Enjoy up to 50% Off Sitewide! Code: MGIFT18 Ends: 4/25 Details

Bill's Book

Hello, you either have JavaScript turned off or an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.

Bill's Book - Page Text Content

FC: Bill Jenkins: To a joyful present and a well remembered past; best wishes and fond memories from people you have touched.

2: 1979-2012 Thirty-Three Years of Leading by Example | Bill's GAO career began in 1979 in the former Program Analysis Division. He worked in several teams over the years, including the former Accounting and Financial Management Division and the Financial Markets and Community Investments team. He was always sucked into the vortex of GAO's most massive efforts--elections, Hurricane Katrina, and stimulus to name a few. As Assistant Director on the 2001 election work--a soup-to-nuts review of the elections system involving numerous GAO mission teams, literally broke GAO's printing presses. He followed with a review of the 2004 election, | voter registration, and other elections issues. His body of work on elections had and continues

3: to have a significant impact, including influencing the Help America Vote Act. He has also led other important work on a variety of emergency management issues--such as flood insurance, emergency communications, and emergency preparedness--including FEMA"s strategic priorities, intergovernmental relationships through federal grant programs, and regionalism. Bill plays a significant role as a stakeholder on nearly all of GAO's emergency management work. Also noteworthy is Bill's work and expertise on the federal courts. Last but not least, Bill has been a mentor to and stalwart support of countless GAO staff who will no doubt miss his warmth and wisdom.

4: Highlights | END OF AN ERA: An Enthusiastic Encomium for an Esteemed Emeritus | Highlights of a tribute to the Most Honorable William O. Jenkins, Jr. | Why I Wrote this Tribute After 8 years of working together on a wide variety of emergency management-related issues, your anticipated but unwelcome departure forces me to unhitch my wagon from your star and find another senior executive to burden with my ever-growing repertoire of idiosyncrasies and limited capacities. | What I Recommend Live long and prosper! Go forth and never let your shadow cross the threshold of a quality reviewer again. Make unsubstantiated assertions at will. Use common sense as criteria for all of your arguments and never let the naysayers say nay again! | For more information contact Chris Keisling at (404) 679-1917 or keislingk@gao.gov | What I Found I found it constantly rewarding and enjoyable to work on an ongoing basis with a highly intelligent, open, honest and ever-engaging individual. Our first job together in March 2004 resulted in a report with a classic GAO title construct--FLOOD MAP MODERNIZATION: Program Strategy Shows Promise, but Challenges Remain. Yet, despite our best efforts, we had to come back to revisit the program (with an equally stereotypical title) in December 2010--FEMA FLOOD MAPS: Some Standards and Processes in Place to Promote Map Accuracy and Outreach, but Opportunities Exist to Address Implementation Challenges. Our foray into mapping opened the floodgates for a series of reports and testimonies where we fondly found ourselves familiar in FEMA's FIMA, leading to the VERY timely--Improvements Need to Enhance Oversight and Management of the National Flood Insurance Program--issued weeks after Hurricane Katrina and leading to the designation of the NFIP as a high-risk area. Meanwhile back at the emergency management ranch, we were also developing an equally timely pre-Katrina assessment of DHS's Efforts to Enhance First Responders; All Hazards Capabilities concluding that they Continue to Evolve--a prescient announcement foreshadowing the impacts of the 2005 hurricane season. In that report, we planted the seeds for an ongoing series of reports and annual spring testimonies describing DHs's implementation plans that repeatedly promised yet never succeeded in developing a Risk-Based, Strategic National Approach to Enhancing First Responders' All-Hazards Capabilities, reflected in our 2009 magnum opus--National Preparedness: FEMA Has Made Progress, but Needs to Complete and Integrate Planning, Exercise, and Assessment Efforts. Despite our diligence, FEMA doggedly decided to indefinitely delay its plans, leading us to conclude in 2011 that FEMA Has Made Limited Progress in Efforts to Develop and Implement a System to Assess National Preparedness Capabilities Although, we couldn't persuade FEMA to deliver a system, our $2, 200,000,000 in financial accomplishments helped ease the disappointment.

