All work and no play isn’t fun. Neither is all work and no recognition.

The Merit Awards recognizes Federal leaders who perform extraordinary work in general public service, big data, cloud computing, cyber security, data center, or mobility/telework.

Congratulations, 2014 Merit Award Winners:

Public Service

Lt. William Walders
Chief Information Officer, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Lieutenant William Walders is the chief information officer at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center (WRNMMC), where his leadership skills, unprecedented vision, and innovative ideas continue to push the organization forward. Through his leadership, Lt. Walders reduced IT trouble tickets by 95 percent; centralized data management and analytics; implemented wireless networks for patients, families, doctors, and staff; and enhanced IT efficiency with virtualization. Lt. Walders’ accomplishments establish a model for government IT transformation and potential cross-agency collaboration, while significantly supporting the military medical community and overall operational readiness.

Big Data

Dr. Raymond Marbury
Program Manager, U.S. Customs & Border Protection, Department of Homeland Security

Dr. Raymond Marbury is a program manager and analyst at U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP), where he conducts research and advises management on challenges and opportunities associated with records information management. Dr. Marbury recently discovered a connection between big data, information management, and Federal agency succession planning that improves the effectiveness and efficiency of operations while significantly reducing overall workforce costs across DHS and the executive branch. Specifically, deploying information management practices in Federal agencies decreases electronic data storage costs while enabling agencies to utilize information captured to transfer institutional knowledge from senior level employees to entry and mid-level employees.

Cloud Computing

Rob Leahy
Acting Associate Chief Information Officer for Strategy and Planning, Internal Revenue Service

Rob Leahy, then director of infrastructure & portal program management office, led a two-year, two-stage technology transformation known as the Integrated Enterprise Portal (IEP) program, in an effort to provide modern online capabilities for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Through Mr. Leahy’s leadership, the IEP Program has revolutionized how the IRS brings its external-facing, business-critical tax applications to users by incorporating industry-leading Web practices/innovations and leveraging secure private cloud technology for its websites. Mr. Leahy’s leadership provides the IRS with a simpler, more manageable Web environment, end-to-end operational accountability and visibility, and ensures the new IRS Web environment is the trusted taxation website.

Cyber Security

Jeff Eisensmith
Chief Information Security Officer, Department of Homeland Security

Jeff Eisensmith, chief information security officer at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), is a leading security professional in the Federal government and private sector, who successfully developed and delivered Ongoing Authorization (OA), a Federal program that solves significant challenges for cyber security leaders across the Federal government. Mr. Eisensmith developed the OA concept and pilot within 90 days; gained the acceptance and support of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Office of Inspector General (OIG); and integrated OA into DHS Policy – OIG currently uses it to certify their own systems. Mr. Eisensmith’s efforts are significant in reducing costs, eliminating redundancy/operationalizing policy, and improving security.

Data Center Consolidation

James Freeman
Data Center Management/IT Specialist, Environmental Protection Agency

James Freeman, data center management and information technology specialist, saved the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) hundreds of thousands of dollars on rent, air conditioning maintenance, and equipment through his significant data center consolidation efforts. Mr. Freeman is an instrumental part, and leader, of the effort to take the EPA headquarters from seven data centers down to two, and ultimately, one, by the end of 2016. Freeman designed and led the project for the new data center at One Potomac Yard, and has participated in every major EPA IT project since 2000.


Trent Frazier
Director, Workplace Solutions Program, Office of Administration, CBP, DHS

Trent Frazier, director of Workplace Solutions Program in the Office of Administration at CBP, DHS, is an inspiring leader driving workplace transformation. Starting with a pilot initiative within his own Program Management Office of approximately 60 employees, Mr. Frazier orchestrated the change from a conventional office into a mobile workforce. The program increased employee productivity by 102 percent, saved 41 percent in rent annually, and saved employees approximately $600/year in commuting costs.