This year marks the 60th anniversary of the Annual Attorney General’s Awards. I feel privileged to announce that Ellen Pence and Marnie Shiels received awards at the Attorney General’s Awards ceremony held on October 17, 2012. Ellen was honored with The Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Service and Marnie received The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service.
The Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Service The Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Service is the top public service award granted by the Department of Justice and is designed to recognize the most significant contributions of citizens and organizations that have assisted the Department in the accomplishment of its objectives. Only one Meritorious Public Service Award was recommended this year and it is both with great pride and a heavy heart that I announce that Dr. Ellen Pence, Founder and Executive Director of Praxis International, Inc. was posthumously awarded The Attorney General’s Award for Meritorious Public Service for her “Outstanding Dedication to Ending Violence Against Women and Children.”
Dr. Ellen Pence was an advocate, social activist, mentor, and leader in the battered women’s movement for over 35 years. Since 1975, she focused her work on legal reform efforts, particularly in the areas of domestic violence, child protection, housing, and welfare reform. Ellen received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Toronto in 1996, the same year she founded Praxis International. Her commitment to eliminating violence in the lives of women and children was unparalleled and felt by all of those impacted by her work. Ellen’s partner, Amanda McCormick, accepted the award on her behalf.
The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service Marnie Shiels, an Attorney Advisor in the Office on Violence Against Women, is one of thirteen recipients of The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service for her involvement in the Prison Rape Elimination Act (PREA) Working Group. The Attorney General’s Award for Distinguished Service is the Department of Justice’s second highest award for employee performance.
I am thrilled to announce these special recognitions and can think of no two people more deserving!