5: Goodbye Tension; Hello Pension! | As you you make the leap into retirement, know that I will always remember you fondly as a leader and a boss, but most importantly as a mentor and a friend. Thanks! Chris Keisling

6: Bill: Thanks so much for your enthusiastic support of the HSJ Diversity Committee. It was such a pleasure working with you on this important effort. You will be missed!! Vanessa D. Dillard | Bill: Although I did not have the good fortune to work with you all that often, I very much our conversations, and I will truly miss your sense of humor, your appreciation of sarcasm, and your quick with. And, of course hearing about your amazing and unique travel adventures! I wish you health, happiness, and adventure in your retirement. Congratulations! Adam Hoffman | I will miss Bill's laugh, adventures, especially the photos and candies. Yee Wong | My memory of Bill is that he always had a way with words. For example, in my first testimony with him, he was asked whether a program would be "fully operational" by deadline, and he told DHS: "I wish them luck, but I think they have a ways to go. Michelle Cooper | Ode to Bill For GAO another retirement; for HSJ, its wisest voice. But rest assured our work continues. Because, frankly we have no choice. -Anonymous | Bill: Though we did not work together much, it was great getting to know you. You will be missed in HSJ Best wishes on your retirement! Adam Couvillion

8: I will remember Bill's integrity. I have always admired Bill's willingness to stand up for his team, to take the hit when things went south Bill always did right by the people who worked for him. | I will remember Bill's quick intellect. I recall Bill casually walking into a writing on walls session I was leading, appraise the pieces of paper on the wall and within five minutes, point out the inconsistencies in the arguments, the potential pitfalls the approach would have and the important concepts we had somehow failed to capture. I recall being amazed at his ability to synthesize all of the information so quickly. I will remember Bill's humor. I don't recall ever having a conversation with him where one or both of us didn't laugh. | But most of all, I will remember Bill's humanity. Bill saw the people who worked for and around him as people. He related to them, to their everyday struggles in life. He genuinely wanted to know where you went on vacation and what you did. He wanted to know where you went on vacation and what you did. He wanted you to | to forget about work when you left the building. He knew that work was important, but that life outside of work was more important and he never let people forget that, whether he was up against a tight deadline or not. When my own life was thrown into upheaval after my mother died, I'll never forget the email exchange Bill and I had. Bill reached out to me and let me know he was thinking of me and shared memories of his own mother and how he missed her and how he cherished the legacy she left behind. Of all the legacies a person can leave behind when they retire--I am quite certain none is more consequential than to leave a legacy of humanity. To leave being remembered as a person who valued his colleagues and demonstrated in acts large and small that he cared about them as people; I can think of no higher praise and nothing to which I'd want to aspire more. Bill's absence will leave a hole never | to be filled. I feel tremendously lucky to have had the privilege to work with him these last six years. | Linda Miller

9: Bill: Congratulations on your retirement! I've truly enjoyed working with you over the years--from our 2001 review of DOJ's Antitrust Division to our 2012 review of USDA and Interior payments under the Equal Access to Justice Act. You were a consistent sounding board on issues of substance, and I turned to you many times for your advice on the personnel front. You always had the staff's bet interest in mind and valued people most of all. We will miss your kind spirit, unwavering support of staff, and the knowledge that someone who would always stand up for what is right. I will personally miss our discussions of DC politics. I wish you many years of happiness, good health, great food, and travel to amazing places. Fondly, Maria Strudwick

