On behalf of Transportation Secretary Mineta, Deputy Administrator Bonasso announced last month Stacey Gerard’s selection for the Presidential Rank of Meritorious Executive. The President of the United States recognizes the achievement of career Senior Executives through the annual Presidential Rank Awards. These awards are the highest honor the federal government can present a career civilian employee. The Presidential Meritorious Executive Rank Award is limited to only five percent of career senior executives government-wide.
The award is granted for “sustainable accomplishment,” based on such leadership qualities as innovation and achievement. Under Ms. Gerard’s leadership, the Office of Pipeline Safety team works daily to protect the public, environment and pipeline infrastructure that provides two-thirds of the nation’s energy. She led the team to become more efficient and effective in applying new technologies to solve problems, such as developing and implementing the National Pipeline Mapping System. In 2001, Congress, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), the General Accounting Office, and the Inspector General directed 65 specific actions to be completed by the Office of Pipeline Safety. By 2003, the agency moved off the NTSB’s “Most Wanted” list by completing all but 10 recommendations. Shortly thereafter, Congress passed the Pipeline Safety Improvement Act of 2002, which led to 59 new mandates that had to be completed within a specific timeframe. Ms. Gerard’s team completed most of these mandates, including the completion of the Natural Gas Pipeline Integrity Management regulations. With the implementation of these regulations, the department has seen double-digit drops in pipeline leaks, incidents, and spills.