This week’s featured member is Dick Davies – check him out!
1. What was your path to public service?
“I have always been active in civic projects, it’s a responsibility of being a citizen. I first got heavily involved in federal government service during the Y2K transformation, and have had leadership roles in several transformative federal information technology projects. Currently, I am Vice President of the Washington Academy of Sciences bringing scientific and technology focus to students in Washington, Virginia and Maryland through the WAS Junior Academy.”
2. What awesome projects are you working on now?
“There is a lot of interest in person/machine interface, what Ray Kurzweil calls the singularity, augmenting human skills with machine skills (think Android). We have a project that is creating improved leadership and job performance by interacting with a computer screen. Since that is a common requirement for many jobs, taking the emotional pitfalls of person-to-person relationships out of the equation is good for the manager and the managed.Another area is how energy consumption will be changing. Dana Blankenhorn says energy technology today is where PC technology was in 1970, poised for explosive growth. I was part of a team that won an SBIR in this area at a former company, and we currently have a promising technology we are about to launch.”
3. What have been some of your most memorable experiences in public service?
“The one that stands out in my mind was the privilege of working with some wounded warriors practicing communication skills for re-entering the civilian economy. I get chills right now remembering their incredible casual bravery, accepting their current condition and moving out on new assignments.”
4. What advice to you have for people who are new to the public sector?
“We are living though a time of great change.Government teams are struggling to become more effective. However, they are large organizations, which makes that improvement difficult. Do everything you can to be part of the solution and know you may have frightened or unknowing co-workers, but I have never seen evil federal employees. Everybody wants to do the right thing.”
5. What makes it all worth it?
“We live in AMERICA! What we get out of this republic is the sum of what we put in.”