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All Applicants

Please create an account to begin. You do not have to be nominated to submit an Application Portfolio. An Application Portfolio is required to be considered for an award.

Individual Awards

Selection Criteria

The Cafritz Awards are designed to recognize and reward outstanding performance and exemplary service by DC Government employees. The winners are chosen based upon demonstrated performance and excellence in one or more of the Selection Criteria:

  • Performed an outstanding act which brought positive recognition to the city
  • Successfully initiated and implemented an innovative idea that brought about dramatic results
  • Solved an extraordinary problem or achieved a significantly difficult goal
  • Consistently achieved excellence in overall job performance that is “above and beyond the call of duty”
  • Demonstrated outstanding and inspirational leadership that dramatically improved employee morale and team spirit
Eligibility Criteria

Please note the nominee, or self-nominee, must meet all of the following eligibility criteria, in order to be considered for The Cafritz Awards.

  • S/he serves full-time employee of the DC Government (volunteers, temporary, or contract workers are not eligible to participate).
  • By May 2020 s/he would have worked at least five years with the DC Government.
  • S/he DOES NOT serve in any of the following capacities: cabinet-level appointee, department deputy, teacher or principal.

NOTE: Former Cafritz Awards finalists are encouraged to reapply. However, former Cafritz Awards winners are not eligible for the individual Cafritz Awards.

Application Portfolio Requirements

To proceed for further consideration, all ELIGIBLE nominees and self-nominees are asked to submit an Application Portfolio. The portfolio allows you to tell us more about your accomplishments, and consists of the following sections:

  • Applicant Information
  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae
  • Current Job Description (can be acquired from your HR department)
  • Description of Accomplishments (essay not to exceed 5000 characters, approx. 825 words)
  • Supplemental Materials: photos and articles (optional)
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation*

Preview/print Application for Individuals for review only PDF

Team Innovation Award

The Team Innovation Award is designed to honor the achievements of work units, groups, or teams (3-10 individuals maximum) in one or multiple DC Government agencies. Teams must demonstrate that they are able to develop and implement an ongoing customer-focused initiative that drives innovation in the public sector and produces measurable and sustainable results. Teams need to have met one or more of the following Selection Criteria.

Selection Criteria

The Cafritz Award selection committee is specifically seeking initiatives that:

  • Introduce a unique concept, idea, policy, or a distinctively new approach to a problem in the context of given agency mission(s)
  • Build government capacity to serve its constituents, using innovative methods, tools and techniques that are applied to themes such as: modernization, change of organizational culture, and administrative reforms
  • Encourage partnerships between the public sector, civil society and the private sector in the design and implementation of the innovation initiative
  • Improve access and promote equity by extending service delivery to vulnerable groups (e.g. the poor, women, minorities, the youth, elderly, the disabled and others) and/or extend service delivery to a wider population than before, particularly through mechanisms that promote social inclusion
  • Provide high quality service delivery through improvement in timeliness, effectiveness, and client-orientation in public service delivery
Eligibility Criteria
  • Former Cafritz Awards finalists and winners working as part of a team are eligible for the Team Award
  • Any work unit, group or team (3-10 individuals) within one or multiple DC Government agencies may apply for the Team Award
  • Initiatives that involve other organizations, private sector and/or community-based organizations are also eligible, but only if the initiative is sponsored by a DC Government organization

NOTE: Eligible initiatives can be large in scale, and impact the entire District/agency/organization, or they can be small-scale, focusing on a specific problem.

Application Portfolio Requirements

To proceed for further consideration, all ELIGIBLE nominated and self-nominated teams are asked to submit an Application Portfolio. The portfolio allows you to tell us more about your team's accomplishments, and of the following sections:

  • Team Applicants’ Information
  • Description of individual contributions to the project (not to exceed 5000 characters for the entire team, approx. 825 words)
  • Description of Accomplishments (essay not to exceed 6000 characters, approx 1000 words)
  • Supplemental Materials: photos and articles (optional)
  • 2-3 Letters of Recommendation*

Only one Application Portfolio per team is required. Individualteam members do not need to submit Application Portfolios.

Preview/print Application for Teams for review only PDF

*Recommendation Letter Request General Guidelines

Applicants are advised to ask for recommendation letters from those individuals who can speak to the impact of their work, in order to highlight how these have benefited their respective organizations, and the greater DC community. When submitting a request for a recommendation, please provide your references with any materials they might find relevant as they write their recommendation letter.

NOTE:Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all parts of the application, including the recommendation letters, are submitted by the deadline. We suggest you contact your references as early as possible to give them enough time to respond when they receive the request from this system.


Your reference will be sent an email with a link to upload their letter into the system to accompany your Application Portfolio at that time.

Preview/Print Sample Letter of Recommendation