By: Georges Benjamin
Who or what inspired you to work in public service?
My initial entry into public service was when I entered the U.S. Army as payback for a scholarship to medical school. I had the honor of serving our nation for 9 years as a physician. My last assignment was as the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, in Washington, DC were I was the chief of emergency medical services. My next position was at the city hospital in Washington DC and later as the cities commissioner for public health. I was interested in the variety of the work and inspired by the people who worked tirelessly to improve the lives of others. I just wanted to have that sense of purpose I saw all around me.
What is something you are excited about right now?
My grandkids are my inspiration as I watch them grow up and mature. It is different then my own daughters.
What is your favorite class you have ever taught or took and why?
Biochemistry was the class that really fascinated me the most. It became my focus for doing research and later going to medical school. My understanding of biochemistry has served as the basis of much of my scientific understanding. The class I had the most fun at was music. I spent most of my adolescence and early adult hood in music as a jazz trombonist and a member of a world champion drum and bugle corps.
What inspires you during these challenging times?
I am inspired by the quest for knowledge of my colleagues and its application to solving the COVID-19 pandemic. This is the worse public health threat in 100 years but it is not the only one and I remain focused like a lot of my professional colleagues on the quest for the U.S. to be a healthier nation overall.
What advice can you give to folks beginning careers in public service?
Great job and the rewards are there every time you help a person in solving their life’s problems or assist them to accomplish their goals. It is a form of servant leadership where the rewards come back to you in ways you rarely expect.
What is your favorite midnight snack?
Chocolate ice cream & mike shakes
Do you have any pets at home?
We have a cat named Lady Grey. She is sure she is queen of the house and behaves that way
If you could witness any historical event, what would you want to see?
I would love to be around when we go to MARS. Actually, I would love to make the trip.
Do you have a favorite podcast, journal, newspaper, or other kind of media?
I am a political junkie. I love the political news shows in all of their forms.
What is the best piece of advice you ever received?
My best management advice I have been given is….”In an emergency (Real or otherwise) …Always take your pulse first ; If you have one then you have time to thoughtfully address the problem; .If you don’t have a pulse then it is too late.”