2023 Employee of the Year Awards

The Chicago Federal Executive Board is proud to present 3 new categories for the 2023 Employee of the Year Awards; DEIA (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility),  Rookie of the Year, and Exemplary FEB Member. These additional categories aim to increase the visibility of exceptional employees who were underrepresented in the past and have historically been overlooked! 


Note:  For the 2023 ceremony, since Agency geographic footprints differ within the region, Agency Directors may determine whether 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 FY2022 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, 2022- December 31, 2022)
    • 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 2023 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.

FAQs: 2023 Employee of the Year Awards

The nomination deadline is COB Friday, March 31, 2023

Click here to be redirected to our Team nominations form.

Click here to be redirected to our Individual nominations form.

If you are unable to access the nomination form at the link provided, please download the Individual and Team forms and email the completed PDF file to chicagofeb@gsa.gov.

Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility 

This new category aims to recognize and thank federal employees that work to progress Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility within their agencies and communities, in line with this administration’s priorities. Recognizing progress in this area encourages continued improvements and advancements, institutionalizing the efforts of all and not focusing solely on EEO staff. Nominees should be employees who have achieved outstanding results in bettering diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility through effective leadership, inspiration, creativity, and dedication to supporting these goals for minorities, women, individuals with disabilities, and other targeted groups. 

This category honors an individual civilian or military federal employee regardless of job title, grade, or rank. This category is also open to teams including those in civilian and/or military offices. 

Nominees are not restricted to employees with EEO, HR, or DEIA job responsibilities. 

*Note: One team or individual will be selected as the award recipient. 

JFK Excellence in Leadership 

Leadership is exemplified by the employee who, regardless of position, demonstrates the character and ability to influence and motivate others. Nominees should exhibit high levels of integrity, inspire trust, and exemplify dedication to public service. 

The JFK Leadership award celebrates individuals who display outstanding leadership skills. Accomplishments of honorees may include:

  • Empowerment of employees to fully utilize their skills
  • Cultivation of the next generation of leaders
  • Setting a standard of excellence through principle-based, high integrity leadership
  • Development of new and innovative ideas that result in significant organizational changes
  • Promotion of creativity and risk taking, while supporting results
  • Understanding and development of diversity within the organization
  • Encouraging employees to collaborate on initiatives with external partners 

This category honors one individual civilian or military federal employee regardless of job title, grade, or rank. 

Rookie of the Year 

The rookie of the year award highlights the world being done by employees who have been with the government for less than two years. The award gives management a chance to recognize employees early in their career, increasing retention rates, and highlighting the important work of employees new to the federal government. 

Nominees to this category should demonstrate work above and beyond what is expected. The employees nominated should be providing exemplary customer service both to internal and external stakeholders and should amplify the mission of the agency. 

This category honors one individual civilian or military federal employee in their first two years of service in the federal government. 

Exemplary FEB Member

This category allows for the recognition of employees who support the Federal Executive Board, promote activities and events, and increase visibility of the FEB. The nominated employee participates in and supports FEB activities. Nominees should be able to demonstrate that they participated in FEB committees, councils, and events. An exemplary FEB member markets FEB events at their home agency to increase awareness and participation. 

This category honors one individual civilian or military federal employee regardless of job title, grade, or rank. The employee’s supervisor should submit their nomination. The FEB Executive Director must sign off on the nomination to confirm included information is correct. 

Champions of COVID-19 Response

The Champions of COVID-19 Response award was 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. 

This award is a continuation of the non-competitive category to recognize and thank federal employees who have risen to the challenge of these unprecedented times in extraordinary ways. Accomplishments of honorees may include:

  • Adaptability – Managing the ongoing challenges of telework, and maintaining a COOP plan ready in place.
  • Leadership – Empowering employees to fully utilize their skills in new and changing environments
  • Organization – Continuing to onboard and develop the next generation of leaders in an ever-changing, virtual and in-person setting
  • Innovation – Promoting creativity and new ways to support organizational goals and customers, producing results in uncertain times
  • Effectiveness – Enhancing and supporting processes resulting from reduced in-person and face-to-face interaction while efficiently completing projects

There are no restrictions on nominations; all federal employees are eligible for recognition.

Agency of the Year

The Agency of the Year award recognizes one agency for achieving an outstanding level of success in the implementation of federal initiatives to provide public service to citizens in their community. Initiative could include:

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

The agency that won the year prior is not eligible for nomination this year. 

Career Achievement 

The career achievement award showcases accomplishments of an employee throughout the entirety of their career, not just in the last year. Accomplishments of honorees may include: 

  • Efforts resulting in a positive shift in workplace or community culture 
  • Long term process changes resulting in financial savings
  • Endeavors of interagency collaboration to further the mission of their agency 

Individuals who have been recognized in the past are not eligible for nomination this year. Individuals with a minimum of 20 years of career federal service, civilian or military, are eligible for nomination. 

Homeland Security and Law Enforcement Team

This category recognizes one team with significant contributions to aspects of homeland security and/or law enforcement. Nominees may have worked to advance the following: border and transportation security, civil rights, counter-terrorismm, emergency response, fraud prevention, and intelligence. Attributes of the winning team may include:  

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

Any team or group of federal employees, military or civilian, is eligible for nomination. 

Citizens Services Team

The Citizens Services Team award recognizes a team that made significant contributions to activities related to public and community service. Areas of focus may encompass progress in economic development, education, health care, housing, labor, and transportation.  Accomplishments may include the following:

  • Exceptional dedication to public service
  • Work to enhance an image of public service
  • Promotion of special acts or services in the public interest 
  • Work to set standards for interdisciplinary teamwork
  • Work to set standards for interagency collaboration 

Management Excellence

The Management Excellence award recognizes an employee that demonstrates superior leadership and excellence in management through significant contributions which exemplify efficient, effective, and result-oriented governance. Nominees will be compared on the basis of competency, efficiency, and accomplishments that distinguish them in the professional/supervisory field. Accomplishments of nominees may include the following: 

  • The pursuit of educating the community and workforce about their field of expertise 
  • Application of expertise to solve problems previously perceived as “unfixable”
  • Empowerment of colleagues and employees to be results-driven
  • Assumption of leadership roles as a subject matter expert when necessary and applicable
  • Adept in the direction and development of subordinates
  • Efficiency improvement and process-redesign recommendations 

This award category recognizes supervisors, managers, and individuals at any level of professional work. 

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

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