Department of the Interior

Office of the Secretary
For Immediate Release
April 20, 2006
Contact: Joan Moody

Secretary Presents 20 Presidential & Executive Leadership Awards

WASHINGTON -- Acting Secretary of the Interior Lynn Scarlett today presented top awards recognizing 20 members of the Senior Executive Service at the Department of the Interior. She presented the 2005 Presidential Rank Awards to four individuals, honored one executive with that award posthumously, and presented the Secretary's 2005 Executive Leadership Awards to 15 others

In a ceremony at the department's headquarters in Washington, Scarlett said these top award recipients served as examples for other federal employees "with their dedication and determination, their passion and compassion."

"Your leadership at the Department of the Interior and throughout your public service has helped all of us to accomplish so much more on behalf of the American public than had we not been blessed by your service," said the Secretary.

Tom Weimer, Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Policy, Management and Budget, described the several types of awards.

Presidential rank awards recognize Senior Executives who have demonstrated exceptional performance over an extended period of time. There are two types of rank awards.

The Distinguished Executive rank award is given for "sustained extraordinary accomplishment" to no more than 1 percent of the career SES government-wide. The Meritorious Executive rank award recognizes "sustained accomplishment" of no more than 5 percent of career SES government-wide.

Within the department, the Secretary's Executive Leadership Awards were created to recognize extraordinary performance and excellence in leadership. The criteria include extraordinary accomplishment of the performance elements in the SES member's annual performance agreement and demonstration of excellence in the five Executive Core Qualifications.

The 20 awardees have worked at the departmental level or in one of Interior's bureaus-including the National Park Service, Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Geological Survey, Office of Surface Mining, Bureau of Reclamation and Minerals Management Service. Their names and biographies follow.


2005 Presidential Rank Award Recipients

Meritorious Executive

Robert E. Brown
Robert E. Brown is the Associate Director of Administration and Budget for the Minerals Management Service. A New Jersey native, Brown graduated from Seton Hall University in 1972 with a B.A. degree. He also did postgraduate study as a History Fellow at Georgetown University. Bob's federal career includes a number of human resource and administrative positions in the Minerals Management Service and the U.S. Navy. He has received both Meritorious and Distinguished Service awards from Interior, and has twice been awarded the rank of Meritorious Executive.

A. Durand Jones
The late Randy Jones was the Deputy Director of the National Park Service and later Special Assistant to the Director. Mr. Jones served a long and exemplary career in the park service, beginning in 1972 as an environmental specialist. During his career, he served as superintendent at Everglades National Park, Lyndon B. Johnson National Historical Parkand Rocky Mountain National Park. Randy died in November 2005, and is survived by his wife, Julie, who lives in Estes Park, Colo.

Brent T. Wahlquist
Brent T. Wahlquist is the Appalachian regional director for the Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement. He is also serving as the acting director of that office. Mr. Wahlquist joined OSM in 1983 as assistant director and was responsible for developing research, policy and regulations for both the active mining and abandoned mine lands programs. A native of Idaho, he holds a PhD in biology from New Mexico State University, and both a masters and a bachelors degree in botany from Brigham Young University.

Meritorious Professional

Timothy L. Miller
Timothy L. Miller is the Senior Advisor for Water Quality at the U.S. Geological Survey, a position he has held since 1997. Before coming to USGS headquarters in 1987, Mr. Miller worked for USGS in his native Oregon as a principal scientist on water quality projects for the state. Mr. Miller has received a number of commendations, including the Meritorious and Superior Service Awards. Mr. Miller is a graduate of Portland State University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Mathematics and Engineering, and his postgraduate studies were in mathematics, statistics, engineering, and systems science.

James D. Nichols
James D. Nichols is a senior scientist with U.S. Geological Survey, Biological Resources Division. He took a population ecologist position with U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service at Patuxent Wildlife Research Center in 1976 and has continued to work at Patuxent. His main interests are animal population ecology, animal population management/ conservation, and biometrics. Dr. Nichols received his B.S. from Wake Forest University, his M.S. From Louisiana State, and his Ph.D. at Michigan State.

2005 Secretary's Executive Leadership Award Recipients


Stephen P. Martin
Stephen P. Martin is the Deputy Director of the National Park Service. His 30 years of experience in the park service have included ranger positions at Grand Teton, Yellowstone and Voyageurs national parks. He has served as Superintendent at Gates of the Arctic and Denali nationals parks in Alaska, at Grand Teton in Wyoming and at John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway, also in Wyoming. Martin's wife, Cyd Martin, who has a doctorate in cultural anthropology, is also a career employee of the National Park Service.


Henri R. Bisson
Henri Bisson was appointed Alaska State Director for the Bureau of Land Management in May 2002. His career at BLM spans more than 30 years and includes service in a variety of management positions in California, Arizona and Colorado, and in the bureau's Washington office. Bisson holds a B.S. in forestry from the University of New Hampshire and an M.S. in watershed management from the University of Arizona. In 2003 he received the Meritorious Presidential Rank Award.

Elaine Marquis-Brong
Elaine Marquis-Brong is the BLM state director for Oregon/Washington. Elaine joined the Bureau of Land Management in 1979 and has enjoyed tours of duty across the United States. Prior to her Federal career, Marquis-Brong served as a volunteer for the Peace Corps in El Salvador. Marquis-Brong holds a BS in Biology from the University of Maine. She serves on a number of community boards, including the California Governor's Wildland Fire Strategy Committee, Habitat for Humanity, and the Oregon Institute of Natural Resources.

