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The Oscars of Federal Service: A USDOT Employee Among the Finalists

Posted by the Office of Public Affairs

Every year, Federal employees across the country are responsible for many noteworthy and inspiring accomplishments that are seldom recognized or celebrated. The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, known as the Sammies, highlight excellence in our federal workforce and inspire other talented and dedicated individuals to go into public service.

The Sammies are a highly respected honor with a vigorous selection process. Named for the Partnership for Public Service’s late founder who was inspired by President Kennedy’s call to serve in 1963, these awards align with his vision of a dynamic and innovative federal workforce that meets the needs of the American people.

Ariel Gold, the Data Program Manager for the Intelligent Transportation Systems Joint Program Office (ITS JPO) is one of only a handful of DOT employees over the past several decades who was named a finalist in a competitive field of outstanding nominations. In the 2018 Management Excellence category, Gold was nominated for “improved data sharing to accelerate the adoption of new technologies that increase transportation safety and efficiency, including self-driving cars and vehicles that communicate with one another”.

In her nomination, Under Secretary of Transportation Derek Kan notes, “Her efforts helped the department and our stakeholders navigate a once-in-a-generation technology shift and redefine the federal role in accelerating the safe deployment of automated vehicles and other emerging technologies.’’

The Partnership is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to help make our government more effective, and the Sammies honorees represent the many exceptional federal workers who are doing just that—breaking down barriers, overcoming huge challenges and getting results. Whether they’re defending the homeland, protecting the environment, ensuring public safety, making scientific and medical discoveries, or responding to natural and man-made disasters, these men and women put service before self and make a lasting difference.

Samuel J. Heyman believed that “the future of our nation quite simply depends on the quality of our government.” The Sammies are the Partnership’s way of showing the world the many ways our government is making our country better, safer and stronger.

Winners are announced in the fall.

Ariel Gold Photo
Ariel Gold speaking at a January 21, 2018 event at DOT on the promise of the Safety Data Initiative