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2020 Secretary’s Awards

The 2020 Secretary’s Awards honor the work, sacrifice, and professional excellence of 112 employees from components all across the Department of Homeland Security. These colleagues highlighted below have performed above and beyond the call of duty, responding in extraordinary ways to the challenges of protecting the homeland. These individuals have displayed a special dedication to the mission of homeland security, setting a sterling example for all DHS employees who share their commitment to the Department and to the American people.

  • Exceptional Service

    The Secretary grants the Exceptional Service Gold Medal in recognition of exceptionally outstanding leadership or service that is distinguished by achievements of national or international significance, reflecting great credit on the Department of Homeland Security and the federal government by markedly improving the security of our homeland.

  • Meritorious Service

    The 2020 Secretary’s Meritorious Service Silver Medal is the second highest form of recognition bestowed by the Department of Homeland Security. It recognizes outstanding leadership, superior public service, or significant contributions to strengthening homeland security.

  • Leadership Excellence

    The Secretary's Award for Leadership Excellence Award recognizes two individuals who exemplify the Department of Homeland Security’s leadership philosophy, principles and core values of integrity, vigilance and respect.

  • Exemplary Service

    The 2020 Secretary’s Award for Exemplary Service is granted to employees who have achieved outstanding performance in all aspects of their work, warranting special commendation. Employees in administrative, technical, clerical, and general support positions throughout the agency are critical to meeting the department’s goals. This award provides an opportunity to honor these employees whose deeds often go unrecognized.

  • Valor

    The 2020 Secretary’s Award for Valor is the department’s highest award for extraordinary acts of heroism or courage involving great risk by employees under unusual circumstances. To be eligible for this award, an employee must have demonstrated heroism or courage in an emergency – on or off duty.

  • Diversity Management

    The 2020 Secretary’s Award for Diversity Management recognizes an employee, supervisor, or manager who has excelled in efforts to promote diversity through exceptional, effective leadership, innovation, and perseverance. The award may acknowledge individual efforts exclusively within the department, or with external partners who assist the Department of Homeland Security in meeting our commitment to diversity.

  • COVID-19 Pandemic Heroism

    The 2020 Secretary’s COVID-19 Pandemic Heroism Award was created to recognize exceptional and dedicated work and selfless response in the face of this deadly and perilous coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that erupted around the world and in this nation.

  • Volunteer Service

    The 2020 Secretary’s Award for Volunteer Service recognizes significant contributions by DHS employees who serve as volunteers with non-profit or community service programs that provide sustained and meaningful results for individuals, or the greater public good.

Last Updated: 01/18/2022
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