Jay Merchant, an employee in the Health and Human Services department (HHS), was named a Knight of the Order of Orange-Nassau by the queen of the Netherlands in April.
Merchant is an international relations advisor at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).“The fact that all Counselors for Health and Welfare actively support honoring Mr. Merchant is proof of the importance of his contribution to the US-Netherlands relations in the field of health and welfare,” Dutch Ambassador Rudolph Bekink said on April 29th, according to the Netherlands Embassy website. “The document that Mr. Merchant received is extra special, as it is one of the last Letters Patent issued on behalf of Queen Beatrix.”
Such honors for federal employees are rare. “No title of nobility shall be granted by the United States. And no person holding any office of profit or trust under them, shall, without the consent of the Congress, accept of any present, emolument, office, or title, of any kind whatever, from any king, prince, or foreign state,” says Article One, Section Nine of the Constitution.
H/T Politico Pulse, which noted it this morning following a tip from “an eagle-eyed CMS employee.”