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Justice, Fairness, Inclusion, and Performance.

Celebrating Public Service

Fellow Spotlight: Debra Tomchek

By: Debra Tomchek

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I serve because...

I joined the government in 1974, starting as a civilian intern for the Army. In the Office of Personnel Management, I focused on personnel research and innovation. I was able to apply these ideas in succeeding positions at Treasury, Commerce, and Justice. Ultimately, the government workforce is the bedrock of any agency’s mission. It was gratifying to enhance mission delivery by directly supporting front-line public servants. I served so I could make a difference.

Individuals who inspired my career in public service are...

My parents Gene and Edith Moen were amazing public servants. At NASA’s Langley Research Center, my dad began as an engineer who worked on the Gemini program, solving the complex problem of docking spacecraft above the earth. He later performed aeronautical research with helicopters and experimental aircraft. My mother also worked for NASA as a secretary who advanced to become a position classifier. They encouraged me to consider a career in government, and I am proud of their service.

I want to recognize …

Academy Fellows David Lebryk, Scott Gould, and Linda Bilmes were excellent leaders who supported me over the course of my career. Academy Fellow Jeff Neal has also been a mentor, trusted advisor, and friend. Jeff and I first worked together at the Department of Commerce, and later in DoD and Homeland Security. Jeff applied his deep expertise in workforce and civil service issues in multiple government agencies and in the private sector. He also shares this expertise through his blog, and through his contributions to the Academy’s Standing Panel on the Public Service. Jeff Neal exemplifies the best of public service.

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