NASA’s Former Webb Telescope Director Gregory L. Robinson Receives Federal Employee of the Year Medal

BILL NELSON: Greg is everything a public servant, and a leader, should be

NASA’s former program director of the James Webb Space Telescope, Gregory L. Robinson, will be honored with the 2022 Federal Employee of the Year medal. (NASA image)

(NASA) – NASA’s former program director of the James Webb Space Telescope, Gregory L. Robinson, will be honored with the 2022 Federal Employee of the Year medal.

a preeminent career federal employee award, for his leadership of Webb. The award ceremony will take place Tuesday, Sept. 20.

“Greg is everything a public servant, and a leader, should be,” said NASA Administrator Bill Nelson.

“The proof is in the pudding because the Webb telescope will give humanity a new view of the cosmos, and it will fundamentally alter our understanding of the universe. Greg’s leadership helped make Webb’s novel innovation possible – and his impact at NASA will be realized for generations.”

Considered the Oscars of government service, the 21st annual Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals, also known as the Sammies, will be presented to Robinson and six other medalists at a black-tie gala event at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington.

Previous award medalists include Dr. Anthony Fauci, Dr. Kizzmekia Corbett, and Dr. Barney Graham.

Robinson, who retired in July 2022 after more than 30 years of service at NASA, will be presented with the medal by Second Gentleman Douglas Emhoff.

“Greg turned around a project facing significant delays and challenges, ensuring NASA could deliver on the groundbreaking James Webb Space Telescope, which is already changing how we see the universe and bringing space closer to all of us,” said Max Stier, president, and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, which presents the Sammies awards. (NASA image)

“Greg turned around a project facing significant delays and challenges, ensuring NASA could deliver on the groundbreaking James Webb Space Telescope, which is already changing how we see the universe and bringing space closer to all of us,” said Max Stier, president, and CEO of the Partnership for Public Service, which presents the Sammies awards.

“As Federal Employee of the Year, Greg joins a remarkable list of public servants who have dedicated their lives to making our lives better. We are honored to recognize Greg and to celebrate the service of all career federal employees through the Service to America Medals.”

Each year, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Partnership for Public Service hosts a gala to honor a group of outstanding civil servants for their achievements and commitment to public service. A select group of honorees is awarded Sammie’s medals.

“I feel incredibly appreciative and honored to have worked with a stellar team at NASA,” said Robinson. “This was a dream career at an agency that allows you to reach for new heights so we can reveal the unknown for the benefit of all humanity.”

“Greg’s unique combination of caring about people and his ability to make hard decisions significantly contributed to the mission’s success,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA’s Science Mission Directorate.

Webb is an unprecedented mission that required new technology to see the infrared universe. Ten new technologies had never been flown before or, in some cases, had never even been developed before.

“We know the amazing capabilities that we built Webb for, and it will do maybe even more,” said Robinson.

“The science it’s going to produce over the next several years, and probably just this first year, is going to be amazing. Webb will show us things that certainly scientists thought of, and many things that we’ve never thought of.”

Robinson is the recipient of numerous accolades, including the NASA Presidential Rank Distinguished Executive and the NASA Meritorious Senior Professionals and Executives awards. He also was named as one of the TIME 100 Most Influential People of 2022.

“The place for government is to make the country sustainable and better, and to make citizens’ lives sustainable and better,” explained Robinson. “Working in government, you can have that kind of broad impact.”

The 2022 Sammies winners have been selected from more than 400 nominations, and the seven medalists were chosen from among 30 finalists by a selection committee that included government, business, academic, and entertainment leaders.

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