BY CANDICE VILLARREAL
OFFICE OF CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS
NAVSUP FLEET LOGISTICS CENTER SAN DIEGO
A NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center (FLC) San Diego civilian employee was named the 13th annual Department of Defense (DoD) David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Award (EPAA) winner this month.
Hallie Balkin, NAVSUP FLC San Diego assistant counsel, was selected for the award after a thorough review of her exceptional contributions to the government over the past six years. She officially accepted the award during a ceremony at the Pentagon’s Hall of Heroes Nov. 16. Balkin is the first Navy civilian to win the award in more than a decade.
“I am honored and humbled, especially when I think about how many wonderful federal employees there are in the DoD and how many are so deserving of this recognition,” said Balkin. “I am blown away that I’ve been selected. This kind of thing doesn’t happen without extraordinary leadership.”
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Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness Anthony Kurta and Secretary of the Navy Richard Spencer present Hallie Balkin, NAVSUP FLC San Diego assistant counsel, with the David O. Cooke Excellence in Public Administration Award.
The EPAA recognizes only one non-managerial DoD career employee with three to ten years of federal service per year. Winners are chosen based on their demonstration of great leadership potential as a future federal executive, while helping to promote and effect cooperation and improvement within the DoD.
Balkin is a graduate of San Diego State University and Thomas Jefferson School of Law. She joined the DoD as a civil servant in 2011 after being recruited by Washington Headquarters Services, where she served as a contract specialist for Pentagon contracts. From there, she moved on to Marine Corps Systems Command, serving as a program attorney. In July 2015, Balkin joined the NAVSUP Fleet Logistics Center San Diego team as assistant counsel.
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A Fall Awards Ceremony was held at the Hall of Heroes, in the Pentagon, Arlington, Va., Nov. 16, 2017. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Michel'le Stokes)
Since entering public service, she has assessed and identified procurement shortcomings with increased risk to the DoD that led her to create several key workplace tools. Balkin created a performance work statement writing guide, legal review intake form, and a source selection kickoff brief, all aimed at maximizing efficiency and shielding the DoD from potential litigation resulting from avoidable errors. Those tools have been shared throughout the DoD to maximize their application.
“Her efforts have resulted in greatly reduced legal and financial risk to the government,” said Executive Director Chachi Gorman. “These are significant achievements that have long-lasting, positive repercussions throughout the Navy and DoD, and she worked on those things while also defending bid protest cases. She truly deserves this accolade, and we’re very fortunate to have her on our team.”
“Without the collaboration and support from my colleagues, supervisors and clients, I wouldn’t be where I am today, so I’m thankful for everyone who has played a role in my career,” said Balkin. “And my husband, who I met in law school and who works with me now, he’s my rock. He speaks the language and understands what I’m talking about. I get to bounce ideas off of him–big picture kind of things–and it’s very helpful because he understands and gives me real feedback. All this support from everywhere around me makes me feel like I can do anything. I’m so very fortunate.”