostics based on laser detection of trace amounts of chemicals in exhaled human breath.

• Managing the stand-up of the Air Force Life Cycle Management Center with over 26,000 personnel at 77 geographic locations, 15 functional directorates, and two Air Force bases.

• Transforming the international air process by establishing Automated Passport Control Kiosks, introducing a mobile passport control “app” for smartphones, and automating the Arrival-Departure Record. Terminals implementing the kiosks have reduced wait times by 30%.

• Leading the successful Superfund program efforts to clean up and restore severely contaminated historic urban waterways, including the Hudson River in New York and the Passaic River in New Jersey.

• Being responsible for the content, editorial quality and delivery of the President’s Daily Brief, the top secret document produced each morning for him.

• Designing and building – with her team - the world’s highest performance satellite tracking/imaging optical telescope and delivering the highest resolution image of an orbiting satellite ever collected from a ground site.

• Leading the design and establishing the Global Development Lab, to harness innovation, science and technology to solve international development issues, then working to create the Development Innovation Accelerator, which was engaged the general public to generate designs of personal protective equipment for use by Ebola health care workers.

• Conducting the competition for the largest contract ($30 billion) ever awarded in the history of the Department of Defense and saving the government over $5 billion.

• Supervising the largest criminal investigation in antitrust history, of over a dozen conspiracies to fix the prices of over 5 billion dollars’ worth of more than 40 different auto parts sold to US car manufacturers and which affected more than 25 million cars purchased by Americans. 33 companies and 54 individuals were charged, resulting in fines of more than $2.4 billion.

• Leading the Army Corps of Engineers effort to support the Secure Border Initiative, constructing over 400 miles of pedestrian and vehicle barriers in less than two years; at the peak of construction, two-and-half miles of fence were erected each day.

• Laying the legal foundation for the President’s approval of a Navy SEAL operation that boarded and took control of a tanker seized by Libyan rebels and returned it to its owner, preventing its oil from being delivered to terrorists or the Syrian regime.

• Receiving the National Order of Merit from the French President “in recognition of the outstanding role he played in developing the ties between the French and American defense technology communities”

• Being recognized as the worldwide expert in development of ground breaking DNA analysis methods for human identity testing, methods which have been adopted internationally by the law enforcement and legal communities.

• By discovering and demonstrating that smaller pieces of DNA could be used for identity testing and profiles can be generated in fully automated fashion with greater than thousand fold improvements in sensitivity and speed, he created new DNA tests that improve recovery of information for degraded DNA samples to aid missing persons investigations and disaster victim identification. This pioneering approach allows analysis of DNA from miniscule, degraded samples such as aged bone or even a single hair.

Selected Accomplishments of Winners Honored at the 2015 Banquet

• Founding and directing the first and only national nanotechnology center focused on commerce, recognized internationally for its world-class development of new methods for nanoscale measurement and fabrication.

• Developing and executing over $14 billion of hurricane protection system work in New Orleans and Southeast Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina, which, when Hurricane Isaac made landfall in 2012, prevented catastrophic flooding, loss of life and massive property damage. The system's keystone, the Inner Harbor Navigation Canal Surge Barrier, received the American Society of Civil Engineers 2014 Outstanding Civil Engineering Achievement Award, the first time in the award's 54 year history that it has been presented to the Army Corps of Engineers.

• Directing the collection and submission of the DoD information technology budget which is approximately 50% of the federal IT budget.

• Developing and overseeing the government's legal strategy in the Deepwater Horizon oil spill litigation with over 300 plaintiffs seeking damages and naming the Department of the Interior as a defendant in addition to BP, with a settlement in which BP will pay almost $8 billion.

• Leading development of a revolutionary, lightweight material with a self-adhesive backing that untrained soldiers can quickly apply to walls to increase blast resistance by a factor of 15. The X-Flex system has won three major awards including the "Top 50 Inventions of 2010" from TIME/CNN.

• Being responsible for all internal auditing of the Army, its $168 billion budget and 1.2 million military and civilian personnel.

• Developing - for an agency which manages the world's largest administrative review process - a data–driven approach to decision-making, which resulted in a 32% productivity gain despite a staffing decline, reduced processing time for the oldest cases by 300 days, increased to 50% the cases processed in less than 150 days, and reduced both administrative and court remands – while also developing new training methodologies to reduce the time needed to develop expertise in case adjudication from 18 to five months.

• Personally envisioning and devising how to use PS3 gaming consoles for high performance computing by combining 1,800 consoles into a 500 trillion operation/second computer 12 times less costly and 10 times more power efficient than all other super computers.

• Leading the achievement of significant victories in the Federal courts on diverse issues such as the constitutionality of tuition tax credits for students to attend private schools, the unconstitutionality of a strip-search of a middle school student and the unconstitutionality of a State measure on collecting information on immigrant students.

• Leading the development of new landing technology resulting in the flawless demonstration of an Inflatable Re-entry vehicle technology capable of delivering heavier, larger structures to the surface of any planet for dramatically reduced costs, and enabling future human and robotic exploration.