10: I don't want to go on for pages. But, I would like to briefly describe my first encounter on a weekend afternoon in 2003, in our then-new space on the 6th floor. I am so glad I was walking through he space and decided to interrupt you and introduce myself and strike up a conversation. From the | start, it was pleasant, down-to-earth. Easy. A few months later I was assigned to one of your EM preparedness jobs. Fast forward another year and another weekend. Hurricane Katrina was bearing down on New Orleans; I went into the office that Saturday in hopes/somewhat knowing that I'd find you. I will always think of your quietly-lit office, sometimes with classical music in the background--usually an indication that it was after 6:30 or on a weekend--and the smell of the last of your coffee thermos that you had brewed at home earlier. I've done a mental key-word search and have come up with the following words and phrases. It's not a complete list and in no particular order: | Laughter | Preparedness | PFO/FCO | 'thin gruel' | testimonies | UASI | Monsieur | World travel | evenings and weekends (i.e. when you could be found in your office) | Sacramento levees (see photos) | Risk (R=TxCxV) | dark chocolate

11: Portland | "DHS Now Officially Full of S#@" (see above) | mentor | DHS Now Officially Full of Shit | o The federal formula used to allot New York its pitiful share of anti-terrorism funds has been officially discredited. A new GAO report says--in as many words--that Homeland Security officials lack methods to assess risk. Actuarial math aside, failure to classify the Empire State Building was a bit of a giveaway. [NYDN] o In related news, the Empire State Building is America's favorite piece of architecture, according to the American Institute of Architects poll. The White House is number two. [WNBC} o Meet Tom DiNapoli. As New York's Chris Smite Reported yesterday, state legislators reneged on a deal with Governor Spitzer and installed the assemblyman as the new state comptroller. On the upside, according to the Times, DiNapoli is apparently the nicest guy in Albany. [NYT} o The plot thickens in the Long Island fake-cop case. The con man in question not only wore fake uniform and a prop badge; he owned a car complete with siren, maintained the cop identity 24/7, and shook down criminals for a living. o And it's official: The bankrupt Air America belongs to real-estate mogul Stephen Green, brother of Mark. The price tag on the voice of the American Left? $4.25 million. We assume they threw in The Nation. {amNY}

12: Dear Bill: You have made an indelible impression on me. I remember once expressing amazement at the vastness and precision of your memory., and you replied that it meant nothing more than that your mind was a garbage dump. There you have it, quintessential Bill Jenkins--brilliant yet self-effacing and blessed with a wonderful wit and good humor. I loved the intellectual curiosity you brought to your work and the camaraderie you brought to your teams.. I always felt I hit the jackpot with Hurricane Katrina (if I may be so crass) because it brought me into your orbit. You made me feel welcome and appreciated and stimulated my work. Apart from getting to know you as a consummate professional, I greatly enjoyed getting to know you on a more personal level. Your travels to exotic places like the Antarctic always impressed me., and I loved hearing your stories and perusing your photographs.. I hope retirement brings many more adventures of this type.. you leave behind many friends and coworkers who wish you all the best. Warm regards, Christine Davis

13: Dear Bill:: You have have provided constant support for your teams from working though a difficult message to providing moments of lightheartedness.You not only cultivated successful teams but .championed the individual efforts of each member. Your work has left an indelible mark on policy making. You will be greatly missed, and I hope you continue to share you experiences of worldwide travels with us so that we can continue to live vicariously through them. Best of luck on life's next adventure! susanna kuebler

14: Bill: You brought a cheerful energy and a sharp intellect to the HSJ team, with the result that you did interesting work that made a real difference, while creating an environment that brought out the best in everyone. I only wish we'd had the chance to work together a bit more; your wit and wisdom will be much missed on the Voting 2 engagement. I am betting that you will jump into retirement with the same vigor and intellectual curiosity that you brought to your work, only you'll get to to do it all on your own schedule! Best wishes for a happy and fulfilling retirement. Tom Jessor

15: Only B ill would be thoughtful enough to bring a south Mississippi boy a gift from the world's northern most functional settlement. Even when you're in Ny-Alesund you were always thinking of others. Thank you for everything you've done for me and the countless people whose lives you've touched. -Denton

