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Glenn Mahone/Doc Mirelson
Headquarters, Washington
(Phone: 202/358-1898/1600)
May 5, 2004
RELEASE : 04-150
NASA Senior Executives Recognized By White House
Five distinguished NASA executives were invited to a White House ceremony Wednesday afternoon to receive the prestigious Presidential Rank Awards for 2003. Dr. John Mather, a Senior Astrophysicist in the Infrared Astrophysics Branch, at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md. received a 2003 Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Senior Professionals.

NASA Deputy Administrator, Frederick Gregory; NASA Assistant Administrator, Office of Procurement, Tom Luedtke; NASA Assistant Administrator, Office of Human Resources, Vicki Novak; and John Talone, Director of International Space Station/Payload Processing at NASA's Kennedy Space Center, Fla. received 2003 Presidential Rank Awards for Distinguished Executives.

The President annually honors a select group of career members of the Senior Executive Service (SES) and Senior Level Scientific and Professional (SL/ST) corps. The honorees are selected for outstanding leadership accomplishments and service over an extended period of time in some of the nation's most critical positions in the federal government.

"The entire NASA family is proud of the accomplishments of these fine senior executives," said NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe. "They have demonstrated leadership by personal example, backed by a thorough knowledge of their areas of expertise, is the most effective way to operate in a fast moving, stressful environment," Administrator O'Keefe said.

President Bush conferred the rank of Distinguished Executive on 55 members of the SES, and the rank of Distinguished Senior Professional on six members of the SL/ST corps.

"President George W. Bush's actions highlight these exemplary leaders and confirm that these executives and senior professionals are some of our best who achieve great results and demonstrate a strong commitment to the call of public service," said Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Director Kay Coles James.

"At this critical juncture in our nation's history, the American people demand and deserve only the most qualified leaders to work on their behalf. They are examples of the best and the brightest the federal government has to offer. The American Civil Service is the best in the world, and these individuals represent the essence and spirit of service to the nation," Coles said.

The Distinguished Executive may be awarded to one percent of the approximately 7,600 career members of the SES and SL/ST corps, and it includes a cash award of 35 percent of base pay. The Meritorious Rank Award may be given to five percent of the career SES and includes a cash award of 20 percent of base pay.

A list of the 2003 Presidential Rank Award recipients is available on the OPM Web site at:

For information about NASA and agency programs on the Internet, visit:


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