The Service to the Citizen™ Champions of Change Program recently announced their 2019 awards. Several VA staff members were honored in a ceremony that took place at the Willard InterContinental in Washington, D.C., on May 2, in coordination with Public Service Recognition Week.

Among the VA staff honored at the event was VA’s Under Secretary for Benefits, Paul R. Lawrence, Ph.D., who was presented with the Government Executive of the Year Award. The Honorable Mr. James Byrne, general counsel performing duties of the deputy secretary of Veteran Affairs, was also honored, along with Chief Technology Officer Charles Worthington.

Dr. Lynda Davis, chief customer officer of the Veterans Experience Office, as well as several VEO team members, were recognized with the 2019 Service to Citizens Award. In addition to Davis, the VEO team members were:

  • Barbara Morton – deputy chief Veterans experience officer
  • Denise Kitts – executive director of VEO’s multi-channel technology
  • Lee Becker – VEO chief of staff
  • Anil Tilbe – director of Enterprise Measurement & Design
  • Erin Siminerio – acting lead, Office of Design
  • Jennifer Purdy – acting executive director of VA Patient Experience
  • Maura Newell – White House presidential innovation efllow

“I’m very proud of our VA staff chosen to receive these awards,” said VA Secretary Robert Wilkie. “These awards recognize our VA colleagues whose efforts continue to have a positive impact on the lives of our Nation’s Veterans and their families.”

The Service to the Citizen™ Champions of Change Program recognizes those public servants and their industry partners who demonstrate excellence in their delivery of services that impact the public. These awards represent many of the customer experience and citizen services accomplishments from the past year across the government.

For more information about the awards and the event, go to

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