Member of the Week: Henry Brown

I am currently employed as a Security Analyst for Office of Personnel Management http://www.opm.gov/investigate/

1.What was your path to public service/current job?

I spent 15 years in the military, before I decided that money was one of the more important things in my life (was trying to raise a family on E-6 pay in the late 70’s) so I went to the private sector, got my family raised and saw an opportunity to make a difference with the federal government. Came to federal service as the Director of Customer support for a large Navy organization in San Francisco California. Been with the government ever since, some assignments have been better than others but in most cases I could feel like I was contributing to the betterment of my country.

2. What awesome projects are you working on now?

Probably not any awesome projects now in my “day job”, more day to day stuff that insures that the agency I work for is not put at undue risk of loosing data. Includes updating security documents, insuring that there is some level of assurance that only the people who should have do in fact have access to only the data that they should have.

Due to my background of almost 40 years of experience in the US Federal Government arena I would like to think that my effort to provide as much information to as many as possible to the GovLoop Community has perhaps made a difference especially in the cloud computing group https://www.govloop.com/group/cloudcomputing

Cybersecurity https://www.govloop.com/group/cybersecurityissues


3. What have been some of your most memorable experiences in public service?

There have been many over the past 40 years, in most cases have been simply a team member to the accomplishment of the “mission”:

* Was a part of the team that cleared the tremendous backlog of request for security clearances in the federal government thereby doing mine/our parts to insure that my country was only hiring and keeping those people who did not have agenda that might cause harm to my country.

* I joined the disaster recovery team for Katrina and arrived in New Orleans within 3 days of Katrina’s landfall and after spending close to 90 days there I felt that I had done my “little” bit to insure that New Orleans would arise again more wonderful that it ever was.

* Did my bit to insure that not only was 9/11 an isolated incident but decrease the likelihood that it would happen again by insuring the reliability/availability of several data networks in New England and assisted in putting in place tools to reduce the likelihood of such an horrific event would ever occur again.

* Provided and maintained Personnel Computers for one of the first DOD groups that did take advantage of the empowerment of the employees by insuring that the power of computing was at the lowest level possible.

* In my opinion, had the opportunity to work with/for one of greatest admirals ever in the Navy, she didn’t spend any time at the helm of a ship, nor fly airplanes and she didn’t win any awards for valor in combat but she, probably single handily, brought the Navy into the computer age, Admiral Grace Hopper.

4. What advice do you have for people who are new to the public sector?

Define your goals early in the process, and always be striving to reach your goals, regardless of whether or not this requires a direction change. Would suggest a significant reevaluation of your goals at least every 5 years. Without trying to be too judgmental, would suggest that if you are just surviving, then perhaps it is time for a change or at the very least a review of your goals. And if your goals are not compatible with your job, everyone will be better served by a change.

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