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Milwaukee-area resident selected for national diversity award

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District
Published May 5, 2022
Updated: May 5, 2022
Marie Kopka smiles for a portrait photo

Marie Kopka, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, plan formulator, is the Federal Asian Pacific American Council their 2022 Outstanding Individual Leadership Award recipient.

The Federal Asian Pacific American Council awarded Marie Kopka, water resources planner with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, their 2022 Outstanding Individual Leadership Award from for her work on diversity and inclusion.

Kopka, who works out of Wauwatosa, Wisconsin, co-founded the creation of a national Army Corps of Engineers Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander, or AANHPI, Employee Resource Group within the last fall.

“I’m ecstatic that these diversity-equity-inclusion efforts are getting attention,” Kopka said. “I’m humbled that the Corps put forth that nomination. It was also very validating, that the Corps is valuing the efforts.”

The award is given annually to individuals “who have shown bold leadership and innovative ways in promoting Equal Employment Opportunity, Affirmative Action, and Diversity.” The Federal Asian Pacific American Council represents federal employees from all agencies, promoting equal opportunity and inclusion, cultural diversity, mentoring and development. Kopka will receive the award formally at the organization’s 37th National Leadership Training Program to be held virtually on May 10-12.

Kopka is a nearly 20-year veteran at with the Corps of Engineers. She started as a park ranger in the Portland, Oregon, area, and spent more than a decade working for the St. Paul District in the regulatory division. She transferred to the Regional Planning and Environment Division North in 2021, and currently serves in plan formulation there.

“Marie is not only a great team member here in the St. Paul District, but she is also a great champion of diversity and inclusion across all of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers,” said Col. Karl Jansen, St. Paul District commander. “We’re so pleased she was recognized with this prestigious award, and it was well deserved.”

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Release no. 22-042