The Secretary’s Award for Excellence recognizes outstanding achievement or innovation by an employee or team engaged in work to advance the mission of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. This work may have resulted in superior performance, significant operational improvements, or notable innovation in support of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s missions.
This year's winners are listed below, along with a description of their contributions and achievements:
For outstanding collaboration in executing the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Radiation Portal Monitor program, reducing the number of false alarms and savings of $67 million for monitors, maintenance, and personnel, while securing the homeland against radiological and nuclear threats.
Radiation Portal Monitor Team
Kevin A. Phoenix, DNDO John M. Backadar, DNDO Shaunna A. Haynes, DNDO Katrina J. Wright, DNDO Michele E. DeCroix, DNDO Julian G. Hill, DNDO Michael A. Krstich, DNDO Todd E. Pardue, DNDO Paul F. Spraggs, DNDO LaFonda D. Sutton-Burke, CBP Kevin M. Murphy, CBP Fred D. Owen, CBP Kavitha P. Aiyappa, CBP Raymond P. Kraft, CBP Kathy R. McCormick, CBP Edward Morono
For successfully leading a multi-agency task force to enhance comprehensive security at the White House Complex.
U.S. Secret Service Review Team
Brian J. Puchalsky, OGC Victoria Rapoport, OGC John F. Havranek, OGC Scot R. Rittenberg , ICE William S. Walker, ICE John P. Kelleghan, ICE Marty J. Martinez, USCG Kevin S. Brown, USCG Scott E. Rutz, USCG James R. Suprynowicz, USCG
For outstanding collaboration and success on the development of Employment Authorization for Certain H-4 Dependent Spouses program. This rulemaking will help the United States attract and retain high skilled workers.
H-4 Rulemaking Team
Christina E. McDonald, OGC Timothy T. Dodd, OGC Charlotte M. Skey, OGC Brian D. Kelliher, OGC Jason A. Levy, OGC Micah N. Bump, USCIS Heesun S. Choi, USCIS Shavari P. Dalal-Dheini, USCIS Marguerite P. Kleczek, USCIS Kevin J. Cummings, USCIS Ciro A. Parascandola, USCIS Jennifer R. Oppenheim , USCIS Kathleen M. Angustia, USCIS Kelsey L. Binder, USCIS Samantha L. Deshommes, USCIS Liana M. Miranda-Valido, USCIS
For exceptional collaboration and achievement in creating a system for real-time information sharing between the Department and other national security systems.
Intelligence Enterprise Cross Domain Team
George T. Marenic, CBP Tony Sanchious, MGMT Gil Woodard, OIAA David M. Mannix, OIAA Billy S. Douglas, USSS Steven M. Weiss, USSS
For outstanding accomplishment and customer service for inspection services at U.S. ports of entry.
Reimbursable Services Program – Mission Support Project Team
Albert Barnes, CBP Michael K. Bezich, CBP Felicia A. Nailing, CBP Tara Ross, CBP Alison M. Kearns, CBP Brienne K. Gibson, CBP Peter Rodford, CBP Michael J. McInerney, CBP Simon Stella, CBP Andrew S. Kosegi, CBP Salvatore D. Vetrini, CBP Jose M. Fabre, CBP Sarah J. Lowery, CBP Colleen M. Brown, CBP Nanette D. Voll, CBP Denise L. Oliveri, CBP Katherine Stark, CBP Shannon McCully, CBP Stephanie Talton, CBP Joseph A. Croce, FLETC Karene Smith Clint Lamm
For leading extraordinary outreach and engagement with communities across the country to keep our communities safe.
For collaboration in producing written guidance to assist impacted communities’ response to disasters.
Effective Coordination Guide Development Team
Rachel Meyerson, FEMA O. Ociel Nava, FEMA Angelina Leger, FEMA Jennifer Ryan, FEMA Kehla West, FEMA Travis Montgomery, FEMA Kimberly Guymon-Lemoult, FEMA Earl W. Zuelke, Jr., FEMA Ian Becherer-Gerrie, FEMA Kenyetta Blunt, FEMA
For outstanding leadership and contributions to the Department of Homeland Security Financial System Modernization Program.
Christine L. Rodriguez, MGMT
For creating an innovative engagement program model to build community resilience against the threat of violent extremism.
Haroon Azar, NPPD
For outstanding bilateral cooperation with Mexico in facilitating the repatriation of Mexican nationals.
Repatriation Technical Working Group
Michael Huston, PLCY Ralph McClure, PLCY Joseph Banco, CBP Sergio Flores, CBP William Hoekema, CBP Marlen Pineiro, ICE Jennifer R. Lamoureux, ICE
For outstanding service in managing cargo security programs for the Science and Technology Directorate.
David Z. Taylor, S&T
For superior performance and service as the first manager of the Information-Based Screening and Vetting Portfolio.
Deborah Kent, TSA
For exemplary service in managing the enhancement of security features for documents in support of the Department’s mission to secure the Nation.
Letters and Notices Security Enhancements Project Team
Ernest B. Duarte Jr., USCIS Thomas F. Pero, USCIS
For successfully leading a multi-agency investigation of an organized criminal group resulting in multiple arrests, approximately $750,000 in seized assets, and the recovery of over 15,000 credit card numbers.