• Leading calculation and application of 3 government-wide sequestration orders on time and with virtually no errors. He is responsible for the comprehensive guidance known as OMB Circular A-11 and chairs a group of senior scorekeepers from the Budget Committees, CBO and OMB, who determine the scoring rules followed by the Congress and the Executive Branch.

• Leading the efforts to recruit, interview and approve the first group of females to serve in positions on nuclear submarines, a seamless transition which literally opened the door for the nation's most talented female engineers to become submariners.

• Providing the legal basis for an effective regulatory framework for ensuring the safety of human tissue for transplantation, developing the legal framework for innovative regulations that make drugs for life-threatening diseases available to patients on a "fast track," and leading the legal team implementing new authority to create an abbreviated approval pathway for biological products or "generic" biological products which are projected by various economic impact studies to save from 48 to over 100 billion dollars in medical costs over the first 10 years of market formation.

• Logging over 978 hours in space on four spaceflights and serving in key roles as Payload Commander and Flight Engineer. She also delivered engineering, safety, science and mission operations support for 18 successful space shuttle missions, 25 International Space Station expedition missions, 87 spacewalks and the first-ever docking of a commercial vehicle to the Space Station.

• Being recognized with the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics, shared with Serge Haroche, for "ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems." He also provided the world's first demonstration of laser cooling, and the world's first demonstration of quantum logic gates, considered the start of international research in quantum computing, developed the world's first realization of the seven so-called DiVincenzo criteria which specify requirements for a working quantum computer and created four of the world's most accurate atomic clocks, with accuracy of up to 1 second in 4 billion years.

Selected Accomplishments of Finalists Honored at the 2014 Reception

 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.

Selected Accomplishments of Winners Honored at the 2013 Banquet

• 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, 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.

Selected Accomplishments of Winners Honored at the 2012 Banquet

• Providing expert legal advice and assistance to Secretaries Paulson and Geithner and drafting the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008.

• Leading R&D which has yielded improved nuclear and biological sensors – including technology that can be incorporated into soldier backpacks, ground vehicles, or helicopters - new drugs for medical countermeasures, and weapons designed to penetrate caves and tunnels.

• Coordinating a multi-agency effort in response to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, enabling individuals with critical injuries to enter the US for urgent, life-saving medical treatment.

• Forming the architecture of two historic programs for control of toxic emissions from cars, trucks and buses. One eliminated air pollution equivalent to removing 166 million cars from the road.

• Leading a team of lawyers that settled 7 years of litigation and two adverse court decisions that had prevented FAA from retaining $76 million in overflight fees from foreign air carriers.

• Leading the Army’s largest Base Realignment and Closure move, involving 11,000 employees across 25 states.

• Being a world leader in the science of fire phenomena; his research program has resulted in all mattresses sold in the US now burning at less than 1/10th the rate of prior mattresses and in the current requirement for aircraft cabin lining material that poses minimal fire threat in a survivable crash.

• Overseeing the $61 billion FHA insured portfolio and rental assistance of over $9 billion; she reduced multifamily housing loan processing time by almost 40% without an increase in resources but a three-fold increase in volume.

• Protecting 38 Endangered Species and 3 dozen affected National Wildlife Refuges following the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill.

• Administering Social Security programs to 57 million people with monthly payments of $13 billion; his customer service surveys consistently show a 98% overall satisfaction rating.

• Helping to intercept a satellite in decaying orbit which posed a threat to populated areas; his analysis enabled a pinpoint intercept which struck the satellite within centimeters of the calculated aimpoint.

• Meeting every deadline in implementing the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, utilizing $48 billion to fund more than 15,000 projects in all 50 states.

• Running a state-of-the-art Spinal Cord Injury and Disorder Center and a Cardiac Surgery Center performing over 400 procedures annually while consistently attaining low mortality and morbidity outcomes as compared to similar centers, both in and outside of government.

• Containing the spread of contaminated corn in the $25 billion corn market stemming from the first occurrence of the unauthorized release of a genetically-modified grain.

• Arguing more than 110 cases in the Supreme Court, including the Elian Gonzalez case and the recent health care case – more than any other lawyer currently practicing before the Supreme Court.

• Leading the inter-Service working groups responsible to implement repeal of “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell.”

• Leading the Hyper-X/ X-43A Return to flight, developing and demonstrating technologies for hypersonic aircraft. The second flight set a world speed record of Mach 7; the even more complex third flight 8 months later set a new record of Mach 10.

• Standing up and leading the new Army Contracting Command, the first time in history that an SES member was put in charge of a military command, with personnel in 117 worldwide locations, awarding and managing $97 billion of contractual actions each year, 19% of all Federal contract dollars.

• Being the first non-physician to lead CDC’s Washington operations; he was chosen as one of three executives – and the only career executive – to lead the Administration’s Global Health Initiative, a $63 billion, 80 country plan to save millions of lives from infectious diseases like malaria and TB and neglected diseases such as leprosy.

