Former Social Security Administration Head Carolyn Colvin Receives William Donald Schaefer Award
November 27, 2017
Contact: Office of Government and Public Affairs
Carolyn W. Colvin, a longtime public servant whose career culminated in her appointment as Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration of the United States from 2013 to 2017, is the recipient of the third annual William Donald Schaefer Award from the University of Baltimore's Schaefer Center for Public Policy. The award was presented on Nov. 2 during the center's 2017 William Donald Schaefer "Do It Now" Memorial Policy Conference, a gathering of experts to discuss a major topic in the realm of public policy.
PHOTO: Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh present Carolyn Colvin with the 2017 William Donald Schaefer Award during the Schaefer Center's "Do It Now" conference on Nov. 2.
Colvin had an extensive career in public service in local, state, and federal government. Under President Obama, she served as Acting Commissioner of the Social Security Administration for nearly five years. Prior to that appointment, Colvin served as Deputy Commissioner of the Social Security Administration from 2011-13. Previously, she served as the director of Human Services for the District of Columbia and director of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services. Under Gov. Schaefer, she served as secretary of Maryland's Department of Human Resources. Under Mayor Schaefer, Colvin served as Deputy Commissioner for Administration of the Baltimore City Health Department and Director of Administration and Management of the Baltimore City Health Department.
"Carolyn Colvin represents one of Gov. Schaefer's lasting legacies?the determination to fulfill the responsibilities of a public servant with a belief that every action matters and every day counts," said Ann Cotten, director of the Schaefer Center. "Her highly successful career shows us that leaders who act in good faith can make even the largest public agencies more responsive to the needs of each and every client. The Schaefer Center is proud to bestow our highest award on Carolyn this year."
In a Nov. 3, 2015 interview with The Washington Post, Colvin said, "Former Maryland Governor William Donald Schaefer gave me the best advice, and that was to put people first and to demonstrate to people that you care about them. He always talked about the importance of being a compassionate leader and the need to serve your people well and to serve the public. That helped generate my leadership style."
Annually, the Schaefer Center presents the William Donald Schaefer Award to a public official who embodies Gov. Schaefer’s spirit of caring and commitment to the people of Baltimore and Maryland. The first two recipients of the award were Maryland Congressman Elijah Cummings (2015) and Nancy Grasmick (2016), former Maryland State Superintendent of Schools.
In 2015, the Schaefer Center's Leadership Advisory Council sought to honor the legacy of Gov. Schaefer and his "Do-It-Now" style as well as generate funds to support the public policy center's self-funded policy research and professional development initiatives. In 2015 and 2016, the Schaefer Center hosted a reception and award ceremony. This year, the Center launched a public policy conference along with an awards luncheon.
The University of Baltimore is a member of the University System of Maryland and comprises the College of Public Affairs, the Merrick School of Business, the UB School of Law and the Yale Gordon College of Arts and Sciences.