Mamie Parker
Mamie Parker is the Assistant Director - Fisheries and Habitat Conservation for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Armed with degrees in wildlife and fisheries science, and a PhD in limnology, Dr. Parker has plied the trade at a number of Service facilities, starting as a fish health practitioner at the Genoa National Fish Hatchery in Wisconsin. Dr. Parker was recently recognized by her home state when she was inducted into the Arkansas Outdoor Hall of Fame. She and her husband Artist make a home in Virginia.

Grayford Payne
Gray Payne is the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for Indian Affairs. Prior to this he served as the Deputy Chief Financial Officer as well as the Director of Financial Management within Indian Affairs. Gray started his career with the Department of Defense, Naval Audit Service providing oversight of Navy National Security programs. From 1993 to 2000 Gray was the Director of Financial Management at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission where he received the Commission's award for Leadership Excellence for his leadership in transforming the Commission's Office of Financial Management into an effective and efficient CFO organization. In 2001 Gray came to Indian Affairs, under his leadership Indian Affairs successfully implemented an Activity Based Cost/Management System. As Indian Affairs Deputy Chief Financial Officer and now CFO Gray has worked to reorganized Indian Affairs CFO operations to improve its financial management and financial accountability. Gray is a 1980 graduate of George Mason University with a degree in Accounting and a 1991 graduate of the Department of Defense - Defense Systems Management College as a certified DOD Program Manager.


Carol Aten
Carol Aten recently retired as Associate Director for Administrative Policy and Services at the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) with more than 27 years of federal service. She holds a BA degree in political science from the University of Maryland and a JD degree from the Washington College of Law at American University. Her federal career includes working on community development for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, and as the Chief of Policy for the National Park Service.

Linda C. Gundersen
A USGS employee for 27 years, Linda C. Gundersen is the Chief Scientist for Geology. Her career has included assessing the geologic radon potential for the United States and supervising the geologic hazard, resource and landscape programs of the USGS. Linda's undergraduate and graduate studies included structural geology and geochemistry at the University of New York at Stony Brook and the University of Colorado. She is the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award and the Unit of Excellence Award. She has published more than 65 papers in the field of geology.

Abraham E. Haspel
Dr. Abraham E. Haspel is the Assistant Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of the Interior. He was appointed to this position in June,2002. He is a senior advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary, serving as a focal point for American Indian trust reform issues and projects. Dr. Haspel's Federal career began in 1978 at the Department of the Interior. Since that time, he has served in a number of positions both at DOI and at the Department of Energy. He has twice received the rank of Meritorious Executive. He received his doctorate in economics from the University of Pennsylvania and a baccalaureate degree (magna cum laude) in mathematics and economics from Brandeis University. Dr. Haspel and his family reside in Annandale, Virginia.

Susan D. Haseltine
Susan D. Haseltine is the Associate Director for Biology at USGS. Her federal career has included several research positions in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her research interests include science-based approaches to conservation and integration of fish and wildlife needs on landscapes. Susan holds a Ph.D. in zoology from Ohio State University.

Pamela K. Haze
Pam Haze has been the Deputy Director of the Department's Office of Budget since December 1999. Before then, Ms. Haze worked for the U.S. Geological Survey, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and the Bureau of Outdoor Recreation. Ms. Haze received an undergraduate degree in wildlife biology and a graduate degree in environmental science at George Mason University. Ms. Haze and her husband Gary are residents of Washington, D.C.

Marshall P. Jones
Marshall P. Jones was named deputy director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in October 2000. He began his career as a biologist and technical writer in the Office of Endangered Species in Washington, D.C., in 1975. Since that time he has served as Assistant Director for International Affairs and Washington Chief of the CITES Management Authority. Jones majored in zoology and English at the University of Michigan, received an M.S. in vertebrate ecology from Murray State University in Kentucky, and did additional graduate work at Cornell University. He served in the U.S. Army from 1969 to 1971.

Debra E. Sonderman
Debra E. Sonderman is the Director of the Office of Acquisition and Property Management. Ms. Sonderman has held a variety of acquisition and business positions with Treasury, the Department of the Navy and the U.S. Small Business Administration. In 2002 Ms. Sonderman received the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive. A summa cum laude graduate of the Catholic University of America, Ms. Sonderman has completed graduate work at the Harvard University John F. Kennedy School of Government.

Larry L. Todd
Larry L. Todd is the Deputy Commissioner for Policy, Administration and Budget for the Bureau of Reclamation. Todd's experience spans more than 30 years of government service in various land management, reservoir design and construction, and policy and management analysis positions held in Washington, DC, Montana, Texas, and Colorado. Mr. Todd holds a Master's Degree in Biology from Fort Hays State University in Kansas.

John D. Trezise
John Trezise is Director of the Interior Department's Office of Budget. He was appointed to this position in 1998. Mr. Trezise joined the Department of the Interior in 1971 as an attorney in the Office of the Solicitor. Mr. Trezise is a graduate of the American University and the University of Michigan Law School, where he was an associate editor of the Law Review.

Jeffrey P. Zippin
Since the creation of the Office of Historical Trust Accounting in July 2001, Jeff has served as its deputy director. Mr. Zippin has held a number of positions at DOI, working on projects ranging from offshore oil and gas drilling to training officials in the Former Soviet Union on environmental protection for development of mineral resources. In July 1999, Jeff graduated from the Department of the Interior's year-long Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. Jeff is originally from the New York City area but has lived in California, Nevada, Georgia and North Carolina. He currently lives in Northern Virginia.