Member of the Week: Sandra Yeaman

Over at “Rock Your Resume” — a joint project of GovLoop and Young Government Leaders — we’re happy to honor Sandra Yeaman as GovLoop Member of the Week! The goal of Rock Your Resume is to help current and aspiring Govies fine-tune their government resumes by offering resume reviews and resources. Since its launch in January 2011, over 300 members have joined Rock Your Resume and the group has reviewed over 50 resumes.

Rock Your Resume would not have launched so successfully if not for Sandra’s tremendous volunteer efforts. Since the start of the initiative, she has reviewed or commented on over 25 submitted resumes! We sincerely appreciate her help, and we know the resume submitters do as well. If you’re inspired by Sandra, come join us over at Rock Your Resume! https://www.govloop.com/group/rockyourresume

Here’s Sandra’s story:

1 – What was your path to public service?
My 12th grade English teacher assigned a research paper on careers, a kind of “What do you want to be when you grow up?” exercise. My interest in foreign languages led me to discover the Foreign Service. After a few years of paying attention to other things, I rediscovered the Foreign Service while I was teaching English in Romania. I joined State as a Foreign Service Officer in March 1985. Even after retiring in 2007, I continue to work at State, now as a contractor.

2 – What awesome projects are you working on now?
The office at State where I work does ONLY awesome projects – Communities@State is a blogging platform to facilitate collaboration; Diplopedia, State’s internal wiki, is another collaboration tool; we are in the final beta test for Corridor, State’s professional networking platform. We have hosted four Tech@State conferences which bring together technology leaders with Civil Society organizations, including NGOs and other government agencies. We are in the planning phase for additional TechCamps, building on last November’s TechCamp Santiago success where Civil Society representatives defined problems which were turned over to technology leaders to build solutions. In addition, I promote – enthusiastically – SharePoint solutions to business challenges.

3 – What have been some of your most memorable experiences in public service?
I have had the incredible luck to be out of the country when things go awry. An earthquake in Romania occurred five months before I arrived. Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait shortly after I left the Arabian Peninsula. Hurricane Andrew hit Miami the day after my family flew out. While I was assigned in Sanaa, Yemen, the USS Cole was hit by terrorists in Aden harbor, but I was in Budapest at a travel conference. When I returned to Yemen, I was the only person at the Embassy who had been getting any sleep so that I could provide relief to those around me. I supported visits by Vice Presidents, Secretaries of State and Defense, and former Presidents, with a few photos on my bookshelf at home as evidence.

4 – What advice do you have for people who are new to the public sector?
Keep in mind at all times that there are no good or bad jobs – just jobs done well or badly. It’s your choice. Attitude is everything.

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Jason Show

Part of Secretary Clinton’s Civil Society 2.0 initiative, TechCamps are hands-on, two-day events that brings together civil society leaders, technologists and local officials to identify technologies that can make a positive impact in local communities. Our focus is providing a unique interactive opportunity to collaborate and discuss ways in which new technology can be used for social good with the longer-term aim for TechCamp to become a self-organizing, self-replicating event that can be organized by communities all over the world.

Upcoming TechCamps will be in Jakarta, Chisinau and Vilnius.