Recognizing the Outstanding Accomplishments of EPA’s Public Servants

By Acting Deputy Administrator Stan Meiburg

Every day, EPA employees work in offices, laboratories, regions, and communities across the country to protect public health and the environment we all share. Whether they are investigating pollution issues at the community level, conducting cutting-edge research on environmental health impacts, working behind the scenes on the legal aspects of rulemakings, advancing environmental justice, or carrying out activities that support all of these efforts – these public servants are on the front lines of environmental protection.

This week is Public Service Recognition Week, and there is no better time to congratulate our extraordinary colleagues whose efforts above and beyond the call of duty are being recognized and honored by entities beyond the agency.

This week, two members of the EPA family were named as “Sammie Award” finalists and are in the running for prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals. These awards, also known as the “Oscars of government service,” are a highly respected honor bestowed to individuals through a very rigorous selection process.

Photograph of David Hindin

David Hindin, a Senior Policy Director in OECA, is a finalist in the “Science and Environment” category. David leads EPA’s Next Generation Compliance initiative to modernize EPA’s enforcement program and take advantage of the latest technologies and innovations to more effectively find and fix pollution problems.

Photograph of Jessica Zomer.Jessica Zomer, an Attorney-Advisor in EPA’s Office of General Counsel, is a finalist in the “Call to Serve” category. Jessica is nominated for her exceptional work as the lead attorney supporting a regulation under the Clean Water Act that will reduce the amount of toxic pollution discharged by power plants into our nation’s waterways by over 1.4 billion pounds annually.

In addition, two of our EPA colleagues are receiving the prestigious Arthur S. Flemming Award, which honors outstanding federal employees who have between three and fifteen years of government service. The award is presented by the Arthur S. Flemming Commission and the George Washington University Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration, in cooperation with the National Academy of Public Administration.

Dr. Gayle Hagler, an Environmental Engineer in EPA’s Office of Research and Development is being awarded for her leadership as an environmental engineer on the Village Green Project. Her project team developed an efficient, solar-powered monitoring platform that incorporates research-grade environmental sensors into a park bench structure that can be located anywhere – filling important data gaps in air monitoring and raising public awareness about air quality.

Photograph of Elliott B. ZenickAnd Elliott B. Zenick, an Attorney Advisor in the Office of the General Counsel is being recognized for his leadership in managing the EPA legal team that developed the Clean Power Plan’s innovative approach of providing states with wide latitude y in developing their own emissions reduction plans for carbon pollution from power plants.

These members of the EPA family have earned our warmest congratulations. All of them would say that their recognition is a symbol of the work done by all EPA employees to fulfill our mission of making our country healthier, stronger, and safer.  Kudos to David, Jessica, Gayle and Elliott for their great work!

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Celebrating Sammie Winner Jacob Moss

By Administrator Gina McCarthy

I’m thrilled to announce that our EPA colleague Jacob Moss is the winner of one of this year’s prestigious Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also known as the “Sammie” award. Sammies are awarded each year by the Partnership for Public Service to a small number of federal employees with impressive accomplishments. They’re a big deal, and while EPA has had fantastic nominees in the recent past, Jacob is EPA’s first winner in several years.

Jacob truly exemplifies the spirit of this Environment and Science Medal for his work spearheading a global initiative that seeks to eliminate the threat of toxic smoke from indoor cookstoves, one of the deadliest threats facing billions of people across the developing world. According to the World Health Organization, exposure to smoke from cooking fires is the developing world’s fourth worst health risk, responsible for an estimated 4.3 million premature deaths every year.

In 2010, Jacob was a driving force behind the development of the Global Alliance for Clean Cookstoves, a partnership led by the United Nations Foundation with 10 U.S. federal agencies and more than 1,300 partners across the globe. He has since coordinated U.S. government efforts under the Alliance, leading the development of an initial 5-year, $50 million commitment which has since grown to over $114 million. Under Jacob’s leadership, the United States announced last November additional anticipated support that could bring this investment up to $325 million by 2020.

In total, the partners in the Alliance have committed to investments of more than $500 million (beyond the U.S. investments) to meet a goal of improving 500 million lives in 100 million households by 2020. By reaching this 2020 goal, the Alliance estimates that this work will save 640,000 lives, create 2.1 million jobs, and offset 1.6 billion metric tons of CO2-equivalent. The Alliance’s partners are on target to meet this 2020 goal, and they have already reached 28 million homes with cleaner and more efficient cooking solutions.

Jacob’s first introduction to the environmental challenges associated with cookstoves came when he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Togo, West Africa in the late 1980s. He began his work on cookstoves at EPA in 2002 when he helped launch an international partnership to address this pollution. By 2007, through EPA’s Partnership for Clean Indoor Air, EPA efforts were helping hundreds of thousands of people. In 2010 the Global Alliance was formed.

Jacob’s work is an example of many years of dedication, resourcefulness, and tenacity that we can all be inspired by and proud of. The work being honored by this Sammie Medal not only serves this country, but countries and people around the world. This is work that saves lives. Congratulations on your achievement, Jacob, and from all of us at EPA, thank you for all you do.

ABOUT JACOB

Jacob grew up in Houston, Texas, went to college at Ithaca in New York state and then joined the Peace Corps in Togo, West Africa.  Jacob started at EPA as a Senior Policy Analyst in 1999.  He lives in Washington, D.C. and likes to spend time with his daughter, play tennis, and travel. Jacob has additional experience with GE Capital Corporation, Clean Water Action, the Peace Corps, and IBM.  He holds a bachelor’s degree in engineering physics from Cornell University and a Master of Public Policy degree from Princeton University.

Editor's Note: The views expressed here are intended to explain EPA policy. They do not change anyone's rights or obligations. You may share this post. However, please do not change the title or the content, or remove EPA’s identity as the author. If you do make substantive changes, please do not attribute the edited title or content to EPA or the author.

EPA's official web site is www.epa.gov. Some links on this page may redirect users from the EPA website to specific content on a non-EPA, third-party site. In doing so, EPA is directing you only to the specific content referenced at the time of publication, not to any other content that may appear on the same webpage or elsewhere on the third-party site, or be added at a later date.

EPA is providing this link for informational purposes only. EPA cannot attest to the accuracy of non-EPA information provided by any third-party sites or any other linked site. EPA does not endorse any non-government websites, companies, internet applications or any policies or information expressed therein.