2016 DHS Secretary’s Awards recognizes 51 TSA employees

Monday, October 31, 2016

Fifty-one TSA employees were presented awards from Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson for demonstrating work, sacrifice and professional excellence at the Secretary’s Awards Ceremony on Oct. 26 at DAR Constitution Hall in Washington, DC.

Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas presented the Secretary's Exceptional Service Gold Medal 2016 to Brett GunterSecretary Johnson granted the Exceptional Service Gold Medal in recognition of exceptionally outstanding leadership to Brett Gunter, assistant administrator for training and development for implementing a groundbreaking Transportation Security Officer Basic Training Program on schedule.

The Secretary’s Award for Excellence recognized a group of employees from Offices of Security Operations, Security Capabilities, Security Policy and Industry Engagement and the Administrator for establishing the Incident Command Center to address the record-breaking volume of travelers this past summer.

The Secretary's Customer Service Award drew attention to one of the latest TSA initiatives to improve the traveler experience. “Our team is honored by the recognition and really pleased by the impact of this new social care program,” said Jennifer Plozai, acting deputy assistant administrator for the Office of Strategic Communications and Public Affairs. “We are able to respond to the needs of travelers in real-time and make operational improvements based on the feedback we receive.”

Ask TSA TeamAskTSA, the Twitter and Facebook Messenger based program, operates 365 days a year to provide quick and accurate responses to passengers’ questions that cover topics ranging from TSA Pre✓® hours of operation, screening procedures, and even what you can (and can’t) pack. Since launching, the program has responded to more than 80,000 inquiries.

Other TSA employees received special awards for unity of effort, valor and meritorious service. 

The annual ceremony highlights the exceptional service and astonishing contributions of committed employees who secure the homeland daily. Several hundred men and women of the Department of Homeland Security are honored for their distinctive efforts.