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USGS Deputy Director Receives Presidential Rank Award

January 3, 2017

Bill Werkheiser, USGS Deputy Director, has been honored with a 2016 Presidential Rank Award as a Distinguished Rank recipient. Mr. Werkheiser is among only one percent of career Federal leaders recognized for “sustained extraordinary accomplishment” with the top award bestowed to civilian employees by the U.S. President.

USGS Deputy Director Bill Werkheiser(Public domain.)

Recipients of this prestigious award are acknowledged as strong leaders, professionals, and scientists who achieve results and consistently demonstrate the strength, integrity, industry and relentless commitment that signify excellence in public service.

“Bill’s scientific leadership, and his exceptional business and people skills make him the ‘go-to’ executive to solve difficult issues and deliver results when it really matters,” said USGS Director Suzette Kimball.  

“Using his stories, warmth, and humor, Bill helps others learn from his experiences and he is highly regarded throughout the USGS for his interest and investment in people,” said Kimball.

As Deputy Director, Werkheiser assists the USGS Director in leading the Nation's largest water, Earth, and biological science, and civilian mapping agency. Among his many activities, Werkheiser regularly serves as a core instructor and coach for Leadership 201, USGS’s premier leadership training, which teaches and models leadership principles, diversity, scientific integrity, and ethical professional behavior.

Award winners are chosen through a rigorous selection process that focuses on leadership and results. They are nominated by their agency heads, evaluated by boards comprised of private citizens, and approved by the President. There are two categories of rank awards: Distinguished and Meritorious, with evaluation criteria focused on leadership and results.

Since joining the USGS in 1986, Werkheiser has held a variety of positions providing leadership and strategic direction for the USGS. Prior to his current position as Deputy Director, he was Associate Director for Water, leading water resources research and monitoring throughout the U.S. and its territories. Prior to that, Werkheiser served as Eastern Regional Director overseeing USGS science east of the Mississippi River. As Acting Associate Director for Geology, he led a wide variety of national earth science programs. Werkheiser has also led the USGS’s science response to natural hazards, serving on the Hazard Response Executive Committee and the long-term Hurricane Katrina Response and Recovery Team for the USGS. As Director of the USGS Pennsylvania Water Science Center Werkheiser led water resources programs worked with other agencies in emergency flood response in the northeastern U.S.

Mr. Werkheiser received a bachelor's degree in geology from Bloomsburg University and a master's degree in hydrogeology and glacial geology from the University of Massachusetts.

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