American University School of Public Affairs Announces 36th Annual Roger W. Jones Award For Executive Leadership Winners; Acting IRS Commissioner Gives Keynote

Share Article

American University’s School of Public Affairs’ Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership went to David A. Bray and Brian J. Persons. Acting Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service Daniel Werfel gave the keynote speech.

David Bray and Brian Persons’ government service epitomizes leadership and improving the quality of government services for Americans.

Tuesday night, American University’s School of Public Affairs presented its annual Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership to David A. Bray, Chief Information Officer, Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and Brian J. Persons, Assistant Deputy Chief, Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (N9B), United States Department of the Navy.

“David Bray and Brian Persons’ government service epitomizes leadership and improving the quality of government services for Americans. They mentor and instill upon the future generations of employees the drive to find solutions and efficiencies without sacrificing high standards or quality,” said Barbara Romzek, dean of American University’s School of Public Affairs. “We challenge our students as they embark on their future careers to emulate these two outstanding individuals.”

Acting Internal Revenue Service Commissioner, Daniel Werfel, who is responsible for collecting $2.4 trillion in tax revenue and managing 90,000 employees delivered the keynote address,"Public Service Careers in a Challenging Environment."

Since 1978, the Roger W. Jones Award for Executive Leadership has recognized public servants in the federal government whose careers are marked by extraordinary effectiveness in organizational development and a strong commitment to training and educating managers and executives. In appreciation for his/her outstanding service, each recipient receives $2,500.

Dr. David A. Bray, Chief Information Officer, Federal Communications Commission

Dr. David A. Bray sees opportunities to build solutions, consensus, and coalitions where others see problems. Dr. Bray served as the executive for innovation, integration, and interoperability for the Office of the Program Manager, Information Sharing Environment from October 2010 to August 2013. During this time, Bray was also detailed as an executive director supporting the National Commission for Review of Research and Development Programs of the United States Intelligence Community. From 2000-2005, Bray held key positions at the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, where he oversaw the nation’s technological response to national emergencies including 9/11, anthrax attacks in 2001, the SARS epidemic and monkeypox outbreak in 2003. In August 2013, he assumed a new role as chief information officer for the Federal Communications Commission.

  •     Bray received the National Intelligence Exceptional Achievement Medal in 2013 and the team he supervised received the National Intelligence Meritorious Unit Citation that same year.
  •     He was also one of 13 individuals across the entire federal workforce recognized for the Arthur S. Flemming Award for public service leadership.
  •     Elected to the Senior Executive Association’s Board of Directors in 2011 where he encourages greater public-private partnerships and mentoring programs with rising government leaders.
  •     Volunteered to deploy to Afghanistan in 2009 a special advisor for NATO’s International Security Assistance Force.
  •     Career in government began at age 15, when he worked at the U.S. Department of Energy and the Navy.
  •     Since 1999, Bray has been an active volunteer for Habitats for Humanity International on builds around the world.

Brian J. Persons, Assistant Deputy Chief, Naval Operations for Warfare Systems (N9B), U.S. Department of the Navy.

Brian J. Person’s is known for balancing his technical expertise with strategic vision. In his current role in the Navy, Persons is the principal adviser to the chief of naval operations on warfare requirements and integration of naval warfare systems. His portfolio includes programs with an annual funding level of $90 billion. As executive director of the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) from 2009-2012, Persons supervised more than 58,000 employees. Persons led the Research and Systems Engineering Competency, a group composed of some 20,000 scientists and engineers, when he served as the executive director for the Naval Systems Engineering Directorate.

  •     Began his professional career as a GS-7 Naval Architect in the Design Division at Long Beach Naval Shipyard, where he worked on numerous surface ship overhauls including the reactivation of the battleships USS NEW JERSEY and USS MISSOURI, restoration repairs to the missile damaged USS STARK and was a member of the voyage repair team sent to the Persian Gulf assess and repair the mine-damaged USS SAMUEL B. ROBERTS.
  •     In 1996, returned to NAVSEA as the Assistant Program Manager for CVN 77, aircraft carrier, USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH and was subsequently selected to be the first Deputy Program Manager for the Future Aircraft Carrier Program Office.
  •     February 2000, Mr. Persons was appointed to the Senior Executive Service.
  •     In 2000, selected as the executive director for the Program Executive Office, Aircraft Carriers where he was the Senior Civilian Official responsible and accountable for a program portfolio of $40B.
  •     Awarded two Navy Superior Civilian Service Awards, a Navy Distinguished Civilian Service Award, two Senior Executive Service Meritorious Presidential Rank Awards, and an SES Distinguished Service Rank Award.
  •     Spearheaded Wounded Warriors Career Program at NAVSEA to be the leading organization in the Department of the Navy and Federal Government in the hiring of Wounded Warriors.

Roger Jones and the School of Public Affairs

The award is named for Roger W. Jones (1908–1993), a leader in federal government for more than four decades. Jones served as chairman of the Civil Service Commission, deputy under secretary of state for administration, and senior consultant and special assistant to the director, Bureau of the Budget. His service was distinguished by his ability to lead change based on the belief that government can mobilize human talents to accomplish goals.

Founded in 1934 and ranked among the top schools of its kind, American University’s School of Public Affairs offers education on the undergraduate, graduate, and executive levels in the fields of government, justice, public administration, public policy, and organizational development.

The School of Public Affairs engages faculty and graduates who are active in global policy legislation and advocacy. The school is home to research centers and institutes in the fields of political science, public administration, public policy, and justice. It is the only school of its kind with three accredited degrees—the MPA, MPP, and Executive MPA—by the National Association of Schools of Public Affairs.

American University is a leader in global education, enrolling a diverse student body from throughout the United States and nearly 140 countries. Located in Washington, D.C., the university provides opportunities for academic excellence, public service, and internships in the nation’s capital and around the world.

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

J. Paul Johnson
American University
(202) 885-5943
Email >
Visit website