For Immediate Release: Oct. 14, 2020
By Warren Duffie Jr., Office of Naval Research
ARLINGTON, Va.—On Oct. 13, three senior executives from the Office of Naval Research (ONR) and Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) received the renowned Presidential Rank Awards.
The Hon. James Geurts—assistant secretary of the Navy for Research, Development and Acquisition—presented the prizes during an all-hands webcast hosted by Chief of Naval Research Rear Adm. Lorin C. Selby.
Established in 1978, the Presidential Rank Awards represent the top awards that civilian federal employees can receive. They’re given by the president of the United States to members of the federal Senior Executive Service (SES) who have overseen successful initiatives with a sweeping impact.
The awards also celebrate senior-career employees with sustained records of exceptional professional, technical or scientific achievement recognized on a national or international level. Winners of the awards are considered strong, high-performing leaders who personify excellence in public service.
“Only about 68 SES members receive this award each year—out of a federal civilian workforce of 1.8 million,” said Geurts. “They represent a small percentage, so it’s awesome we have three winners representing the Naval Research Enterprise.
“This is a great example of how the Department of the Navy grooms world-class talent and executive experience in its civilian workforce,” he continued.
The ONR and NRL winners are:
- E. Anne Sandel, ONR executive director. Sandel is responsible for oversight of the coordination, execution and promotion of science and technology for the Navy and Marine Corps. During her career, she served as deputy assistant secretary of the Navy, and was the first female Civilian Program Executive Officer (PEO LMW). In addition, she has overseen portfolios that include littoral and mine warfare systems, surface warfare systems and the Navy’s International Programs, to name a few.
- Dr. Craig Hoffman, superintendent of NRL’s Optical Sciences Division. Hoffman formerly served as ONR’s chief scientist and acting portfolio director. He has conducted pioneering research on the susceptibility of infrared detectors and infrared focal plane arrays to laser radiation.
- Dr. Igor Medintz, senior scientist for biosensors and biomaterials at NRL’s Center for Bio/Molecular Science and Engineering. Medintz is working on breakthroughs in subjects like bio-sensing, nanomedicine and energy harvesting to enhance warfighter capabilities and battle-system components. He is an inventor on 26 issued patents, one of which was commercially licensed, and nine other pending applications.
“These three winners reflect the importance of the Naval Research Enterprise’s mission—re-imagining naval power,” said Selby. “This requires an extraordinary group of people working with dedication, vision, integrity and excellence.
“It’s also important to note these senior civilian leaders have helped create and nurture environments leading to scientific innovation and achievement,” he continued. “They’ve applied their knowledge and expertise to strengthening the Navy and Marine Corps. Today’s Presidential Rank Awards recognize and honor their commitment.”
Warren Duffie Jr. is a contractor for ONR Corporate Strategic Communications.
About the Office of Naval Research
The Department of the Navy’s Office of Naval Research provides the science and technology necessary to maintain the Navy and Marine Corps’ technological advantage. Through its affiliates, ONR is a leader in science and technology with engagement in 50 states, 55 countries, 634 institutions of higher learning and nonprofit institutions, and more than 960 industry partners. ONR, through its commands, including headquarters, ONR Global and the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., employs more than 3,800 people, comprising uniformed, civilian and contract personnel.