16: Dear Bill: My favorite line has always been that Directors (meaning you) should be chained to their desks. That way, we (meaning me) would always know where they are and could always get them when we need them. None of this gallivanting around the world on exotic vacation cruises to Antarctica or the North Pole, or even around the county on field visits, should be allowed. Of course, you always knew that I was joking--sort of. There's always a kernel of truth in jokes like that. The irony of it is that what makes you such a wonderful Director is the vast breadth and depth of your knowledge about the subjects in your portfolio--not just emergency management preparedness and response, but also the federal judiciary and election administration. In a town in which the term "subject matter expert" is so loosely tossed around, you really are an expert. The reason has a lot to do with your impressive intellect, work ethic, and--yes--your travel to the field to personally observe reality on the ground while kicking the proverbial tires. You are such an invaluable resource that I always did want to be able to consult you. Another reason for wanting you to be in the office was that it was always such a pleasure to sit down with you at the end of the day and share the latest news about my projects and what was going on with you. More than you professional expertise, what draws people to you is your warm personality and wonderful sense of humor. I always knew you were nearby when I heard your signature laugh. And that always brought a smile to my face. Good cheer, a sharp wit, and an infectious laugh are a valuable commodity in the workplace, especially when coupled with quiet competence and consistently good judgment. Yet, I would be remiss if I didn't mention your kindness, caring and willingness to | support your staff. While I'm very proud of the projects we worked on together--Post-Katrina Implementation, Firefighter Grants, DC Recovery Act, Task Force for Emergency Readiness Catastrophic Planning, Disaster Assistance Employee Management and Training, Federal

17: Reservist Training, Federal Agency Evacuations, and Disaster Declarations--eventually the names of the projects may fade, but I will never forget your wisdom and your kindness to me. I'll never forget the peace of mind that you gave me during my father's last year of life, when he was hospitalized 10 times. I was frantic trying to get him to his specialists at Johns Hopkins, or running to the emergency room after yet another 2 am call, while still trying to keep up with my responsibilities at GAO. You gave me moral support and, even more, an absolution from too much guilt. I remember early on, as I sat in your office telling you yet again that I'd need to take a day off, you looked at me and said, "Do what you need to do for your father. You will never regret what you do now to provide care for him. GAO will be OK." You were right on both counts. That kind of wisdom and support is priceless. Expertise, expertise, competence, humor, kindness--can you really blame me for wanting to keep you chained to your desk so I won't have to miss you so much? [Sigh.] Then, I remind myself how totally selfish that would be and I am forced to admit that I really do want you to be happy, to have more time for travel (there must be some places left where you've never been!), and to find joy in this next stage of your life. It's a very well-earned retirement. Bill, it has been a true pleasure working with you, learning from you, and sharing the laughter with you. I will never forget your kindness and caring. I'm counting on keeping in touch, so I won't miss you so much. Sincerely, Leyla Kazaz

18: Dear Bill: Have you really thought this retirement idea through? How will you add spice to life once you leave the world of auditing and the excitement that only downward departures and world-ending pan flu can bring? Oh, woe. Oh, woe. How many wonderful meals and mind blowing glasses of wine can you quaff while overlooking beautiful vistas before you start missing the bean counters? Well, while you are heading off into a new world of wonderful adventures, I will miss the unique experience of working with such an intelligent, funny, and intellectually honest person. Thank you so much for making this place fun and lively and may this traveler's blessing light your days. Anne Laffoon | May you travel safely, arrive refreshed, And live your time away to its fullest; return home more enriched, and free to balance the gift of days which call you `john o'donohue

19: Dear Bill: Thanks for mentoring me and looking out for the LA office these past years. I'll never forget our National Preparedness job, working with Brad Shefka and all the insane delays we experienced in getting access to the exercises. I recall one time when I had flown to DC to attend an exercise at a location west of Dulles, which I cannot state here, and we were still calling the Admiral at FEMA to make sure they would let us in. Wacky times, I must say. Also, thank you so much for looking out for us in LA during the tough budget times of 2011. That year was really scary as we were certain GAO would shut down either the LA or San Fransisco office. You one of the few managers who really listened to us and shared the little information available to keep us in the loop on what was happening at headquarters | I hope you enjoy your continued travels to all the various interesting and remote places through the globe. You should check out Evernote, Dropbox, or Tripit, applications where you can post your travel plans and pictures, add notes and tags. Super snazzy, modern stuff. I look forward to hearing about your travels and when we communicate again, let's make sure not to talk about GAO, but instead only about your travels, beer, and Belgian chocolates!! Look forward to hearing from you soon! | Joel Aldalpe

