Meet: Brett Howe

Management and Program Analyst, National Geodetic Survey

In my job as a management and program analyst for NOAA's National Geodetic Survey, I perform a wide variety of management and budget activities, including budget formulation (planning for future budgets), developing performance measures and milestones, facilitating meetings, and responding to inquiries that come from NOAA, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DOC), and Congress. I also work with our communications and outreach folks on explaining what we do in plain language.

Brett Howe

What do you like most about working at NOS?

I really like the people I work with at NGS, NOS, and NOAA.  It makes coming to work a pleasure.

What is the hardest part of your job?

Responding to information requests with fast turnarounds is the most challenging part of my job. It's fairly common to have just hours to respond to an important inquiry from NOAA, DOC, or Congress that could have a significant impact on our budget.

What is your educational background?

I have a bachelor's in electrical engineering from the United States Naval Academy and a master's in public policy from the Georgetown Public Policy Institute.

What inspired your interest in the ocean and coasts?

The ocean has always been a big part of my life. I grew up near the ocean in Florida, and when I was in the Navy I spent a great deal of time at sea. I've also always been fascinated by maps and charts, so it's great to be part of an organization that provides the foundation for mapping and charting activities at NOAA and other federal agencies.

How did you end up working at NOAA?

After the Navy, I went to graduate school and then joined NOAA through the Presidential Management Fellows (PMF) program. I met my future co-workers at a PMF job fair in 2004.  Since then, I've been to several job fairs looking for and hiring other PMFs into our agency. It's a great program that I recommend for newly minted graduate students looking for a career in the federal government.

What advice do you have for young people wanting a career in the "ocean realm"?

Don't stop learning. Look into internship programs, like the PMF program, that can lead to job experience and a job offer. Meet and interact with people who have similar interests, and follow their advice. NOAA is extremely diverse. Not only do we have people with a wide variety of backgrounds, but the work that we do touches people's lives in many ways that they wouldn't even expect.