Member of the Week: Dannielle Blumenthal

Have you met Dannielle Blumenthal?

Chances are you’ve bumped into her on GovLoop – she’s created several groups and has as of late become a prolific blogger.

Her short answers below really don’t do justice to her contributions to GovLoop and government communications, so I hope that this brief profile prompts you to join her groups and become a regular reader of her blog so that you can learn more about Dannielle!

a. I see you have a Ph.D. in sociology – what was the subject of your dissertation?

Soap opera viewing – an interesting project that was published as a book called Women and Soap Opera: A Cultural Feminist Perspective (1997).

b. What was your path to public service? How did you end up at DHS?

I had been working in private industry as a brand consultant and director of a think-tank. Though I enjoyed that work tremendously I felt that the government was a more stable, family-friendly work environment and that the mission was much more meaningful. All true.

c. Why are you interested in the field of communications?

It’s seemingly so simple, but really takes a lot of sophistication to do well.

d. You host several great groups on GovLoop – Communications Best Practices, Internal Communications, Social Media for Government – got any success stories to share from those groups in terms of information sharing and problem solving?

To me the success is the fact that others joined the groups and interact with one another. I am just glad to see the number of people on the groups, and that they’re so busy!

e. You will be speaking at the Next Generation of Government Summit (can’t wait!). What is your topic/session and can you give us some snippets of what you’ll say?

I’m going to talk about innovation in government communications – lessons learned and takeaways that might help others. The overall idea that I’m thinking about is that innovation isn’t a particular “thing” that you do but rather an approach to working. I might share some lessons learned about approaches that tend to work vs. those that are less successful.

f. Peer into the proverbial crystal ball – what will the next generation of government look like…project 10 years down the road.

By 2020 we won’t even recognize government anymore, it will be so technologically advanced. I also think it will be much closer to a private sector profit model. Finally it will be much more flexible in terms of where people work—more telecommuting-based, especially.

g. Any other thoughts or insights for your peers?

I feel very grateful to be a federal worker and proud to have been chosen to serve. My husband got me a mug that says it all: “Happy to be in the community, assisting, serving, consulting, all seeing Government Worker.” (Of course the other side of the mug says “It’s only a job” in tiny print. But I keep that part turned around.)

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Sterling Whitehead

The answer to f. What government will look like in 10 years is very interesting. If the US and other Open Gov Nations (UK and Australia really come to mind), will other countries adopt this model?

Even better, a successful Open Gov model in the US means new efficiencies in government that potential rivals like China couldn’t dare match. In the event of conflict, this could give the US a major advantage.


PhD in Sociology – thats awesome. MA in Sociology here.

My old advisor Lee Harrington also studied soap operas. Know her?

Dannielle Blumenthal

Well I just came across this. I thought you all forgot about the Member of the Week profile.

Yes, I know of Lee. That is really funny.

By the way the answers are short for a lot of reasons. Noteworthy among them is that I have to clear media interviews with agency and shorter is easier.

Also I don’t like talking about myself. It’s embarrassing.

The last two questions were my favorites.

John Moore

Congratulations Dannielle! You are someone who I’ve enjoyed following recently, well deserved shout-out.