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Public Citizen Recognizes Catherine Jones for Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

Nov. 19, 2013

Public Citizen Recognizes Catherine Jones for Longtime Dedication to Public Interest

Center for Progressive Reform Employee Honored with the 11th Annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Catherine Jones, operations and finance manager at the Center for Progressive Reform (CPR), will receive the 11th annual Phyllis McCarthy Public Interest Award at a reception on Tuesday, Nov. 19, at 5 p.m. EST at Public Citizen’s office at 1600 20th Street, NW in Washington, D.C.

Jones began working for CPR on a part-time basis in October 2005, three years after it was founded. Since then, her job has grown from assisting the executive director with the organization of meetings to being the primary point person handling financial affairs. Meanwhile, CPR grew from 25 scholars and a staff of two, to more than 60 scholars and a staff of 10. Given that the organization is a virtual one, with volunteers and staff working from their homes, Jones’ scheduling tasks are especially challenging.

“Catherine handles every such task with an incredible amount of good humor, patience and persistence, giving our virtual group a strong sense of cohesiveness and structure,” wrote Jake Caldwell, CPR’s executive director.

Public Citizen created the award after Phyllis McCarthy, a 24-year employee of its Health Research Group, passed away in November 2002. She worked for 24 years as a managing editor and office manager, playing an integral part in the development and preparation of publications, reports, medical journal articles and petitions to government agencies. The award recognizes individuals who have worked long and hard for a public interest group, performing critical functions as did McCarthy, but who have not received public credit commensurate with their contributions.

CPR is a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit research and educational organization made up of more than 50 Member Scholars – working professors at institutions of higher learning who volunteer their time to protect health, safety and the environment through analysis and commentary. Founded in 2002, CPR fights for sensible safeguards in many of the same areas as Public Citizen – from ensuring food and drug safety to protecting the environment and pushing for corporate accountability. Public Citizen President Robert Weissman sits on its Advisory Council, along with other political and civil society leaders.

“Catherine is the foundation that enables all of us to work at our full capacity at CPR,” Caldwell wrote. “She truly amplifies our effectiveness and voice with her talents and support. And because she shares our values, we also benefit from her enthusiasm and sense of purpose.

“All public interest organizations need a Catherine Jones.”