2022 Federal Employee of the Year Awards

It’s time for the
Chicago FEB Employee of the Year Awards!

Of the 45,000+ Federal employees in Chicago, who are the ones that stand out as awe inspiring performers? Please nominate the exceptional employees within your agency for a Chicago FEB Federal Employee of the Year Award!

NOMINATION FORM: 2022 Chicago FEB Employee of the Year Nomination Form

For agencies unable to access the online submission form please use the Microsoft Word version located here: 2022 Chicago FEB Award Nominations Forms

FAQs: FAQs 2022 Employee of the Year Awards. 

Nomination deadline is COB Friday, March 18, 2022


Note:  For 2022, since Agency geographic footprints differ within the region, Agency Directors may determine they want an individual or team from an adjacent county or state to participate in the Chicago FEOY program.  We will accommodate the requested alignment.

  • Generally, a nominee’s permanent duty location must be within one of the following counties:
    • ILLINOIS: Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, Will
    • INDIANA: Lake or Porter
  • An individual may only be nominated for ONE individual category but may be included in a second category as a team member.
  • The nominee for an individual award must be a current federal employee (civilian, military, or postal). Retirees who have served in FY2021 are eligible.
  • Former award winners of a specific category are not eligible for consideration in the same category.
  • Former nominees may be nominated again, however such nominations must reflect current performance and accomplishments.
  • Nomination for any individual should be for performance and/or accomplishments within the past calendar year (January 1, 2021- December 31, 2021)
    • There may be special accommodation for long-range projects or other extended duration work.
    • This does not apply to the Career Achievement category as the criteria should expand throughout the career of the nominee.


For the 2022 awards season, the FEB, with input from the federal community at-large, has aligned this years’ award categories with their three (3) Lines of Business: Human Capital Readiness, Emergency Preparedness, and Strategic Partnerships. This alignment is intended to avoid duplicative awards and offer a unique regional program.

The Champions of COVID-19

The Chicago FEB is pleased to announce the continuation of a non-competitive category to recognize and thank federal employees who have risen to the challenge of these unprecedented times in extraordinary ways.

The Champions of COVID-19 Response Award has been created to honor federal employees who have demonstrated resilience and creativity in response to the pandemic, achieving a significant contribution to their operational division, team and/or constituents to keep people safe, healthy, and informed. There are no restrictions on nominations. All federal employees are eligible for this recognition. Accomplishments can include:

  • Preparedness – Ability to transition a team to 100 percent telework after having been prepared with a COOP plan already in place
  • Leadership – Empowers employees to fully utilize their skills in a new environment
  • Organization – Ability to onboard and develop the next generation of leaders in a virtual setting
  • Thought Leader – Develops new and innovative ideas that result in significant organizational changes due to the pandemic
  • Innovation – Promotes creativity and new ways to support customers, which produced results during the pandemic

Agency of the Year

This category recognizes one agency for achieving an outstanding level of success in implementation of federal initiatives to provide public service to citizens in their community. Initiatives could include:

  • Employee engagement
  • Diversity and Inclusion
  • White House Initiative Implementation

Note: The agency that won the previous year is not eligible for nomination the following year.

Human Capital Readiness
This strategic goal facilitates strategies and approaches for recruiting, training, and retaining federal employees, as well as sharing best practices and workforce education. The goal is to provide accurate, timely, and useful information throughout the FEB Network.

1) JFK Leadership  

This category is to honor outstanding leadership skills. Accomplishments may include:

  • Recognizing responsibility to lead means leveraging your team’s talents
  • Engages their staff as professionals; makes them aware of “the good, the bad, and the ugly” so they can make the best possible informed decisions
  • Empowers employees to fully utilize their skills
  • Cultivates the next generation of leaders
  • Role-modeling a standard of excellence through principle based, high integrity leadership
  • Develops new and innovative ideas that result in significant organizational changes
  • Promotes creativity, risk-taking, and supports results
  • Understands and develops diversity within the organization
  • Encourages employees to collaborate on initiatives with external partners

2) Career Achievement  

This category recognizes a federal employee for significant accomplishments throughout a lifetime of achievement in public service. Nomination must showcase accomplishments throughout their career, not just in the past year.  The candidate must have 20+ years of career federal civil service.  Accomplishments can include:

  • Impacts of employees work throughout their career
  • Financial savings of long term process changes
  • Shifts in workplace or community culture from employee’s efforts
  • Practices interagency collaboration to further their agency’s mission

Emergency Preparedness, Employee Safety and Security
The Federal Government is the nation’s largest employer (and the first or second largest in many metropolitan areas). In times of emergency, we have a responsibility to collaborate in our communities. To that end, FEBs play a vital role.
This strategic goal produces interagency communication, shared resources, and workforce education. The goal is to create effective collaboration across agencies relating to emergency readiness and recovery, and to educate our federal workforce on issues in emergency situations.

3) Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Team 

This category recognizes one team with significant contributions to homeland security and/or law enforcement. These areas may include: border and transportation security, civil rights, counter-terrorism, emergency response, fraud prevention, and intelligence.  Attributes may include:

  • A calm, even-handed approach to handling crises; de-escalating tensions
  • Objectivity and a respectful approach in handling difficult situations
  • Excellent application of emergency management skills
  • Effective communication skills evident in working with employees and citizens
  • Effective communication skills evident in working with interagency and external partners
  • Practicing “seek first to understand, then to be understood”
  • Exceptional contingency planning and proactive mitigation of issues that would otherwise have a detrimental impact on employees and/or citizens

Strategic Partnerships
This strategic goal advances local and national initiatives through interagency collaboration and community outreach. FEBs serve as Federal ambassadors to represent agencies and their missions to State and local government, Congressional offices, and community organizations. The goal is to engage with local communities and to improve implementation of Government-wide and agency initiatives through effective communication and collaboration.

4) Citizens Services Employee / Team

This category recognizes significant contributions in activities related to public and community service.

Areas may include: economic development, education, health care, housing, labor, and transportation.

Accomplishments may include:

  • Exceptional dedication to public service
  • Enhancement of public service image
  • Promotes a special act or service in the public interest
  • Sets standard for interdisciplinary teamwork
  • Sets standard for interagency collaboration

5) Management Excellence 

This category recognizes an employee that demonstrates superior leadership and management excellence through significant contributions that exemplifies efficient, effective, and results-oriented government.  This category recognizes supervisors, managers, and any level of professional work. Nominees will be compared on the basis of competency, efficiency, and accomplishment that distinguish them in the professional/supervisory field. Accomplishments may include:

  • Educating the workforce or the public in their field of expertise
  • Applying their expertise to solve problems previously perceived as unfixable
  • Empowers employees to be results driven
  • Assuming leadership roles as a subject matter expert
  • Skill in directing and developing subordinates
  • Improving efficiency and making process redesign recommendations

If you have questions, please contact Chicago Federal Executive Board at chicagofeb@gsa.gov 

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