The Presidential Citizens Medal

The Presidential Citizens Medal Criteria

Full Criteria for Nomination

The 2013 Citizens Medal will recognize “citizens of the United States of America who have performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens.” Executive Order 11494 (Nov. 13, 1969). It is generally recognized as the second highest civilian award of our Government.

The 2013 Citizens Medal will recognize U.S. citizens who have performed exemplary deeds of service outside of their regular jobs, including individuals:

Who have a demonstrated commitment to service in their own community or in communities farther from home. Someone who has engaged in activities that have had an impact in their local community, on a community or communities elsewhere in the United States or on fellow citizens living or stationed around the world.

Who have helped their country or their fellow citizens through one or more extraordinary acts. Individuals who have demonstrated notable skill and grace, selflessly placed themselves in harm’s way, taken unusual risks or steps to protect others, made extraordinary efforts to further a national goal, or otherwise conducted themselves admirably when faced with unusually challenging circumstances.  

Whose service relates to a long-term or persistent problem. Individuals who have made efforts to combat stubbornly persistent problems that impact entire communities, for example those who have taken innovative steps to address hunger, homelessness, the dropout crisis, lack of access to health care, and other issues that plague too many Americans.

Whose service has had a sustained impact on others’ lives and provided inspiration for others to serve. The ideal nominee for a Citizens Medal is a person whose work has had a meaningful and lasting impact on the lives of others.

2013 Citizen’s Medal Question & Answer

Can I nominate someone who is no longer living for the Citizens Medal?
Yes, according to 1969 Executive Order 11494, the Citizen’s Medal may be awarded posthumously.

Does the nominee need to be a US citizen?
Yes, the terms of the Executive Order provide that the medal must be awarded to a citizen of the United States.

May a person be considered for the medal if their act of service is part of their regular job?
No, the 2013 Citizens Medal criteria explicitly state that service must be performed outside of their regular job.

May a former President be considered to receive the Medal?
Yes, the Executive Order provides that the medal may be bestowed by the President in his sole discretion on any citizen of the United States.

Can more than one person be considered in a single nomination?
Yes, the medal is awarded at the President’s discretion. For example, President Bush presented Mike Feinberg and Dave Levin, co-founders of the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), the Presidential Citizens Medal in 2008.

Can an organization be considered for the Medal?
No, according to the Executive Order, the medal must be awarded to a citizen or citizens. However the leaders of a group may receive the medal, as in 1982 when the medal was awarded to the Matthews-Dickey Boys and Girls Club founders.

Can a person who nominated himself or herself be considered to receive the Medal?
Yes, the Executive Order does not limit who may nominate someone so long as the candidate is a United States citizen.