Director of Department of General Services, City of Baltimore
If you had to live in a different city, what city would you choose?
Nairobi, Kenya. Because that is home and where my family is. I’ve lived exactly half my life in the US and my heart remains torn between the two.
Storytelling or innovation? Which is the most overused word in local government?
Of the two, Innovation. I chose that only because I genuinely believe that we need to do a much better job of telling the stories of what we do, why we do it, how we do it and what it ultimately means to the lives of people who live, work and visit the cities we work for. Government operations remain too much of a mystery to the general public.
What year would the most important in your life? Why?
Professionally, that would be 2010. That is the year I had to work with a job coach assigned to me who taught me the concept of transferrable skills. Learning not to tie my professional worth to a particular industry and experience was eye-opening and has been instrumental in my career growth since then.
(Complete this sentence) The one thing that I think is missing from local government is….
…storytelling to the public about all the wonderful people working hard to provide the services that keep a city operational.
What’s your area of expertise? This is not necessarily just your department, but something about local government work that you love learning about, implementing, and talking through with others:
I love seeing the change in people’s attitudes to their job when they are given the opportunity to learn about how they, individually, impact the success of the organization. Creating a climate where people understand why they are doing what they are doing, and how doing it better is within their ability.
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