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Meet Our Fellows: David Grant ('19)

Mr. Grant is a senior executive with over 34 years of experience in procurement, acquisition, program management, and leadership, with 18 years in the Senior Executive Service. He has experience in leading large and complex multi-functional organizations, program management, acquisition planning, budgetary formulation and management, program lifecycle management, strategic planning, and measurement of outcomes. Mr. Grant is seen as an experienced leader of organizations across multiple Departments as well as representing Agencies at OMB, the Administration, Capitol Hill, and Industry.

Mr. Grant is the Co-Founder and Partner of Potomac Ridge Consulting firm. Potomac Ridge has a deep understanding of Agencies’ critical mission needs, how to achieve their desired outcomes and the ability to help the private sector deliver their solutions to meet those Agencies’ needs.

Mr. Grant served as the Associate Administrator for Mission Support and Component Acquisition Executive (CAE) and was responsible for Agency-Wide integrated support operations consisting of: Procurement, Information Technology, Human Capital, Financial Management, Real Property and Facility Management, Asset Management, Privacy, and Security. For much of 2017, Mr. Grant served as the FEMA’s Acting Deputy Administrator. In this role, he was leading the operation of the Agency during transition of Administration and Departmental leadership and continuing of operations for critical Agency programs. He led FEMA’s internal operations and Disaster oversight while maintaining agency continuity in partnership with the Department of Homeland Security as well as the Agency’s State, Local, Territorial and Tribal partners during one of the Agency’s most historic hurricane seasons.

Prior to becoming the Associate Administrator for Mission Support, Mr. Grant served as the FEMA Chief Procurement Officer. In this role he led an organization of over 200 personnel dedicated to providing a full range of acquisition services and business solutions to all FEMA programs, partners, and stakeholders. Mr. Grant led multi-billion-dollar procurement initiatives in support of both steady-state and disaster activities and operations for FEMA.

Prior to his appointment as the FEMA Chief Procurement Officer, Mr. Grant served as Chief, Agency-Wide Shared Services (AWSS) for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) where he provided oversight and direction to key operational and administrative divisions in support of IRS tax administration. He oversaw a staff of approximately 3,000 employees and managed a budget exceeding $3 billion in support of more than 100,000 IRS employees. His organization consisted of five operating divisions providing services for Procurement, Real Estate and Facilities Management (REFM), Employee Support Services (ESS), Physical Security & Emergency Preparedness (PS&EP), and Equal Employment Opportunity (EEO).

Prior to his appointment as Chief, AWSS, Mr. Grant served as the IRS Director, Office of Procurement, where he led a staff of more than 500 and managed the nationwide procurement program with an annual spending of approximately $2 billion and administration of contracts worth $15 billion.

Prior to his tenure with the IRS, Mr. Grant began as Department of the Army intern and held positions of increasing responsibility as a Contracting Officer with the Communications-Electronics Command (CECOM), primarily supporting the digital replacement for the Tri-Service Tactical (TRI-TAC) signal system providing echelon above corps tactical command, control, and communications capabilities.

Mr. Grant is a member of the Senior Advisor to Government Executives (SAGE) for the Partnership for Public Service, is a graduate of James Madison University and a recipient of numerous awards such as the Presidential Rank Award, Treasury and DHS Secretarial awards, IRS Commissioner awards, and FEMA Administrator awards.

Here is a recent interview with Mr. David Grant:

  1. How did you get involved in public service?

My first job out of college was an "interim job" as a GS3 Clerk Typist. I needed a job, needed insurance and was looking for a "career job" … one thing led to another and soon I was on my way to a 35-year career. Best interim job I ever had!

  1. Which of the 12 Academy’s 12 Grand Challenges resonates most with you?

Probably two: modernizing and reinvigorating Public Service and Build Resilient Communities.

  1. Reflecting on your career thus far, is there a highlight, a greatest accomplishment or a funny story you’d like to share?

Well, not sure if it’s funny or a great accomplishment but my start as a clerk typist with no intention of staying in Government is an odd way to start a 3-decade long career …. but it highlights one of the biggest advantages working for the federal Government. That is, once you are "in a seat in the stadium" you have a real chance to see a world of possibilities. I saw some, took some chances, moved around a bit and then stayed in for a great career.

  1. What advice would you give someone wanting to start a career in public service?

You can find a way to do almost anything in a federal career. Medical, technical, artistic, indoors, outdoors, working with people or basically working alone … you name it there's a chance to accomplish it. And in the end, you are doing something for a greater purpose which I always found fulfilling.

  1. What was the best trip you’ve ever taken?

Personally … I would say our honeymoon to the Caribbean was a load of fun.
Work … I would say visiting a Joint Field office after a disaster to see the folks working countless hours for people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

  1. What was the last book you read or one that you would recommend?

American Ulysses: A Life of Ulysses S. Grant. Fascinating book. My grandmother used to say we were somehow related, but we've never been able to figure out the relationship. Nonetheless, a great book.

  1. Do you have a favorite podcast, journal, newspaper, or other kind of media?

I am old school. I read the Washington Post, USA Today, CNN, Wall Street Journal almost every day.

  1. What do you work toward in your free time?

In my semi-retirement I want to learn how to play the piano, guitar and better golf. None of which I have accomplished!

									 David Grant
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