IRON MOUNTAIN, Mich. (WJMN) – James W. Rice, Medical Center Director of the Oscar G. Johnson VAMC was recognized for the FY 2021 Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Award for his sustained accomplishments over 32 years.

Rice started his career with the Veterans Health Administration in 1990 and became a member of the Senior Executive Service on April 10, 2011 when appointed as the Medical Center Director at Oscar G. Johnson Medical Center.

“Winning the prestigious Presidential Rank Award is a great honor and I have been very fortunate to have worked with many amazing teams over my 32-year career in VHA, Rice said. “I am very thankful for everything we accomplished on these teams and the positive impact we have made in the lives of our Nation’s heroes and their families.”

The award is the top award a civilian federal employee can receive. It’s awarded by the President of the United States to recognize federal leaders that have overseen successful federal initiatives with a sweeping impact. There are two categories: Distinguished Rank Awards for leaders who achieve sustained extraordinary accomplishments and Meritorious Rank Awards for leaders with sustained accomplishments.

The Presidential Rank Award was established in 1978 and requires the U.S. Office of Personnel Management to request nomination and administer the program for the awards. In 1980 the Distinguished Executive and the Meritorious Executive Presidential Rank Awards were conferred upon career members of the SES. Only 1% of SES employees may earn the Distinguished Rank Awards and only 5% of SES members receive the Meritorious Rank Awards.