2016 Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Medal: Tom Mariani, Steven O’Rourke and Sarah HimmelhochThe 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, polluting water, damaging hundreds of miles beaches and wetlands, and harming birds, dolphins, fish, sea turtles and other marine life. Tom Mariani, Steven O’Rourke and Sarah Himmelhoch led the federal government’s landmark lawsuit against oil giant BP to remedy the devastating environmental and economic damage from the spill. After five years of litigation, the Department of Justice and five states secured a record-breaking $20.8 billion settlement against the company, the government’s largest-ever civil penalty against a single defendant. Learn more about the medalist's accomplishments at servicetoamericamedals.org.
Exploring “The Peaceful Transfer of Power”
October 14, 2022 | 46 minutes
n the latest episode of "Profiles in Public Service," we hear from Guatam Raghavan, the director of the White House Office of Presidential Personnel for the Biden administration and a former team lead for Biden presidential transition. Raghavan identifies the key takeaways from his experience working on the Biden presidential transition and discusses the process of recruiting nearly 4,000 presidential appointees for positions across the government. Raghavan also discusses his own journey into public service, and why anyone passionate about making a positive difference should consider applying to work in the government. Valerie Smith Boyd, the director of the Partnership's Center for Presidential Transition, and David Marchick, author of "The Peaceful Transfer of Power: An Oral History of Presidential Transitions," join Raghavan to discuss the challenges the Biden transition team faced in 2020-2021, and the importance of the peaceful transfer of power for our democracy.
A Deep Dive into Ocean Science and Scientific Integrity
September 30, 2022 | 46 minutes
In the latest episode of "Profiles in Public Service," we hear from 2022 Service to America Medals® finalist Craig McLean, who spent four decades at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration improving our nation's understanding of ocean activity in relation to global warming, severe weather and marine life. Ben Friedman, the agency's longest serving deputy under secretary for operations, joins McLean to discuss NOAA's commitment to scientific integrity and the importance of environmental careers in the federal government.
Keeping Promises to the 9/11 Community
September 9, 2022 | 37 minutes
2022 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals® finalist Rupa Bhattacharyya revitalized the federal program responsible for awarding claims to victims of the September 11th terrorist attacks, including the families of those who were on site or responded that day, as well as people who lived, worked or went to school near the attack sites.
Collaborating with Communities to Improve Health Equity
August 26, 2022 | 44 minutes
In 2021, Service to America Medals® finalist Suma Nair launched a major federal initiative to ensure that community-based health centers could access lifesaving resources to adequately respond to COVID-19. Ian Munar from International Community Health Services in Seattle, Washington, and Noah Nesin, the chief medical officer at Penobscot Community Health Care in Penobscot, Maine, witnessed the tremendous impact that Nair’s program at the Health Resources and Services Administration had on the people they serve, many of whom face barriers to accessing personalized health care services. These three public servants discuss their experiences working in community health care, and why collaboration between federal and local leaders is critical to improving health equity in America.