Lifetime Service Award

Kathy Eaton
Kathy Eaton

The Public Lands Foundation grants to Kathy Eaton its Lifetime Service Award for excellence in public land management.  The Foundation provides this award to deserving members who have perpetuated and enhanced the proud tradition of public service. Kathy, you have exemplified that tradition through a lifetime of service in managing and protecting the public lands.

After graduating from Frostburg College, Maryland, with a degree in History and Sociology and course work towards a Masters degree in Public Administration, you began a career of federal service as a clerk-typist in Washington, D.C. in 1974.  After moving up the BLM ranks in Washington, D.C., you moved to BLM’s Oregon/Washington State Office as Supervisory Personnel Management Specialist in 1981. Beginning in 1983, you then spent three years back in BLM’s Headquarters office in D.C. as Personnel Specialist; then three years in the Office of Surface Mining in Denver as Regional Personnel Officer; next to BLM’s New Mexico State Office as the Deputy State Director for Administration for about five years; then back to D.C. as the Desk Officer for the Assistant Secretary for Land and Minerals Management; and completing your career in 2007 as Deputy State Director for Management Services, in the BLM Oregon/Washington State Office.

Your 32.5 years of federal service were spent mostly in the administrative area, but with an excellent understanding of the BLM’s resource programs. You always connected well with employees, and were a mentor, at all levels in the organization.  And, your outstanding leadership and participation in major program areas benefited the Bureau greatly.

For example, your leadership and sensitivity to employee concerns and morale regarding the very controversial and demoralizing Competitive Sourcing Process helped make it a success, resulting in significant cost savings for the Bureau.  And, as a key player in developing and implementing the Service First Initiative in Oregon and Washington, you helped lead the way for implementation nationwide.

You also were a key participant or leader in just about every reorganization effort that occurred throughout your tenure.  They included: the transfer of MMS functions to BLM; the change from a three-tier to two-tier system; the change back from a two-tier to a three-tier system; the Washington Office Review; and the creation of the National Operations Center.

Along with these, personnel concerns and questions were expected.  You always had the time to address such concerns. You were a true mentor for employees, and as a counselor you were always in demand.  Employee development also was one of your high priorities.  And, you had a special interest in the Departmental Management Development Program and the National Training Center in Phoenix.

Those who worked with you recognized your straightforward approach, fairness and objectivity.  The many awards you received throughout your career recognized your outstanding performance and contributions in support of the BLM’s mission; one of the highest awards being the Secretary of the Interior’s Distinguished Service Award.

The Public Lands Foundation is honored to now recognize Kathy Eaton with this Lifetime Service Award, presented this day, September 14, 2012, at the Foundation’s Annual Meeting in Boulder, Colorado.