2014 Causey Award winners announced

Tuesday - 8/5/2014, 2:34am EDT

Federal News Radio announces the winners of the fifth annual Causey Awards, recognizing professionals who have gone above and beyond in the human-resources arena to help the government operate better.

The awards, named for Federal News Radio Senior Correspondent Mike Causey, are in tribute to his life-long dedication to the reporting of federal workforce management, and federal pay and benefits issues.

"The people side of your government will make or break your operation and the people that we see in these awards nominations and the people that our panelists finally picked are just the best," Causey said. "Put them up against anything in the private sector."

Mike Causey offers his insights on this year's award winners. Story continues below video.

The recipients were nominated by their peers for outstanding achievements and important contributions in the human capital management field in 2013. A panel of expert judges selected the final winners.

"Scientific, police, defense, you name it, the government's doing it," Causey said. "These are the people that are actually supervising and helping and managing the people that are doing these things. Looking at their credentials, it's very impressive and meeting them is a real treat."

Meet each of the winners below. Read our exclusive Q&As and listen to our interviews with each finalist.

Mika Cross

Work/Life and Wellness Program Manager
Office for Human Resources Management
Department of Agriculture

Mika has become a human resources ambassador of sorts, improving USDA's workplace and sharing those lessons with other agencies.

"She routinely partners with the Office of Personnel Management to highlight USDA's best practices in innovative policy, program measurement and management and internal communications and marketing campaigns," her nomination said.

Who is Mika Cross? Listen to our full interview and read an exclusive Q&A.

Dr. Linda M. Jensen

Human Resources Specialist
HR Development
NASA Ames Research Center

Jensen is credited with shifting the culture at NASA Ames Research Center and improving its workforce capabilities.

"She has gone above and beyond in making a remarkably positive impact through her work: on the Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey (EVS); creating Ames Research Center's Supervisor Development Program (SDP); creating an agency-wide supervisory program (NASA's new Leveraging Agency Supervisory Excellence and Resilience (LASER)); and continued consultation with — and advising — senior leaders and management," Jensen's nomination said.

Who is Linda Jensen? Listen to our full interview and read an exclusive Q&A.

Will Levy III

Associate Director, Management and CIO
Bureau of Engraving and Printing

Levy is credited with helping the Bureau of Engraving and Printing receive a ranking of 47 out of 300 subcomponents on the 2013 Best Places to Work in the Federal Government report, something unimaginable just four years before. BEP ranked fifth among similarly sized agencies.

"Through Will's leadership, the Best Place to Work Team established a motto for BEP, 'Customers First … Quality Always,' that serves as a simple reminder of what's most important — each other — people are not a distraction to the work but the way we accomplish our best work," Levy's nomination said.

Who is Will Levy? Listen to our full interview and read an exclusive Q&A.

Dr. Nick Nayak

Chief Procurement Officer (former)
Homeland Security Department

At the Homeland Security Department, Nayak was recognized for leading a governmentwide push to build a smarter acquisition workforce.

"In 2013, DHS has revamped its Homeland Security Acquisition Institute (HSAI) to serve as a provider of mid-career training," Nayak's nomination said. "HSAI, under Dr. Nayak's leadership, granted about 3,000 acquisition certifications in 2013, more than the five previous years."

Who is Nick Nayak? Listen to our full interview and read an exclusive Q&A.

Meet This Year's Judges:

Mike Causey, Senior Correspondent, Federal News Radio

Francis McDonough, HR Director, Food and Nutrition Service, USDA, and former Causey Award winner

Jeff Neal, Senior Vice President, ICF International, and founder of the blog, ChiefHRO.com.

Debra Roth, Partner, Shaw Bransford & Roth

Allan Schweyer , President, TMGov.org

Lisa Wolfe, Program Director, Federal News Radio

Interested in learning more about previous Causey Award winners? Visit our Causey Awards archive.