• Developing and executing a new intelligence community-wide analytical effort, the China Strategic Initiative, which has been called the model for integrative analysis. One of our nation’s leading experts on China, his work has had a profound effect on U.S. strategy and policy towards that country.

• Establishing the nation’s first VA and DoD federal health care center, with over 400 beds and over 1,000,000 projected annual outpatient medical and dental visits, providing a seamless transition of care from being a DoD patient to being a VA patient.

• Implementing a standard accounting system at the 52 insurance companies that process and pay the claims to almost 2 million health care providers, the largest accounting system in the world.

• Developing and continuing to improve the Internet Time Service, which is built into major computer operating systems and synchronizes clocks in computers and network devices more than 4 billion times every day. Users range from millions of Americans with radio-controlled clocks automatically set to NIST time by radio broadcasts, to those who need timing accuracy to better than a billionth of a second per day for navigation, precision instruments, telecommunications, radar and other surveillance.

Selected Accomplishments of Winners Honored at the 2011 Banquet

• Being made only the third honorary member of the Red Lake Nation – and the first woman to be so recognized – for her work providing access to health care for American Indians.

• Accelerating a cutting-edge, PCB risk-based disposal approval to allow sinking a 27 thousand ton aircraft carrier which has become the world's largest intentionally created man-made reef.

• Processing almost 200 thousand citizenship applications and naturalizing almost 170 thousand people in one year, an almost 80 percent production increase over the previous year.

• Serving as founding member of the DoD team that took advances in transistors and pushed forward a new technology, the monolithic microwave integrated circuit, which enabled commercial products such as cell phones and IT wireless systems.

• Arguing 80 cases in the Supreme Court on behalf of the United States.

• Receiving a national "Innovator" award for the cutting edge integration of computers into clinical care.

• Serving as lead negotiator for the international agreements for the International Space Station, providing for partner contributions valued at 8 billion dollars. She received the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics International Cooperation medal, having been nominated by her counterparts from Canada, Europe, Japan and Russia.

• Managing all equipment that soldiers need daily, from tents, kitchens and water, to portable latrines, laundry services, and ribbon bridges. He delivered over 9,000 highly-survivable Mine Resistant Ambush Protected vehicles to soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan within 2 years of program development, a process that normally takes 5-10 years.

• Designing a strategy to improve production and trade with five countries in West Africa, concentrating on crops and areas yielding the greatest impact in the shortest time. The strategy is expected to improve the lives of millions of Africans.

• Managing a Global Information Grid - a network which extends into 90 countries - assuring its infrastructure under all conditions including war, and providing "all the way to the foxhole" service, expanding information support by over ninety-times that of Desert Storm 1.

• Leading a regulatory agency that protects U.S. plant and animal health, and employs the Beagle Brigade which averages 75,000 seizures of prohibited agricultural products a year.

• Operating a worldwide suite of sensors which monitor for nuclear explosions and compliance with international treaties limiting nuclear testing. He pioneered surveillance satellite systems and established a nuclear radiation analysis capability now the best in the world.

• Shortening the time lapse between initial identification of a patient who may have suffered a Traumatic Brain Injury and completion of a comprehensive evaluation from more than 2 months to less than 2 weeks

• Ensuring the continuity of space weather services which provide advance warning of geomagnetic storms, thus protecting the Nation's electric power grid, satellite-based communications and the Global Positioning System.

• Overseeing maintenance and support of the Coast Guard's inventory of 200 aircraft, over 2,000 cutters and boats and 23,000 facilities, a total capital plant valued at $25 billion. He saved the government $37 million.

• Leading a successful effort to designate a nationwide three digit phone number – 511 – which provides real-time traffic and weather information for travelers, and changeable message signs, both of which have been used to issue emergency child abduction alerts.

• Overcoming a myriad of contracting, construction and legal challenges in managing the design and building of the first and currently only national 9/11 memorial that is expected to attract over a million visitors annually.

• Developing a vehicle mounted system with a novel ground penetrating radar to find improvised explosive devices buried in the road.

• Designing and implementing a preservation program which has awarded competitive grants and funded projects such as restoration of the Star Spangled Banner and the Ferry Building at Ellis Island.

• Providing leadership in the creation of the world's first Convention on Cybercrime, which requires parties to establish laws and cooperate in the fight against computer-related crime. The agreement has been signed by more than thirty European nations, as well as the U.S., Canada, Japan and South Africa.

• Serving as the senior career civilian executive charged with executing the first wartime presidential transition of the Department of Defense in 40 years

• Providing management and budget leadership to two decennial censuses, including the 2010 Census which hired 1.4 million people and cost almost $15 billion.

• Leading a team which built the largest and most powerful superconducting magnetic system used in the open ocean; much of the heat-transfer technology was transferred to the commercial magnetic-resonance-imaging machines used in medical testing today

• Piloting Space Shuttle flight STS-61B which was the first to deploy four satellites and fly the heaviest payload weight to orbit. He also commanded STS-40 for another first, the first Space Shuttle mission dedicated to life science studies.


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