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Civilian Awards

To recognize individuals who have made significant contributions to the advancement of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities and promote diversity and inclusion among the Federal and District of Columbia government work forces.

The award is presented during the FAPAC National Leadership Training Program (NLTP). The NLTP is held each year in the month of May to coincide with Asian Pacific American Heritage Month. The 2020 NLTP has been cancelled (see April 7 Statement on NLTP).


Performance Period:  2019 Fiscal Year (Oct 1, 2018 - Sept 30, 2019) or Calendar Year (Jan 1 - Dec 31, 2019)
Nomination Deadline: Nominations for 2020 FAPAC Awards are now closed.
Point of Contact: awards@fapac.org

Congratulations to the 2020 Civilian Award Winners

OUTSTANDING INDIVIDUAL LEADERSHIP

Katherine Toth, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (GS 1-12)

Katherine Toth, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency

Ms. Toth has worked to spread awareness in under-represented communities, highlighting Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA) educational programs and opportunities in order to attract underrepresented students for internship and hiring opportunities. Her advocacy includes communicating with senior management to prevent prejudices and profiling of minorities at DCSA, promoting student program, lobbying for merit based equal opportunity for all employees, promoting and recognizing AAPI success, and celebrating the diversity of Asian and the Pacific Islands cultural heritages. Ms. Toth’s outstanding leadership has made significant contributions to the advancement of Asian Americans and Pacific Islander communities. Her efforts to promote diversity and inclusion among at DCSA community have made a notable impact in the overall organization.

Cindy N. Tran, Defense Contract Management Agency (GS 13-15)

Cindy N. Tran, Defense Contract Management Agency Ms. Tran has assisted the Defense Contract Management Agency (DCMA) in recruiting, promoting, establishing, and maintaining an effective and equitable workplace for AAPI. She is passionate about mentoring college students and providing career guidance to job seekers interested in DCMA and other federal employment opportunities. Ms. Tran was invited to the Society Women Engineer (SWE), Society of Asian Scientist & Engineers (SASE), and local high school job fairs to recruit young talent to work for the federal government. She promoted the importance of diversity within the workplace and integrating AAPI competencies, cultures, contributions, work ethic, and behavior at these events. She has been participating in the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) to mentor and help individuals with disabilities find careers within the federal workforce. She encourages students to volunteer for AAPI community events for networking opportunities and supports and sponsors cultural youth groups, such as the Vietnamese Association Students.

Dr. Zina B. Sutch, Office of Personnel Management (SES)

Dr. Zina B. Sutch, Office of Personnel Management As Deputy Associate Director of Outreach, Diversity and Inclusion at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), Dr. Sutch leads OPM’s government-wide functions and responsibilities related to Recruitment, Policy and Outreach, Veterans Services, and Diversity and Inclusion. She led the OPM Center for Outreach, Diversity and Inclusion in reaching an audience of over 60,000 through diversity and inclusion related technical assistance consultations, presentations, workshops, webinars, training, conferences, fairs, and panels. Dr. Sutch served on the 2018 White House Initiative on Asian Americans & Pacific Islanders Interagency Working Group where their mission was to improve the quality of life for Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders across the nation through increased access to, and participation in, federal programs in which they may be underserved.

EXCELLENCE IN INDIVIDUAL ACHIEVEMENT

John Wilson Howerton, U.S. Army (GS 1-12)

John Wilson Howerton, U.S. Army Mr. Howerton passionately assists the ROTC program in recruiting, promoting, establishing, and maintaining an effective and equitable workplace for AAPl. During his tenure at the University of Guam, he facilitated the enrollment of over 420 Cadets into the ROTC program, which provides leadership instruction and training at no-cost to the AAPI students. Many of those students have gone on to become leaders on Guam, regardless of whether they eventually completed all four years of the ROTC program. He further develops the ROTC Cadets' work ethic by training them in public speaking and presentation skills. He uses every encounter with the Cadets as a way to develop their leadership and social skills.

Doris S. Tung, US Navy (GS 13-15)

Doris S. Tung, US Navy

Ms. Tung is a member of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) Inclusion and Engagement (I&E) Council where she integrates and improves awareness of Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) competencies, cultures, and contributions. She leads the new Enterprise policy initiative to promote more fair and equitable hiring practices. She is also a member of the Naval Asian Society Employee Resource Group (NASERG) in which she promotes AAPI issues within the organization and encourages participation in NASERG events. Ms. Tung leads the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Philadelphia Division (NSWCPD) contracting department team in recruiting, engaging, and creating a diverse workforce. She made great strides in diversifying the workforce by changing the Contracts Department hiring paradigm, yielding a larger and diverse pool of candidates for promotional opportunities. Through her work, AAPI recruits increased from 2.61% to 5.5%. On the job, she operates one of the most diverse and inclusive units in her organization. Ms. Tung attends recruiting events to grant candidates equitable consideration or opportunity and ensures job offers and interview processes remove biases to allow for equitable consideration diverse talent.

Jeffrey Clark Flora, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (SES)

Jeffrey Clark Flora, Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency   As a senior executive with the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency (DCSA), Mr. Flora has supported the Federal Asian Pacific American Council (FAPAC) and its training programs. He helped connect FAPAC to the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Office of Recruitment Policy and Outreach to present hiring workshops for the FAPAC National Leadership Training Program and Student Career Fairs. Mr. Flora leads by example with a sense of integrity and fairness. He is an active supporter of the Combined Federal Campaign, Feds Feeds Families, veterans’ initiatives and FAPAC and encourages DCSA employees to follow his lead. Mr. Flora was the founding executive sponsor for the FAPAC OPM Chapter and now the establishment of FAPAC Department of Defense Chapter.

