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Partnership for Public Service Founder Wins Presidential Citizens Medal

By Ed O'Keefe

President George W. Bush stands with Sam Heyman after presenting him with the 2008 Presidential Citizens Medal on Wednesday, Dec. 10, 2008, in the White House Oval Office. (Photo Courtesy of the White House, Chris Greenberg)

As President Bush prepares to leave office, he awarded his final round of the Presidential Citizens Medal earlier this week to a handful of individuals including Samuel Heyman, founder of the Partnership for Public Service, who established the organization in 2001 to inspire more people to join the public sector and help transform the federal government’s performance.

In his award citation, Bush said Heyman “has acted on his steadfast devotion to our Nation. By encouraging young leaders to answer the call of public service, he has helped promote a vibrant Federal workforce. The United States honors Samuel Heyman for his dedication to improving the efficiency, transparency, and accountability of the Federal Government.”

The Yale and Harvard Law graduate started out as a Justice Department lawyer and later served as an assistant U.S. attorney in Connecticut before leaving government work in 1968 to take control of his family’s commercial real estate business. The current chairman of International Specialty Products and chairman of the partnership, he established a program at Harvard Law School in 1999 in an effort to encourage Crimson graduates to seek careers with the federal government. In 2001, as an expansion of his efforts at Harvard, he started the Partnership for Public Service with $45 million.

The partnership has become a valuable resource for government professionals and the media through its seminars, recruitment initiatives and publications, including "Where The Jobs Are," its review of "mission critical" government positions, and the widely popular "Best Places to Work" rankings of government agencies.

President Richard M. Nixon was the first to award the Presidential Citizens Medal in 1969, in recognition of Americans that have performed “exemplary deeds of service for the nation.” It is the second-highest honor that a president confers on civilians, behind the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Heyman and 22 other people received the honor from Bush this year. Read about the other award recipients here.

By Ed O'Keefe  | December 12, 2008; 11:39 AM ET
Categories:  Public Service  
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