Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Medal

The Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Medal is awarded every fall to recognize the achievements of exemplary federal public servants. 

Paul A. Volcker

In 2019, the Partnership for Public Service renamed the annual Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal honoring career achievement the “Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Award." The award, supported by a generous gift from Ray and Barbara Dalio, is presented to an honoree every fall as part of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (the “Sammies”). 

“Government functions best when it is staffed by civil servants who represent our most thoughtful and accomplished citizens. I am humbled to have this award dedicated in my name and thrilled to celebrate those who have devoted their careers to working for the public good.”

– Paul A. Volcker (1927 - 2019), Chairman and Founder of the Volcker Alliance

Winners and Nominees

Meet the Nominees

Finalists for the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Medal are ranked on demonstrated leadership, the significance and impact of their accomplishments, how well they foster innovation, and the extent to which they exemplify excellence in public service over a career of at least twenty years in the federal government.

Celebrating the Winners of the Paul A. Volcker Career Achievement Medal

2023 Winner: Melissa Emrey-Arras

Melissa Emrey-Arras transformed the oversight of critical higher education financial aid programs, cracking down on corrupt federal student loan schemes, pushing the Department of Education and colleges to calculate loan and schooling costs more accurately, and helping millions access federal student aid and have portions of their loans forgiven. 

2022 Winner: Dr. H. Clifford Lane, M.D.

Dr. Clifford Lane conducted pioneering work to combat HIV/AIDS that has saved countless lives, organized breakthrough clinical trials for Ebola in Africa, and helped establish medical guidelines to treat COVID-19 during the pandemic.

2021 Winner: Evan R. Kwerel, PhD

Evan R. Kwerel, Ph.D. pioneered the use of competitive spectrum auctions to allocate the public airwaves for sound, data and video transmissions, helping fuel the digital revolution while adding more than $200 billion to the government’s coffers.

2020 Winner: Dr. Ira Pastan

Dr. Ira Pastan discovered a new class of drugs that can successfully treat a rare form of leukemia and hold promise to be effective therapies for pancreatic and lung cancer as well as mesothelioma.

2019 Winner: Ann McKee, M.D.

Ann McKee revolutionized scientific research and our understanding of the long-term effects of concussions, including chronic traumatic encephalopathy, in veterans and athletes.