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FCC Excellence in Engineering Awards: The Continuing Inattention to Publicizing Excellence

The Excellence in Engineering awards were begun under Chmn. Powell as part of a broader program of the same name. Recently we discussed how the Commission’s Gold and Silver Medals for excellence were awarded without any public announcement. At least these awards had once been publicly announced (last in 1998). But the Excellence in Engineering Awards have never been publicly announced for reasons that are hard to fathom except perhaps for the assumption that under Bush 43 no one wanted to acknowledge the excellence of career civil servants.

This blog alone announced the winners in 2007. Clearly the Commission does not intend these awards to be secret since the 2009 awards were announced at the 8/27/09 open Commission meeting although there was no written announcement. We hope that the Commission develops a more transparent process for announcing awards for staff excellence so that in the future so we will lose these annual items. We hope that outstanding FCC staffers get broader recognition than in this blog - even though we know the policy elite reads this blog.

Indeed, the only trace on the Commission website that these awards exist are the remarks of Comm. Tate at the 2007 ceremony that was not otherwise announced. Let me reprint here part of her gracious remarks:

The projects on which our engineers, scientists, and technical staff work cover – to mix metaphors a little – the full spectrum. They help ensure radio transmissions do not exceed safe levels. They help represent the interests of the United States in international negotiations.

This award recognizes engineers, scientists and other technical staff for outstanding contributions performed in the course of their work at the Commission.The engineers, scientists, and technical staff are truly the Commission’s unsung heroes. While the attorneys tell us how to follow the law, and the economists tell us what will or will not be efficient, our technical experts tell us ultimately what can and cannot be done. Without them, very little would be done.

To all recipients of the ... Excellence in Engineering Award, you have my deep respect and gratitude. The American people may be less aware of the good work you do, but they are no less indebted to you. Thank you.

But from a source deep within FCC, here are the winners of this year’s award. I have been unable to find the citations behind the awards and will add them if I get them:
  • Reuben Jusino (Enforcement Bureau)
  • Joseph Husnay (Enforcement Bureau)
  • Group Award: Jon Sprague, Greg Coons, Jay Hokanson (Enforcement Bureau)
  • Group Award: Behzad Ghaffari, Tom Peters, Pasquale Amodio, Ziad Sleem, Walter Johnston, Kurian Jacob, Yoon Chang, Jerome Stanshine (PSHSB, WTB, OET))
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