Government Executive Announces the 2021 Class of Inductees to be Honored at Third Annual Government Hall of Fame Ceremony
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Government Executive Announces the 2021 Class of Inductees to be Honored at Third Annual Government Hall of Fame Ceremony

Government Hall of Fame Inductees and Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Award Winners to be Celebrated in Multi-Part Virtual Event Beginning October 21st

CBS News’s Major Garrett to Host and OPM’s Kiran Ahuja to Deliver the Keynote Program

Sept. 21, 2021

Washington, DC (September 21, 2021)GovExec, the leading information services and insights company for government leaders and contractors, announced today the 2021 class of inductees to be honored during its third annual Government Hall of Fame ceremony. Major Garrett, Chief Washington Correspondent at CBS News, will be participating as the event's executive host and Kiran Ahuja, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, will be giving the government keynote address. Among the inductees are distinguished current federal officials and historical trailblazers such as Rachel Carson, Harriet Tubman, Ellen Ochoa, and Lonnie Bunch III. Similar to last year’s event, GovExec will host the 2021 inductions virtually as a two-hour broadcast on October 21, 2021, and will be available to view at

The event is made possible by founding underwriter AT&T Public Sector; elite underwriter WAEPA; impact underwriters Pega, LookingGlass Cyber Solutions, and BetterUp; and Supporting underwriters Cisco, Google Cloud, HP, Microsoft Federal, Oracle, and SAP. 

GovExec established the Government Hall of Fame to recognize those individuals who have demonstrated sustained achievement and unparalleled dedication to public service throughout all periods of American history. Last year’s class included John Lewis, Madeleine Albright, Frederick Douglass, and Condoleezza Rice. This year’s class includes leaders who greatly contributed to the fields of research and education, environmental science, defense, government management, foreign service, social and racial justice, and space exploration. 

We are honored to mark the third annual Government Hall of Fame with such an exceptional group of public servants who have helped shape the trajectory of the nation,” said Tom Shoop, GovExec editor at large. “We look forward to celebrating their remarkable careers.” 

In addition to features on the Hall of Fame inductees and keynotes delivered  by prominent guest speakers, the ceremony will also highlight the winners of the Theodore Roosevelt Government Leadership Awards (known as the “Teddies”). The Teddy Awards recognize current federal managers, executives, and industry leaders for their recent achievements in delivering on the government's promise to serve the American people. GovExec will showcase the 2021 winners during a five-part digital event series beginning the week of October 25. A one-hour special on the Hall of Fame will also air on the Washington, DC CBS affiliate WUSA9 on October 24th.

The members of the 2021 Hall of Fame class are:

  • Lonnie Bunch III - As secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, Bunch oversees 19 museums, 21 libraries, the National Zoo, and numerous other research and educational units. He was previously the director of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, which he took from an idea to a well-respected and highly popular destination. 

  • Rachel Carson - Carson, whose writing in Silent Spring and other books inspired the modern environmental movement, served as a biologist with the U.S. Bureau of Fisheries (later the Fish and Wildlife Service). One of only two women in professional positions at the agency, her work was a major factor in the creation of the Environmental Protection Agency.

  • Virginia Hall - Hall was a super-spy during World War II, first with the United Kingdom’s Special Operations Executive, and later with the American Office of Strategic Services. She helped lead a daring raid on a German prison and eventually helped organize resistance forces in France to support the Allied invasion on D-Day. She won the Distinguished Service Cross in 1945, the only one awarded to a civilian woman for service in the war.

  • Alexander Hamilton - Hamilton served as a captain in the Continental Army and  later advocated for a strong central government, writing more than two thirds of the essays in The Federalist Papers defending the Constitution. He put his ideas into action as George Washington’s Treasury secretary, helping to ensure the long-term viability of the United States government and laying the foundation for the American administrative state.

  • John Koskinen - In late 2013, Koskinen was confirmed as Commissioner of Internal Revenue, capping a lengthy career in public service. That career included stints as deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, non-executive chairman of Freddie Mac, and deputy mayor of the District of Columbia. 

  • Charles Lyman - During the Civil War, Lyman fought for the Union Army at Antietam, Fredericksburg, and Chancellorsville. He then took a job as a clerk in the Treasury Department, rising through the ranks to win appointments as a civil service examiner and then chief examiner. In 1886, he was named to the Civil Service Commission, and three years later became its president.

  • Patsy Mink - In 1964, Mink, after having served in the government of Hawaii, ran for a seat in the U.S. House. When she won her race, she became the first woman of color and first Asian-American woman elected to Congress. She eventually served 12 terms in the House.

  • Ellen Ochoa - Beginning with her work on optical systems for information processing at the NASA Ames Research Center in 1988, Ochoa rose through the ranks to become an astronaut and later the director of the Johnson Space Center in Houston. In 1993, she became the first Hispanic woman to go to space, aboard the shuttle Discovery. She has received NASA’s highest honor, the Distinguished Service Medal.

  • Linda Thomas-Greenfield - A career Foreign Service officer, Thomas-Greenfield serves as U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. She joined the Foreign Service in 1982. From 2013 to 2017, she was assistant secretary of State for the Bureau of African Affairs. Prior to that, Thomas-Greenfield was director general of the Foreign Service, managing personnel operations for the State Department’s 70,000 employees. 

  • Harriet Tubman - In 1863, Tubman became the first woman to organize and lead a U.S. military operation, working closely with military officers to lead a unit of 150 Black soldiers in a daring raid up the Combahee River in South Carolina. The operation was phenomenally successful: About 750 people were freed, roughly 10 times the number that Tubman escorted to freedom on the Underground Railroad. Tubman spent the next three decades fighting to receive a federal pension for her work. 

  • James Webb - Webb served as administrator of NASA from 1961 to 1968, leading the agency through the Mercury and Gemini programs during a critical period for the space program in the race to land on the moon. Before that, he served in the  Marines during World War II as head of the Bureau of the Budget and as undersecretary of State, where he led a major reorganization of the department that expanded its influence. In 2002, the Next Generation Space Telescope was renamed in his honor.

To learn more about the annual Hall of Fame ceremony, visit


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