Skip to main content

Transportation Safety and Reliability in Spotlight as GAO Director Named “Sammies” Finalist

WASHINGTON (May 6, 2024) Focusing on her extensive work on federal transportation issues, exposing gaps, and making recommendations to improve safety and reliability, Elizabeth (Biza) Repko today was named a finalist for the 2024 Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (the “Sammies”). Ms. Repko, a Director with the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s Physical Infrastructure team, was named a finalist in the Management Excellence category.

Ms. Repko has dedicated her 19-year career with GAO to holding the federal government accountable to the American people. As a director, she has led GAO’s efforts to oversee a historic increase in infrastructure funding, issuing more than 30 studies investigating federal transportation investments. Her work has explored rail safety risks, documenting deficiencies in federal close-call reporting and producing one-of-a-kind information on the growing length of freight trains. Ms. Repko has also led groundbreaking work examining crash test dummies, finding that while the government knew there were greater risks of injury or death for some demographic groups, it was not effectively addressing them.

“Biza’s expansive body of work has improved the safety and reliability of America’s transportation systems that the nation and our economy so heavily depend upon,” said Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the GAO. “Biza embodies the very best of public service in all that she does. Her management of GAO’s vast transportation portfolio provides key oversight of billions of dollars in transportation grants for the Congress, ensuring they are administered with equity and transparency.”

The Sammies are run by the nonpartisan nonprofit, the Partnership for Public Service, and are the premier awards program honoring excellence and innovation in federal service. Since its inception in 2002, the Sammies have honored more than 750 outstanding federal employees for their outstanding contributions to safety, public health, and sustainability across our nation and the world. Ms. Repko is among 25 finalists, comprised of both individuals and teams, for a total of 43 federal employees being recognized this year. Visit for more information on the awards and the 2024 finalists.

All finalists are eligible for the Service to America Medals People’s Choice Award, where the public can vote online and support Biza’s work. Members of the public can vote starting on May 6.


The Government Accountability Office, known as the investigative arm of Congress, is an independent, nonpartisan agency that exists to support Congress in meeting its constitutional responsibilities. GAO also works to improve the performance of the federal government and ensure its accountability to the American people. The agency examines the use of public funds; evaluates federal programs and policies; and provides analyses, recommendations, and other assistance to help Congress make informed oversight, policy, and funding decisions. GAO provides Congress with timely information that is objective, fact-based, nonideological, fair, and balanced. GAO’s commitment to good government is reflected in its core values of accountability, integrity, and reliability.


Next Release:

GAO Makes MACPAC Appointments, Designates Chair


WASHINGTON (May 2, 2024)—Gene L. Dodaro, Comptroller General of the United States and head of the U.S. Government Accountability Office, today announced the appointment of two new members and reappointment of four current members to the Medicaid and CHIP Payment and Access Commission (MACPAC). He also named the Commission’s Chair.