Meeting The Boss, John Kerry

Secretary John Kerry and Andy Blumenthal.jpeg.jpg

What an awesome day today getting to meet Secretary of State, John Kerry. 

It is truly very cool to work for the Federal government and to be part of something much bigger than ourselves.

Meaning, purpose, contribution, service, and constant learning–that is a lot of goodness and opportunity to receive in one’s career. 

Thank you G-d for the amazing moments as well as the daily grind to work through it all. 😉

(Source Photo: Colleague)

His And Hers

Cards For Dad and Mom
So grateful to my wonderful colleagues and friends here at the Department of State. 



Cards for the loss of my mom and dad…one year apart, but I put them side by side, where they belong. 



I miss my parents, but this is a beautiful reminder to me that they are together in Heaven!



I am thankful for the wonderful caring people I am surrounded with who provided me their support and warm sentiments during this challenging year.  



Hoping for G-d’s blessings and a better future. 

The Arts of Peace

The_arts_of_peace

What a gorgeous day in Washington, D.C. today.

Took a little lunchtime walk to enjoy the great city, sipping my Dunkin’ along the way.

This picture is of “The Arts of Peace” by James Earle Fraser on the eastern end of The Arlington Memorial Bridge.

On the left is “Music and Harvest” and on the right is “Aspiration and Literature.”

These 17′ statues are gilded in bronze and are really awesome.

Not far from the Department of State and the United States Institute of Peace.

They invoke true majesty as you enter the Capital of the United States of America.

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)

Apps–The World At Your Fingertips

I came across this great video by the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs (IIP)
The video demonstrates a vision for connecting people with applications and using these “to communicate, educate, and engage–beyond the gates of every embassy on the planet.”
I like the way they detailed out specific use cases for the apps, where “Applications can be anything from trivia to media kits, visa procedures and event management to English language tutorials.”
The video describes how everyone from a consular officer to a public affairs specialist and a college student to a journalist can take advantage of these. 
I can see that one of the principles behind Apps@State is to maximize the sharing and re-use of content through an apps catalogue and the ability to customize the apps to local and individual needs. 
The mobile and webs apps content will be made available through SMS, smartphones, and social networks.  
This framework for a cloud computing platform can bring efficiency and effectiveness to foreign service officers and audiences world-wide that depend on and can benefit from these programs.
This is very much user-centric design in action, and I believe very much on target with the “25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal IT Management.”
Other agencies are also developing significant apps catalogues, such as GSA with the Apps.Gov website, which now has more than fifty free social media applications for federal agencies in everything from analytics and search to blogs, contests, document sharing, video and photo sharing, idea generation, social media, wikis, and more. 
Perhaps it is not too early to say that the Federal government is on a roll and that it will only get better with time. 
(Note: All opinions my own)

New Beginnings

Next week I am excited to begin a new journey as a Division Chief at the U.S. Department of State.
I just wanted to take a minute to thank the ATF for the opportunity to serve there as the Chief Technology Officer these last few years.
There are no finer or more dedicated law enforcement agents than those that work for our federal government, and I am so proud that the ATF chose me to support their vital mission of protecting our country.
I also greatly appreciate the opportunity to have worked and learned with such talented and dedicated professionals in the Office of Science and Technology. 
Some people have asked me to comment on my tenure from the perspective of what’s going on in the news. It wouldn’t be appropriate for me to do that, but I do want to recognize and thank people for caring so passionately about our great country.
It’s a new chapter in my life and I’m ready to roll up my sleeves, learn, and contribute as well. 
I am grateful for the wonderful opportunity–ready, set, go!