GovLoop Member of the Week – Henry Brown

Andrew Krzmarzick spoke with Henry, and their discourse provides great insight into our Member of the Week!

1. You are an uber-contributor to the GovLoop community (to say the least) – how/when did you first find out about it and what was your reaction? And what made you get so active?

Read about GovLoop in a Gov-exec blog in April 2009, and since I was between major projects thought I would take a look. At first I used GovLoop as a “source” for the IT/IT security newsletter that I have produced for some 15 years or so. Probably in the past 6 months I have used GovLoop as the “actual” newsletter directing all my subscribers/readers to GovLoop

2. What do you do for your day job? Do you have one? You’re so active on the site all the time! 🙂

In my day job, have 3 primary roles that can at times eat a whole lot of my time.
A. Write/Review Security Documentation
B. Manage Access control for a couple of systems
C. Security Awareness Training (including newsletter generation)
Fortunately I have been a Results Oriented Work Environment (ROWE) employee for the past 20 years or so… all though it hasn’t always been called that. I have probably pushed myself harder that any supervisor could and because I found my work/life balance involved a lot of computer time.

3. Are you originally from Huntsville, AL? If not, where did you grow up and how did you get transplanted?

No not from Huntsville, in fact in 2001 didn’t even know that a Huntsville AL. existed, Was applying for a job in Atlanta after spending 5 years in Boston, and at the end of the interview was asked if I would mind working in Huntsville, since it was south of the Mason Dixon Line (spouse is a hard-core southern girl, and the winters were just brutal to her) said no problem.

Grew up in a little town about 40 miles north of San Diego, Vista. During my first 17 years probably made 3 or 4 trips to San Diego and never got as far north as Los Angeles. Joined the Navy to see the world, and I sure did! and after spending 17 years in the Navy the “wanderlust” was ingrained big time in myself and the family. This tour of 9 years or so in Huntsville is the longest time we have ever spent anywhere, and suspect the next move to Houston Tx. where my spouse has roots, when I retire will probably be the last “move”

4. You are really well-traveled. Tell us a bit more about some of your journeys and what stands out in your mind as the most memorable (I’ll reference our dialogue in the Travel group).

Consider myself most fortunate to have been to all 50 states and to have traveled from border to border “several” different times without touching the interstate. Mostly while in the Navy, I have also managed to travel to some 120 different countries.

5. You share great content with the community every day – where do you find it? What do you read every day?

In the early 90’s, when I first started producing an email newsletter until ~ 2004 I would read 10 to 20 newsletters a week and belonged to several newsgroups which generated enough “sources” for my mostly weekly newsletters. Since 2004 my primary source of information has been RSS feeds. I am able to read/review several hundred a day on average which has tended to make me somewhat of a Subject Matter Expert when either posting content on GovLoop, preparing documentation, or writing the occasional newsletter now.

Haven’t read a non-technical item for some number of years now believe that the last one I read was Bill Clinton’s Autobiography. Probably only read one or two technical/professional books a year.

6. You belong to 60+ groups on GovLoop! Which one is your favorite and why?

Would be very hard to pick a single favorite: Cybersecurity is probably close to the top, probably because I bring several years of experience in that area to the table.

I have always been one of those cutting edge types so I enjoy learning AND sharing my knowledge of Web 2.0/ Gov 2.0 with those groups.

Because I have several years as a leader in the public sector and because I have reached a point in my life/career where sharing is important I enjoy the “communication” which goes on in the various leadership groups

7. What’s the juiciest little known, surprising fact about Henry Brown we should know?

Probably the least known and surprising fact, not sure how juicy it is, is my formal education stopped at a high school diploma some 50 years ago.”

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Congratulations on MotW Henry! I am glad to see that you’re in the cyber security arena as well. I equate cyber security professionals to aviators of the early 20th century: high demand with a lack of experienced professionals. Once again, congratulations!


Dannielle Blumenthal

Congratulations Henry. Your comments are very valuable to me and I appreciate your presence on GovLoop.

Sam Allgood

Thanks for sharing, Henry. Thanks also for demonstrating that wisdom and productivity is not limited to the formally-educated. Too many in our society have a hard time grasping that.