Cymbalsky builds consensus for new energy conservation standards

Listen to an interview with John Cymbalsky, the Science and Environment Medal Finalist, on Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp.

John Cymbalsky, the Department of Energy’s program manager for Appliance and Equipment Standards, faced a challenge when he took over the Appliance Standards Program (ASP) in 2010.

ASP, which was designed to cut greenhouse gas emissions, reduce energy consumption and save taxpayers money, had been floundering under numerous lawsuits and conflicts between environmental groups and industry.

Cymbalsky engaged the various stakeholders to quickly build a consensus on new energy conservation standards for commercial equipment and residential appliances.

“Because of John Cymbalsky, U.S. appliance makers are voluntarily accelerating their efforts to achieve efficiencies, and this will make them more competitive in international markets and promote U.S. job creation, consumer savings and environmental improvements.” said Bill Valdez, director of workforce management for DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy.


For his work in bringing together manufacturers and environmental groups to come up with new efficiency standards for commercial equipment and appliances, which helped to save taxpayers money and improve energy efficiency, the Partnership for Public Service recently named Cymbalsky as one of the finalists for the 2014 Science and Environment Medal. The award recognizes federal employees who have made important contributions in the area of science and environment. This includes biomedicine, economics, energy, information technology, meteorology, resource conservation and space.

Getting to know John Cymbalsky

Federal News Radio asked each of the Sammies finalists five questions about themselves. Here are Cymbalsky’s responses:

What three words best describe your leadership philosophy?
Educate, Motivate, Reinforce.

What’s the best piece of advice (or words of wisdom) you’ve ever received and who gave it to you?
Don’t wait for opportunities to find you – go find them yourself. (Mom)

Who is your greatest role model and why?
Mom. As a single mom raising three children, she taught me the value of hard work and perseverance.

What’s the last thing you read and what’s next on your reading list?
“Preliminary Analysis for Commercial Package Boilers.” Next up a “Notice of Proposed Rulemaking for Package Terminal ACs.” Dan Brown’s “Inferno” last novel I read.

What would be the title of your autobiography and why?
“Hard Work = Easy Fun — How to Achieve Success and a Balanced Life.” This is essentially how I have lived my life and feel it’s been quite enjoyable!

The Science and Environment Medal is just one of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) presented annually by the Partnership for Public Service. View a photo gallery of all the Sammies nominees.