February 15, 2021
Flemming Awards: Celebrating exceptional public service
The Atlantic Council GeoTech Center joins the Arthur S. Flemming Awards in recognizing exceptional public service amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Established in 1948, the Flemming Awards honor outstanding federal employees. Recognized by the president of the United States, agency heads, and the private sector, the winners are selected from all areas of the federal service. The Awards aimed to:
- to recognize outstanding service;
- to attract and recruit outstanding talent to the public service; and
- to retain the “best of the best” in government service, for the benefit of the Nation at large.
The Arthur S. Flemming Award stands out among the more than 40 awards associated with government service. It has always been run entirely by the private sector, with financial support from major corporations. Apart from nominating candidates for the Award, government agencies have no involvement whatsoever. The Award brings no financial consideration. Its prestige is considered to be reward enough in and of itself.
The Flemming Awards alumni include many whose names are well-known. To name a few, past award recipients include Daniel Patrick Moynihan, Paul Volcker, Jr., John Chancellor, Neil Armstrong, Mary Elizabeth Hanford (now Elizabeth Dole), Robert Gates, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and William Phillips (Nobel laureate in 1997). More than 700 individuals have received the award to date.
After a one-year hiatus for 1996 out of respect for Dr. Flemming’s passing, The George Washington University (GWU) assumed sponsorship and overall responsibility for the program in 1997. The Trachtenberg School of Public Policy and Public Administration at GWU has been the home and has managed the Flemming awards ever since. The Arthur S. Flemming Awards Commission, the Atlantic Council, Federal Management Systems, National Academy of Public Administration, and the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy & Public Administration (George Washington University) would like to celebrate some of the award winners.
Celebrating medical research with Andrea Apolo
In this video we recognize 2020 Arthur S. Flemming award winner Dr. Andrea Apolo who is interviewed by GeoTech Center inaugural director Dr. David Bray regarding their career and efforts in public service. Dr. Apolo is a Lasker Clinical Research Scholar, Tenure-Track Investigator, and Chief of the Bladder Cancer Section of the Genitourinary Malignancies Branch of the National Cancer Institute.
Celebrating public health with Dr. Duncan MacCannell
In this video we recognize 2020 Arthur S. Flemming award winner Dr. Duncan MacCannell who is interviewed by GeoTech Center inaugural director Dr. David Bray regarding their career and efforts in public service. Dr. MacCannell is the chief science officer for the CDC’s Office of Advanced Molecular Detection (OAMD).
Celebrating labor relations with Samantha Thomas
In this video we recognize 2020 Arthur S. Flemming award winner Samantha Thomas who is interviewed by GeoTech Center inaugural director Dr. David Bray regarding their career and efforts in public service. Samantha Thomas is an Associate Regional Solicitor (Region 3) at the US Department of Labor.
Arthur S. Flemming
The Award bears the name of the quintessential civil servant Arthur S. Flemming. He served more Presidents in an official capacity than any other person, before or since. In 1939 President Franklin Roosevelt appointed him to the US Civil Service Commission. At 34 Flemming was the youngest person ever to have been appointed to such an office. His career was non-partisan – Presidents of both parties retained his services – and he served in a significant capacity under every President from Roosevelt to Clinton, except for Reagan, who dismissed him from his chairmanship of the US Commission for Civil Rights for being too outspoken in his views. He was Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare in the second Eisenhower administration 1958-61. President Clinton awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1994. He was still working at the age of 91, as a member of the Commission on Aging and as co-chair of the S.O.S. (Save Our Security) Coalition, when he died in September 1996.