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Michelle Obama meets with award-winning feds

By Joe Davidson
Ed O'Keefe

First Lady Michelle Obama with winners of the 2010 Service to America Medals at the White House on Wednesday. (Photos courtesy Partnership for Public Service)

By The Post's Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson:

First Lady Michelle Obama on Wednesday honored eight federal employees who won this year's Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals.

Pius Bannis

The medals are presented annually by the nonprofit Partnership for Public Service to federal workers in various categories. The highest honor, Federal Employee of the Year, will be given tonight to Pius Bannis, a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services official, who helped hundreds of Haitian orphans find new families in the U.S. following the earthquake that hit the island nation in January.

The other winners are:

Jeffrey M. Baker

Jeffrey M. Baker, Science and Environment Medal. He led the design and construction of the world's largest net-zero energy office building, a 220,000-square foot structure in Golden, Colo. Net-zero means the building generates as much or more energy than it uses. Baker is director of laboratory management for the Energy Department's National Renew­able Energy Laboratory.

Sandra K. Brooks

Sandra K. Brooks, Homeland Security Medal. She uses innovative techniques to gather information about drug trafficking. As deputy director of intelligence and security for the Joint Interagency Task Force South, a network of federal agencies, she promotes advanced technology to detect stealth vessels used by drug smugglers.

Teri Glass

Teri Glass and the Army Medical Support Systems Team, National Security and International Affairs Medal. They developed life-saving medical evacuation equipment that has saved lives of Americans wounded in combat. Glass and the team created a kit that allows a wide range of vehicles, including Humvees, to be quickly converted into medical evacuation transportation.

Kelley and Ristow

Shane Kelley and Eva Ristow, Citizen Services Medal. They brought increased Social Security services to residents in remote sections of the country, particularly Indian reservations, by using two-way video technology. Their work "has increased the number of benefit ap­plications by nearly 80 percent among Native Americans at some of the reservations," according to the Partnership.

Jamie Konstas

Jamie Konstas, Justice and Law Enforcement Medal. This FBI intelligence analyst helped develop a national online database that the Partnership said "resulted in the conviction of more than 600 pimps and predators, and the rescue of more than 1,150" child prostitutes.

Susan Solomon

Susan Solomon, Career Achievement Medal. She is a senior scientist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, whose research "demonstrated how changes in surface temperature, rainfall and sea level are largely irreversible for more than 1,000 years after carbon dioxide emissions are completely stopped," according to the Partnership.

Saskia van Gendt

Saskia van Gendt, Call to Service Medal. She is an Environmental Protection Agency scientist, who developed an online competition to recognize building designs that reduce environmental impact, by cutting waste and minimizing energy consumption.

The winners will receive their medals at a gala Wednesday evening. They also were honored during a luncheon at The Washington Post, which collaborates with the Partnership on online and print features related to federal employees.

The winners were selected from more than 400 workers nominated by their colleagues.

Leave your thoughts in the comments section below

By Joe Davidson  | September 15, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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It is good to be the Queen

Posted by: jiji1 | September 15, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

These federal employees, who work for the taxpayers, have made amazing contributions to society. Congratulations to all of them.

Posted by: Aquarius1 | September 16, 2010 9:44 AM | Report abuse

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