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Excellence in Federal Service Recognized by the George Washington University with Arthur S. Flemming Awards

May 20, 2013

202-994-1849; [email protected]
Jill Sankey
202-994-6466; [email protected]

WASHINGTON—An emergency preparedness and response expert, a researcher specializing in radiation detection and a litigator committed to protecting the environment are among the 13 federal employees who will be honored by the Commission of the Arthur S. Flemming Awards. The 64th annual Flemming Awards are presented by the Flemming Commission and the George Washington University, in cooperation with the National Academy of Public Administration.

The Flemming Awards honor individuals with three to 15 years of federal service for their exceptional contributions to the federal government. Recipients are nominated by their federal agency and then selected from a pool of nominees through a competitive judging process. Awardees are selected based on their work performance and factors such as leadership, community service and their potential for continued excellence.

A ceremony honoring these individuals will take place on June 10 at the George Washington University. At that time, award winners will be honored with a medal for their contributions. Nobel Prize Leaureate William Phillips, a previous Flemming Award recipient, will deliver the keynote address.

This year’s award recipients, organized by award category, include:

Applied Science

Timothy Persons, United States Government Accountability Office
Dr. Persons has been selected for his sustained excellence as the chief scientist at the U.S. Government Accountability Office. In his current role, he has reestablished a technology assessment function in the legislative branch and provided Congress with outstanding scientific and technical professional expertise on a variety of subjects.

Joel Ullom, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce
Dr. Ullom has been selected for his exceptional accomplishments in the field of physics. He has developed and deployed a revolutionary type of high-resolution radiation detector to solve important national measurement problems related to nuclear non-proliferation, nuclear forensics and advanced materials analysis.

Basic Science

Kathryn Beers, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce
Dr. Beers has been selected for her outstanding service as a chemist. She has been at the forefront of research innovations in controlled polymer synthesis, microfluidic technology for the production and analysis of new materials and creative approaches to advance green polymer chemistry.

Gretchen Campbell, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce
Dr. Campbell has been selected for her pioneering accomplishments as a physicist in the emerging field of atomtronics. Her work has received international attention and is opening new avenues of fundamental research with potential applications in sensors, metrology and devices with new kinds of functionality.


David Bray, Office of the Director of National Intelligence
Dr. Bray has been selected for his exceptional accomplishments in emergency preparedness and response throughout his distinguished government career. In his current role, he has pioneered national information sharing and protection efforts across the defense, intelligence, law enforcement, homeland security and diplomatic communities.

Leticia Pibida, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce
Dr. Pibida has been selected for her tireless efforts to ensure that the nation’s security and first response communities have the necessary radiation detection equipment. This equipment is designed to the highest standards and is used in a continuing effort to guard against radiological and nuclear threats on U.S. soil. 

Amy O’Hara, U.S. Census Bureau
Ms. O’Hara has been selected in recognition of her outstanding leadership in addressing the legal, policy and methodological issues surrounding the expanded use of administrative records data in federal statistics. Throughout her federal career, she has developed innovative research programs integrating administrative records data into Census Bureau statistical methods and products. Ms. O’ Hara has also worked to reduce respondent burden, lower data collection costs and improve data quality.

Philip Puxley, National Science Foundation
Dr. Puxley has been selected for his exceptional skill in program management and his continued dedication to the U.S. scientific community. His efforts have secured a leadership position for the National Science Foundation in international science, engineering and education, and have resulted in significant contributions in the field.

Legal Achievement

Kathryn Hellings, Antitrust Division, Department of Justice
Ms. Hellings has been selected for her remarkable accomplishments as a litigator. Ms. Hellings has been a lead prosecutor on major international cartel investigations and has successfully prosecuted multinational firms and executives.

Kathryn Macdonald, Environment & Natural Resource Division, Department of Justice
Ms. Macdonald has been selected for her unprecedented accomplishments in protecting the environment and enhancing the quality of life in several communities throughout the country. Ms. Macdonald negotiated the largest Clean Water Act settlement in history, and her efforts have recovered millions of dollars that are being used to clean pollution and restore natural resources.

Francesca Ugolini, Tax Division, Department of Justice
Ms. Ugolini has been selected for her exceptional record of accomplishments as an appellate attorney. She presents complicated issues arising in federal tax cases with remarkable clarity. Ms. Ugolini’s presentations enable appellate judges to fully comprehend both the substance and the correctness of the government’s positions. As a result of her efforts, the government has saved more than one billion dollars of tax revenue. 

Social Science, Clinical Trials and Translational Research

Michal Chojnacky, National Institute of Standards and Technology, Department of Commerce
Ms. Chojnacky has been selected for her remarkable achievements as a physicist. She has translated laboratory research in temperature measurement to public health clinics and primary care physician offices. Ms. Chojnacky has developed a suite of tools and training materials that are dramatically improving vaccine storage, handling and monitoring, helping to ensure the potency of vaccines distributed each year around the world.

Paul Jablonski, U.S. Department of Energy
Dr. Jablonski has been selected for his significant contributions in developing a platinum-chromium alloy that is used to manufacture the next generation of coronary stents. This technology makes it easier for coronary specialists to see the stent in the catheter during insertion, placement and expansion. The alloy also increases stents’ corrosive resistance, strength and flexibility, which benefits both patients and cardiovascular surgeons.

In the heart of the nation's capital with additional programs in Virginia, the George Washington University was created by an Act of Congress in 1821. Today, GW is the largest institution of higher education in the District of Columbia. The university offers comprehensive programs of undergraduate and graduate liberal arts study, as well as degree programs in medicine, public health, law, engineering, education, business and international affairs. Each year, GW enrolls a diverse population of undergraduate, graduate and professional students from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and more than 130 countries.