Government Executive Media Group Announces the Winners of the 2020 Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Awards
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Government Executive Media Group Announces the Winners of the 2020 Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Awards

Oct. 9, 2020

Washington, DC (October 9, 2020) — Government Executive, the leading provider of news for federal government managers, held its second annual Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Awards as a three-day virtual event. This year’s event was hosted by Emmy-winner and moderator of “Meet the Press,” Chuck Todd and held virtually including video segments with high-profile guests and messages by winners from October 6-8 due to concern over large gatherings during the pandemic.

The 2020 Theodore Roosevelt Leadership Award Winners:


  • Stephen Lee – Senior Scientist, Army Research Office, Defense Department
  • Nathan Ainspan – Senior Research Psychologist, Military-Civilian Transition Office, Defense Department


  • John Wagner – Former Deputy Executive Assistant Commissioner, Office of Field Operations, Customs and Border Protection, Homeland Security Department
  • Dr. Gail K. Berntson – Deputy Chief of Staff, Veterans Affairs Medical Center Memphis, Veterans Affairs Department


  • Josué E. Rivera – State Director, Puerto Rico, Rural Development, Department of Agriculture
  • Priscilla W. Clark – Former Transformation Management Officer, Health and Human Services Department


  • Kate Zwaard – Digital Strategy Director, Library of Congress
  • Misu Tasnim – Executive Director, Digital Service, Health and Human Services Department


  • Mark Hogg – Founder and CEO, WaterStep
  • Sherry Hwang – President, Pyramid Systems

Special  COVID-19 Response Category

  • Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett – Research Fellow, National Institutes of Health
  • Jay Brainard – Federal Security Director, Kansas, Transportation Security Administration

The Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Awards, known as the “Teddies,” were established to recognize distinguished federal officials and industry leaders for outstanding achievement in delivering on the government’s promise to serve the American people. 

The awards were given out in the traditional categories of Defenders, those who have demonstrated sustained achievement in advancing the country’s security interests, Visionaries, those with a proven ability to generate new ideas and new approaches to addressing critical issues, Directors, those who have earned the support and enthusiasm of their teams and leveraged it to achieve demonstrable results, Pathfinders, those who have brought the best information technology solutions available into the federal sphere, and Partners, for significant, lasting achievements by government’s cross-sector partners. This year’s ceremony also presented a special award for outstanding achievements in the COVID-19 response effort.

The Teddies have the generous support of several organizations including:

– WAEPA – Capitol Underwriter for the Directors Category

– Verizon – Capitol Underwriter for the Defenders Category

– Accenture – Capitol Underwriter for the Pathfinders Category 


About Government Executive Media Group

Government Executive Media Group (GEMG) is dedicated to providing federal, state, and local government leaders with trusted and useful insights and best practices to help them advance their organizations’ missions. Through its market-leading publications Government Executive, Nextgov, Defense One, and Route Fifty, GEMG reaches nearly two million government influencers nationwide each month across digital, print, and event offerings.

Media Contact
Liz Stein | (240) 461-3053

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