20: Mr. Jenkins! My sincere thanks for all you have done to help me develop at GAO. Through our work together you taught me the importance of rigorous, high-quality work combined with an open engagement team social dynamic that values dissenting opinions and a decent glass of wine! I recall once on a site visit in Seattle, as an overly confident GAO novice, losing my temper over breakfast during a discussion with one of our colleagues. Thankfully, you calmly worked your way through the conversation and elegantly navigated the discussion to a constructive conclusion. You later advised me on the importance of hearing others, no matter how obtuse the opposing viewpoints may first appear. I have tried my best to carry that wisdom forward. I will genuinely miss chatting with you during your visits to LA and my trips to HQ. Maybe I'll intercept you again on a stroll up 14th street as you enjoy your well deserved retirement! Sincerely, Ben Atwater

21: Here's wishing you all the best in your retirement, Bill. I've no doubt the next several years will be a whirlwind tour of exotic travel (Paris, Rome, and Sydney, anyone), engaging theater experiences (see you around town!), and tasty culinary delights (including the best dark chocolate known to man!) the world has to offer. By my measure, HSJ and GAO are losing one if its most valuable assets and most genuine characters--I've learned an immeasurable amount from you on the audit trail, including what it means to respect and value others, to enjoy their company, and to work hard while not forgetting to laugh all along the way. We've built a strong friendship over the years and long may that continue into your retirement, sir...Especially if you keep me informed about your latest recommendations of all things not-to-be-missed while we're still kicking and screaming. My best regards to you. Hugh Paquette

22: The Court Clerks Team Bids Farewell to Bill The Consolidation of Court Clerks team--Chris Currie, Brendan Kretzschmar, Jean Orland, and Rebecca Kuhlmann Taylor--had the privilege of working with Bill for one of his last engagements on the judiciary. We also had the honor of accompanying Bill on his final site visits with GAO--to the district and bankruptcy courts of CA--Central (Los Angeles), CA-Southern (San Diego), PA-Eastern (Philadelphia), GA-Northern (Atlanta), and DC. Fond memories include: o A 16-hour San Diego court marathon with multiple visits to Specialty's Café o Halloween ducks to kick off our Los Angeles tour o Forcing Bill to eat In-N-Out Burger in the back seat of the rental car o Trying to educate Chris Currie on the judiciary, so he can act like he knows what he is talking about in future meetings | Jean, Bill, Rebecca, and Brendan at the DC courthouse | Brenden, Bill, and Chris at the Atlanta courthouse

23: o A delicious dinner at Six Feet Under in Atlanta--fine southern seafood cooking across from a cemetery, complete with fried green tomatoes and hush puppies o Exceedingly rigorous security at one particular district court o Setting off the silent alarm in the DC bankruptcy judge's chambers o The epic quest to silence the Blackberry's trackpad Thank you, Bill for spending so much extra time to school our team in all things judiciary. We learned a tremendous amount from you and are very grateful for your expertise, leadership, and thoughtful decision making, and for being such a fun guy to spend time with. Many Congratulations on your retirement! Chris, Brendan, Jean, and Rebecca | Brendan, Bill, and Rebecca outside the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia

