GovExec Announces 2023 Government Hall of Fame Inductees
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GovExec Announces 2023 Government Hall of Fame Inductees

Winners of the Federal 100 Awards will also be recognized for their accomplishments at the event

March 14, 2023

Washington D.C. (March 14, 2023) — GovExec, the leading information services and insights company for government leaders and contractors, announced that on April 20, 2023, they will be bringing back their special Evening of Honors featuring the 2023 Government Hall of Fame Inductees and Federal 100 award winners. Taking place at the iconic Washington National Cathedral, this special evening is a celebration of the public sector and those that have shown their dedication to it. The event will honor the current and former officials and industry stakeholders who have made historic achievements and advances across our government.

“This is the fifth year of the Hall of Fame, and once again we’ve got a stellar class of inductees,” said Tom Shoop, GovExec editor at large and chair of the selection committee. “They represent the best of the best of the millions of people who have dedicated themselves to serving the American people.”

The Government Hall of Fame celebrates distinguished civil servants who have demonstrated sustained achievement and unparalleled dedication to public service throughout their careers. This high honor is designed for those who have reached a pinnacle of success during their careers in civil service and those who have made historic progress in changing government for the better, and whose influence will live on for generations. Each year the new class of inductees is added to this group’s elite membership amongst previous winners. 

"Every great inductee of the Government Hall of Fame is a public servant who showed commitment to serving the American people," said Tanya Ballard Brown, the executive editor of Government Executive, the premier news destination for senior leaders in the federal government's departments and agencies."They have left a lasting legacy of service and leadership that may inspire future government leaders."

The inductees for the Hall of Fame class of 2023 are: 

Thad Allen
Best known as the federal leader who salvaged the Hurricane Katrina response effort in 2005-2006, Allen served for four decades in the United States Coast Guard. His first assignment as a flag officer was as director of resources at Coast Guard headquarters. He went on to head several Coast Guard commands and eventually became the service’s chief of staff. After leading the Katrina response, Allen was appointed commandant of the Coast Guard, serving a four-year term. In 2010, he was named as the incident response commander for the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

David Chu
From 1968 to 1971, Chu served in the Army, including a tour of duty in Vietnam, and rose to the rank of captain. From 1978 to 1981, he was the assistant director of national security and international affairs at the Congressional Budget Office. He then joined the Defense Department as director of program analysis and evaluation. After a stint at RAND Corporation, Chu returned to the Pentagon to serve as undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, where he  oversaw military recruitment, career development, pay and benefits and military readiness.

Ada Deer
A member of the Menominee Tribe, Deer became the first woman to head the Bureau of Indian Affairs after she was appointed an assistant secretary of the Interior by President Clinton. There, she oversaw policy for more than 550 federally recognized tribes. Before Deer’s service in the executive branch, she worked to restore federal recognition of the Menominee and was the first  woman to chair the tribe in Wisconsin. In 1997, she served as chair of the National Indian Gaming Commission. 

Elizabeth Duke
During her lengthy and illustrious federal career, Duke served 10 years at the Office of Personnel Management and worked in senior positions under five different secretaries of the Health and Human Services Department. She spent 12 years in the Office of the Secretary before holding high-ranking posts at the Food and Drug Administration, the Health Resources and Services Administration and the Administration for Children and Families. Duke received the Presidential Rank Award of Distinguished Executive in 2006. She is a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, teaching management and leadership. 

Barbara Franklin
Even before serving as Commerce secretary under President George H.W. Bush, Franklin had a distinguished career in government. In 1971, President Nixon tapped her to head an initiative aimed at increasing the appointments of women to high-ranking federal government posts, resulting in nearly quadrupling the number who served in such positions. Franklin was then appointed to head the newly created Consumer Product Safety Commision. There, from 1973 to 1978, she focused on ensuring the safety of products for children. Franklin then served four terms on the Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations. As Commerce secretary, she was instrumental in normalizing trade relations with China, securing $1 billion in contracts for American companies.

Carla Hayden
Hayden is both the first African American and first woman to serve as the Librarian of Congress. She has devoted her career to modernizing libraries, making research collections accessible onsite and online. From 1991 to 1993 she was deputy commissioner and chief librarian of the Chicago Public Library. After that, Hayden was CEO of Baltimore’s Enoch Pratt Free Library, where she created an after-school center for teens offering homework assistance and college and career counseling. During the 2015 protests of the death of Freddie Gray, Hayden courageously kept Baltimore’s libraries open. She was nominated as Librarian of Congress by President Obama in 2016 and became the first professional librarian in the post since 1974.

Thurgood Marshall
A towering figure in civil rights law, Marshall was an attorney for the NAACP when he successfully argued the landmark Brown v. Board of Education case before the Supreme Court, which declared school segregation unconstitutional. After serving four years as a federal judge in the Second Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City, Marshall was named solicitor general of the United States by President Lyndon Johnson in 1965. Two years later, he was appointed as the first African American Supreme Court justice. Marshall  served with distinction on the high court until his retirement in 1991. 

Sean O’Keefe
A member of the first class of presidential management interns in 1978, O’Keefe went on to serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee staff, followed by a series of high-ranking  federal positions, as NASA administrator, deputy assistant to President George W. Bush,  deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, secretary of the Navy and chief financial officer of the Defense Department. O’Keefe also has worked in the aerospace industry and currently is a university professor and endowed chair at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

Douglas Owsley
Owsley, the curator of biological anthropology at the Smithsonia’s National Museum of Natural History, has achieved fame through handling numerous high-profile cases of forensic anthropology over the years. These include identifying Jeffrey Dahmer's first victim, excavating the Jamestown Colony, analyzing victims of the siege at the Branch Davidian compound in Texas, and processing remains of U.S. servicemen killed during Operation Desert Storm. His life story served as the basis for a Discovery Channel documentary.

The Evening of Honors will also feature the Federal 100 Awards. The Federal 100 awards are presented to the 100 women and men who personify what’s possible in how the federal government acquires, develops, and manages IT. As with previous years, this year’s Federal 100 winners include an outstanding mix of individuals from civilian and defense agencies, the intelligence community, the legislative branch, and the private sector. Each of these individuals has their own story about what they have given to the public sector and helps to demonstrate the range of important work being done throughout our communities.

For more information please go to the Government Hall of Fame website at 

A special Thank You to our underwriters of the Evening of Honors Gala: AT&T, Carahsoft, Maximus, WAEPA, Comcast, Ciena, Increditek, MITRE, Presidio Federal, Salesforce, McKinsey & Company, ASRC Federal, CACI, CGI, Dell Technologies, ECS Technology, GDIT, IBM, Intel, Red River, Riverbed, T-REX, and VMWARE


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About Government Executive:
Government Executive is government's business news daily and the premier digital destination for senior leaders in the federal government's departments and agencies. Our readers are the high-ranking civilian and military officials who are responsible for defending the nation and carrying out the laws that define the government's role in our economy and society.

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