On Tuesday, December 14, 2010 General Counsel Kerry presided over the Office of General Counsel Annual Awards Ceremony. He was joined by Secretary Locke who delivered remarks, thanking the office for their tireless work over the past year. The Secretary acknowledged the critical role that the office’s attorneys and support staff played in helping him implement a number of important Department and Administration priorities. He introduced GC Kerry, who detailed the broad range of accomplishments achieved by OGC offices over the past year. He highlighted the role OGC played in the successful completion of Phase 1 of the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act and the successful litigation of the Supreme Court Case Bilski v. Kappos (08-964). He also applauded OGC’s contributions to the successful execution of the Decennial Census, ongoing Oil Spill litigation, and Export Control Reform.
Secretary Locke and GC Kerry presented the two Attorney of the Year Awards and the Support Staff of the Year Award. The 2010 recipients are:
Attorney of the Year - Rayna G. Eller – ELLD/Census & Economic Statistics Administration
Rayna has provided exceptional legal services during the past year, and made very significant contributions which have advanced several critical missions of the Department. Nowhere were her abilities more evident than in her effective advice to, and representation of, the Census Bureau during the 2010 Decennial Census. More than any other staff attorney in the Department, Rayna’s actions provided the Census Bureau with the ability to hire and retain the workforce necessary to complete its Constitutionally-mandated duty to render an accurate count of the Nation’s population.
Attorney of the Year - Peter R. Klason – Bureau of Industry and Security
Peter has provided outstanding support to the Bureau of Industry and Security over the past year, displaying tremendous versatility and depth of knowledge on a range of issues. His work has proven integral throughout each step of the President’s Export Control Reform Initiative. He also played a major role ensuring the President’s recent trip to India was a success by ensuring that BIS was able to deliver on new bilateral agreements with the Government of India
Support Staff of the Year - Michael Christensen – US Patent and Trademark Office
Michael served as the IT Liaison/IT Specialist assigned to the Office of the General Counsel at the Patent and Trademark Office. He has been the “go-to” person to get things done and is a model teammate who set a positive example. Michael exhibited great dedication to his technical support work while serving as the IT expert for services, system development, and coordination with OGC, USPTO, and DOC customers, frequently working long hours to provide IT customer service and systems design support. He consistently volunteered to help attorneys, paralegals, and support personnel with a myriad of IT tasks to ensure legal mission requirements were met. Michael has been a leader on the EDMS project and a leader in the OGC Technology Working Group.