2024 Public Service Awards

In 2024, we will present three awards to leaders who have distinguished themselves in public service careers and made significant contributions to the Truman community. Please join me in recognizing:  

  • Garrett "Boo" Martin (VA 94) for the Elmer B. Staats Award,
  • Kris Mayes (AZ 93) for the Joseph E. Stevens Award, and
  • Jeffrey Grant (MI 89) for the Ike Skelton Award. 

Thank you to everyone who submitted nominations. Meet our winners:

Boo Martin

Garrett Martin (VA 94)

Staats Award Recipient

Garrett "Boo" Martin has dedicated his career to connecting the dots between the daily struggles of working people and policies that can alleviate those struggles. A generation removed from poverty, Garrett made his way to Maine after working in community economic development in the Mississippi Delta, southern India, and Latin America. A dedicated community builder, Garrett found he could not ignore the limitations of teaching people to fish if the fish are full of toxins, bait and hooks cost a fortune, or the fishing hole has been privatized.

Garrett pursues his passion for advancing economic justice as President and CEO of the Maine Center for Economic Policy (MECEP). MECEP has been at the forefront of successful efforts to boost incomes and increase access to health care for hundreds of thousands of Mainers.

Prior to joining MECEP, Garrett worked as director of program strategy at the Maine Community Foundation and associate director at the Genesis Community Loan Fund. He served on the Community Development Advisory Committee of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and as chair of the State Priorities Partnership steering committee, a national network of more than 40 independent, nonprofit research and policy organizations. Garrett also coaches his local high school cross country and track teams - mentoring over 100 young people, close to 20 percent of the student body, every year. In 2017 he was selected the Maine State Cross Country Coach of the Year, and has been selected Conference Coach of the Year eleven times.

Garrett received his BA from the University of North Carolina and an MPA from Princeton University. He is a Morehead Scholar and a Truman Scholar. Garrett, or "Boo" as his friends in the Truman community know him, has been involved with the Truman Foundation since being selected from Virginia in 1994. He has served as a Senior Scholar and guest speaker for Truman Scholar Leadership Week and been a member of the New England Selection panel for 20 years. He served on the board of the Truman Scholar Association during its infancy. He is also the proud father of a Truman Scholar, Essie Martin (ME 20).

Kris Mayes

Kris Mayes (AZ 93)

Stevens Award Recipient

Kris Mayes is one of Arizona’s strongest consumer advocates and an attorney who has distinguished herself in a lifetime of public service. Born and raised on a tree farm in Prescott, Kris attended Arizona public schools with her brother and sister. Her mom was a teacher and her dad worked as a pharmacist. Kris studied political science and journalism at Arizona State University and went to work as a reporter. She later earned a Masters of Public Administration from Columbia University and her law degree from ASU. Kris was admitted to the Arizona State Bar on January 10, 2005. 

Kris served in a senior role with the Governor Janet Napolitano's administration in the early 2000’s before being appointed to the Arizona Corporation Commission. She went on to win two statewide elections and served as a Commissioner from 2003 - 2010 and was the Commission Chair from 2009 - 2010.  During her time on the Arizona Corporation Commission, her leadership helped create tens of thousands of high-paying jobs, saved Arizona consumers billions of dollars, and required utilities to produce more clean and efficient energy — including solar and wind. She also worked to preserve Arizona’s water resources.

Prior to her election as Attorney General, Kris worked as a professor at ASU’s School of Global Sustainability and taught a course on energy law for the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at ASU. She is honored to serve as Arizona’s 27th Attorney General, becoming the first mom and second woman ever to be elected to the office. She looks forward to continuing working on behalf of Arizonans as the top law enforcement official and consumer guardian in the state.

A long-time member of the Phoenix Selection panel, former Senior Scholar, and frequent speaker at Foundation events, Kris has been a mentor to countless Scholars, especially those interested in running for office.

Jeff grant

Jeffrey Grant (MI 89)

Skelton Award Recipient

Jeff Grant has 30 years of experience as an entrepreneurial manager of major health programs in the federal sector, leading the implementation of Affordable Care Act, Medicare Advantage and Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit payment policies, operations, and systems. He currently serves as the Deputy Director for Operations in the Center for Consumer Information and Insurance Oversight within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS). He leads over 500 Federal staff and thousands of contracted personnel to support the enrollment of millions of Americans in private health insurance coverage as the operations director of Healthcare.gov. He also oversees implementation of the patient protections in the No Surprises Act that protects over 200 million Americans from receiving surprise medical bills.

Jeff commenced federal service in 1982, enlisting in the US Navy as an Aviation Electronics Technician. He qualified as a Naval Aircrewman, earning his wings in 1986. He joined the Naval Reserve in 1987 and flew antisubmarine warfare operations during the Cold War and combat reconnaissance missions during the Yugoslav conflict. He retired in 2004 as a Senior Chief Petty Officer. He received numerous decorations including the Navy Commendation Medal and four Navy Achievement Medals.

Jeff is a 1989 Truman Scholar from Michigan. He continues to support the Truman community, leading CMS to establish their Schedule A authority to hire Truman Scholars, posting summer internship and Truman-Albright Fellow opportunities, and hiring and mentoring multiple scholars.

Jeff has a BA in History from the University of Michigan and a Master of Public Administration from The George Washington University. Jeff’s significant awards include the Presidential Rank Award (Meritorious), the HHS Secretary’s Distinguished Service Award, and CMS Executive of the Year. Under his leadership, Healthcare.gov has received several health information technology awards, including three technology innovation awards and a Service to the Citizen Award.

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