Kopka selected for national diversity award
Marie Kopka, water resources planner and recipient of the 2022 Outstanding Individual Leadership Award from the Federal Asian Pacific American Council. (Photo Credit: Courtesy) VIEW ORIGINAL

The Federal Asian Pacific American Council awarded Marie Kopka, St. Paul District water resources planner, 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 last fall.

“I’m ecstatic that these diversity, equity and 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 received the award virtually at the organization’s 37th National Leadership Training Program 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.”