The Energy Department has announced that four employees have been selected as finalists for the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medal from the Partnership for Public Service. Alice Lippert, Gilbert Bindewald, and Patrick Willging were selected for helping government authorities and power companies deliver emergency services and restore electricity by creating critical information-sharing and assessment tools. John Cymbalsky was selected for bringing together industry and environmental groups to adopt new energy efficiency standards for appliances and commercial equipment that will save consumers money and reduce energy consumption and air pollution.   

“The Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals recognize federal employees who perform their jobs with exceptional dedication and creativity and, in doing so, have made a significant difference in the lives of their fellow Americans,” said Deputy Secretary of Energy Daniel Poneman.  “These nominees have earned our thanks and congratulations for their contributions to our nation.” 

Over the past several years, Lippert and Bindewald from the Office of Electricity Delivery and Energy Reliability and Willging from the Office of Fossil Energy have worked together to create a tool that aggregates information from multiple sources and supports near-real-time energy infrastructure analysis and monitoring. During emergency events such as Hurricane Sandy, the tool – called Environment for Analysis of Geo-Located Energy Information (EAGLE-I) – is used to provide information and analysis that helps federal, state and local governments coordinate emergency response efforts and work with utilities to restore power as quickly as possible. Now, 16 federal agencies and offices use the EAGLE-I tool to monitor energy infrastructure in the event of a natural disaster and better coordinate response and recovery efforts.

Cymbalsky leads the Energy Department’s Appliance and Equipment Standards Program and works with industry and environmental groups to establish commonsense energy efficiency standards that are saving billions of dollars while enhancing U.S. energy security. Under the Obama Administration, the Energy Department has finalized new efficiency standards for more than 30 household and commercial products, including dishwashers, refrigerators and water heaters, which are estimated to save consumers more than $420 billion and cut greenhouse gas emissions by over 1.9 billion metric tons through 2030. These standards incorporate feedback from industry, consumer and environmental advocacy groups and other stakeholders.

Bindewald joined the Energy Department in 2001 after completing his Masters in Public Administration/International Development at Harvard University and working in industry on energy-related research for a number of years.  A native of Albany, New York, he lives in Maryland with his wife and two children.  

Cymbalsky joined the Appliance and Equipment Standards Program in March 2010 after over 20 years at the Energy Information Administration, where he worked on developing the National Energy Modeling System and numerous policy studies related to residential energy use.  He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Buffalo in Economics and Statistics and was born and raised in Long Island, New York.

Lippert has over 30 years of federal service. She joined the Department of Energy in 1985.  Prior to that, she was employed as an Economist at the Bureau of Labor Statistics at the U.S. Department of Labor.  She holds of Master of Science in Consumer Economics from the University of Wisconsin and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of North Dakota.  She is a native of North Dakota and currently resides in Fairfax City, Va., with her husband.  They have two children.  

Willging joined the Energy Department in 2004 after 16 years at the Department of Defense. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the George Washington University and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Catholic University of America. Born and raised in Washington, D.C. he lives in Fredericksburg, Va., with his wife and four children.