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The Secretary’s Award for Excellence 2015

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:

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - Radiation Portal Monitor Team

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

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - U.S. Secret Service Review Team

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

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - H-4 Rulemaking Team

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

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - Intelligence Enterprise Cross Domain Team

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

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - the Reimbursable Services Program - Mission Support Project Team

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

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - Community Engagement Section Team

For leading extraordinary outreach and engagement with communities across the country to keep our communities safe.

Community Engagement Section Team

Kareem Shora, CRCL
Nadia Batcha, CRCL
Ehsan Zaffar, CRCL
Haris Tarin, CRCL

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - Effective Coordination Guide Development Team

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

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - Christine L. Rodriguez

For outstanding leadership and contributions to the Department of Homeland Security Financial System Modernization Program.

Christine L. Rodriguez, MGMT

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - Haroon Azar

For creating an innovative engagement program model to build community resilience against the threat of violent extremism.

Haroon Azar, NPPD

The Secretary's Valor Award 2015 - Repatriation Technical Working Group

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

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - David Taylor

For outstanding service in managing cargo security programs for the Science and Technology Directorate.

David Z. Taylor, S&T

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - Deborah Kent

For superior performance and service as the first manager of the Information-Based Screening and Vetting Portfolio.

Deborah Kent, TSA

The Secretary's Excellence Award 2015 - Letters and Notices Security Enhancements Project Team

 

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.

Douglas J. Dean, USSS

Last Published Date: November 6, 2015

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