What Politicians Don't Tell You About Federal Employees

Meet 19 people who will make you rethink what government service is all about.

Anyone worried about government’s ability to attract the top tier talent needed to address a host of pressing national challenges should spend some time with the Nextgov Bold Award finalists. The 19 individuals and teams selected from a pool of nearly 200 nominations exemplify the kind of creative problem-solving, technical acumen, ambition and persistence we frequently hear about in the private sector but too seldom learn about in government.

These are men and women who saw a better way to do something and then did it, drawing on the power of technology to do so—in some cases on their own time, with little or no additional funding. They took on difficult technical challenges and, in some cases, their own bureaucracies because they knew there was a more effective way to care for severely injured veterans, deliver humanitarian aid, safeguard nuclear weapons, warn people about deadly storms and protect endangered species.

Their efforts have made air travel safer, helped diplomats operate more effectively overseas and transformed information sharing at the highest levels of government. They have improved our national security as well as our national standing. They’ve also cut waste and saved taxpayers millions of dollars.

One of our goals in establishing the Bold Awards was to draw attention to some of the exceptional and mostly unsung technology innovation civil servants are pursuing on behalf of citizens. We’re pleased to be honoring their service at Nextgov Prime , our annual technology conference Oct. 15-16 in Washington, and we hope you'll join us there. The Bold finalists are making government work more efficiently and effectively, and that’s worth celebrating.

Read more about them in the slideshow below: