Management and Budget Officer, National Geodetic Survey
I am the management and budget officer in the National Geodetic Survey (NGS) and currently serve as the acting deputy director of NGS. My staff and I work diligently to insure that NGS can execute programs and projects to support the geodetic framework and coastal mapping of the United States.
I get great personal satisfaction working for an agency that provides an important framework for the oceans and coasts—including the inland coasts—of the United States. It is difficult to maintain the balance between commerce, safety, and ecology for these regions, and NOS employs dedicated, intelligent scientists who strive to do this every day. I am honored to work with them and to support them administratively.
The hardest part of my job is "squeezing blood from the turnip." NGS has competing priorities and limited funding resources to accomplish its mission. Each year is an exercise in executing our programs and projects, finding and hiring talented individuals dedicated to public service, and overseeing the acquisition process to insure the best value to the government while not exceeding our appropriation.
I have a bachelor's of science in accounting from the University of Baltimore and an MBA from Loyola College in Maryland. I'm also a licensed Certified Public Accountant (CPA) in the State of Maryland.
It's in my blood. My great-great-grandfather was a mariner along the East Coast, and some of his original charts from the late 1800s, hand-stamped by the U.S. Coast and Geodetic Survey—an NGS predecessor—hang on the walls in my home. His daughter, my great-grand-aunt, told me stories about her childhood traveling with him on extended work trips along the coast. I was raised with a love and respect for the ocean, its wonder, and its power. When I consider that I work for the National Ocean Service, I cannot think of a better place for me to be in the government.
I left the government for 12 years to be a full-time mom. When I returned, I worked for the Department of the Treasury in Baltimore. I was looking for something more challenging and stumbled across a posting for a financial management specialist in the National Geodetic Survey. I researched the program, applied for the opening, and got the job. I feel fortunate to have been selected by Charles Challstrom, a director emeritus of the NGS, and I still thank him for hiring me into an agency that truly serves the nation.
Science, science, science, and math, math, math. Students can give up too quickly on the sciences for careers in business. The opportunities and the jobs are there for U.S. citizens who wish to enter the government or the private-sector workforce in scientific fields. As an example, the Geospatial Applications Program at the Community College of Baltimore County is designated within Maryland as a Statewide Manpower Shortage Program. Maryland residents who register for this program may be eligible to pay tuition at the county rate regardless of where they live in the state. We need more students to consider the sciences!