DIVERSITY EXCELLENCE

Van R. Nguyen, US Army Corps of Engineers (GS 1-12)

Van R. Nguyen, US Army Corps of Engineers   Mr. Nguyen made significant contributions toward diversity and inclusion of Asian American Pacific Islanders (AAPI) as a Vietnamese-English translator communicating critical flood risk information with the vast New Orleans Vietnamese community. He promoted the importance of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics by mentoring at local high schools and colleges. As a result of his efforts, he recruited and developed several AAPI engineers. Mr. Nguyen successfully led the Asian Employment Program (AEP) in New Orleans District since 2013 and has actively served on the AEP since 2006. He steadfastly led the AEP mission as an organizational liaison and provided support to address the needs of New Orleans District Asian Americans and initiated programs to enhance the career development of Asian American employees.

Loucious Hires, National Aeronautics and Space Administration (GS 13-15)

Loucious Hires, National Aeronautics and Space Administration   Mr. Hires is Director of the Office of Diversity and Equal Opportunity for NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center (MSFC) in Huntsville, Alabama. He collaborates with MSFC offices to implement a comprehensive Diversity and Inclusion Strategic Implementation Plan and MSFC Anti-Harassment Campaign Plan. He also provides leadership training on conflict resolution and diversity and inclusion topics, such as unconscious bias. Mr. Hires established a special emphasis advisory committee of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders (AAPI) champions to help lead NASA/MSFC efforts to promote, establish, and maintain an effective and equitable workplace. The MSFC AAPI Special Emphasis Advisory Group addresses a range of issues that are relevant to AAPIs in the MSFC and greater Huntsville communities. Through partnerships with Redstone Arsenal agencies, MSFC leadership, MSFC AAPI Special Emphasis Advisory Group members, academia, and others, Mr. Hires helped develop the foundation for the City of Huntsville's successful bid to host the 2019 FAPAC National Leadership Training Program.

Courtney Wilkerson, Federal Aviation Administration (SES)

Courtney Wilkerson, Federal Aviation Administration   Mr. Wilkerson supported Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) participation at the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) as an executive champion for employee resource groups. The FAA saw annual increases in the number of AAPI employees, including a 10% growth in the number of GS-13 and GS-14 equivalent employees, an 8% increase in GS-15 equivalent employees, and an all-time high of 150 AAPI employees. Mr. Wilkerson presented on AAPI career growth and employee demographics at the FAA for the FAPAC-FAA Training Day in May 2019. He shared critical advice with 30 participants about how to prepare for FAA leadership positions. He also described how being involved in an employee group like FAPAC will assist in employee development to become a more viable candidate for the next job. Mr. Wilkerson is an advocate for employee development and offers his time and advice to help AAPI employees thrive.


Evaluation Process

The Award Committee will be comprised of the Awards Committee Chair and a Panel of Judges. The Committee will review each nomination package based on the five criteria below. Each criterion will be rated on a 20-point scale for a maximum score of 100 points per nomination package.  

  1. Criterion 1: Assisted the Agency in recruiting, promoting, establishing, and maintaining an effective and equitable workplace for AAPIs;
  2. Criterion 2: Promoted AAPI competencies, cultures, contributions, work ethic, and behavior related to the agency’s employment;
  3. Criterion 3: Promoted AAPI career development through mentoring, leadership, and/or relationship building;
  4. Criterion 4: Organized activities that promote equal opportunity and cultural awareness of the AAPI community; and
  5. Criterion 5: Displayed exceptional leadership that resulted in significant workplace changes or contributions.

The Award Committee will submit nominees with the highest score per award category to the FAPAC President for final review and approval. Award winners and the nominator will receive an email notice of the selection via email by March 2020. The Awards Committee Chair will coordinate and confirm the award winner's attendance at the NLTP Civilian Awards Ceremony on May 14, 2020. 

Please direct any additional questions to the award committee at awards@fapac.org.

Award Categories

One winner will be selected per category, per grade cluster (GS 1-12, GS 13-15, and Senior Executive Service) for a total of nine (9) awards.
  1. Outstanding Individual Leadership: Individual has shown bold leadership and innovative ways to promote Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO), Affirmative Action, and Diversity.
  2. Excellence in Individual Achievement: Individual has made significant contributions toward AAPI representation at all levels .
  3. Diversity Excellence: Individual has shown a remarkable contribution towards diversity and inclusion through collaboration and against all odds.

Submission Process

Various agencies may submit completed nomination packages online that include the items below. Incomplete or late nominations will not be considered.  Deadline to submit is February 15, 2020 at 8:00 pm ET.

  • Letter of Nomination by the Nominating Official not to exceed two (2) pages (single-spaced, 12 pitch font) that highlights and specifies the achievements related to Nominee for award consideration.
  • Nominee’s curriculum vitae (CV) or resume
  • Nominee's biography, not to exceed one page
  • Digital color or black and white head shot photo (high res .jpg, .png, .tiff files)

FAPAC is a 501 (c)(3) nonpartisan, nonprofit organization representing the civilian and military Asian Pacific American (APA) employees in the Federal and District of Columbia governments.
Copyright 2020 FAPAC • 12801 Fair Lakes Parkway, Fairfax, VA  22033 • P.O. Box 23184, Washington, D.C. 20026-3184

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