24: I am so happy for you that you are starting this new part of your life. I know from experience that you will live it with gusto. I am jealous of all the fabulous travel you will take, and all the wonderful chocolate you will taste along the way. I will have to continue to live vicariously through you! I have fond memories of working with you and Claire so many, many years ago in PAD on federal budget issues. I especially remember how Mort was such a monster to you guys and made me cry, but you took a very philosophical approach to GAO life that has served you well over the years. In helping to compose your retirement letter, I was also reminded of what a wide, varied, and successful career you have had at GAO. You developed expertise in so many areas and were truly a valued adviser to the Congress on so many key issues, but you never were self promoting or hogged the limelight. Personally, I will always remember when we celebrated our February birthdays--and I loved letting you pick some wonderful new restaurant I had never tried before and mutually indulging our chocoholic passion. I especially appreciate that you always lent me an ear when I was whining and had good counsel for me. You also were a role model in reminding us that people should come first at GAO. I will miss your friendship at work very much and hope we stay in touch. I wish you all the best. Eileen Larence | My fondest memories of working with Bill deal with the mandated work we had to do to assess the reliability of the UASI risk models from 2006 through 2009. We met with top officials from DHS and many DHS consultants to discuss the models, which we were then able to dissect

25: Bill: Congratulations on your well-earned retirement I wish you all the things you wished me several years ago--other than the grandkids! - an active, long, and happy retirement with plenty of time to read what you want rather than what you must, and to do simply what interests you. I hope that, after all these years, retirement will be as good for you as it has been for me. Again, to quote you, may the wind always be behind you, the sun shine on your face, and the road rise up to meet you for the rest of your days. Norm Rabkin | in the secure room. Bill was always supportive of this work and his friendly approach to work made it a lot of fun. We had many hill briefings involving scores of hill staffers; we really made a difference, largely thanks to Bill. Chuck Bausell

26: Dear Bill: We've known one another for many years now and you truly have been a great manager and friend. I saw your career filled with many well deserved promotions and awards--AD and Director. I always admired your writing--you made complicated GAO reports interesting to read and your personal notes on your fabulous trips made those experiences come to life. On a personal note, you always gave me great advice and showed how to be a supportive manager. I love your laugh and zeal for life, Bill. You will always be very dear to me. I wish you joy and good health in your retirement! Love, Wendy Johnson

27: After almost 30 years, I have many memories of Bill. What stands out first and foremost is his ability to maintain a sense of humor and maintain perspective, especially when confronting those "special" bureaucratic challenges. his laughter is infectious and helps the team remain calm and just respond to these challenges. On the work side, Bill applied his political science training to voting issues, among the many subjects in his portfolio. Working with him on several voting projects, several characteristics were most notable. He never lauded his knowledge over the team or became competitive, but listened to the team and shared ideas. He communicated a sense of trust. When needed, he rolled up his sleeves seeming to know when to give the team the lead and when to pitch in. He was the first to put in the late hours. His approach, to my mind, created a calm work environment, even during those stressful crunch times we experience in all jobs. Because of his example it was easy to do what was necessary to get the job done. On the play side, Bill is always willing to share his wealth of knowledge on good restaurants, cultural events, and travel. I remember being in San Francisco with Bill, among others, to attend the annual meeting of the American Society of Criminology. One night we all went out to dinner. Bill picked out a Chinese restaurant; the food was delicious. I remember the fish tank in the window and Bill's advice--choose the restaurant where you see the locals eating. I have tried to heed his advice during my travels. Over the years, we have had numerous conversations about events at the Kennedy Center or seeing polar bears in the Arctic. His enthusiasm and zest for life is infectious. Bill-- You will be missed. Barb Stolz

28: Hey Bill: This is a flash from your past. I was so happy to hear that you were going to retire. Over the years, you and I had numerous conversations about retirement. You always said that when you became eligible you would retire and it looks like you are true to your word. On the other hand, I cried wolf too many times to remember and ended up staying more years than I had originally planned. I thoroughly enjoyed working with you on a number of assignments/engagements. While we worked hard to meet tight timeframes, you made everyone feel valued and appreciated. Your staff could always count on you to roll up your sleeves and help get the work done. I used to always tease you by saying that when I grew up I wanted to be more like you. You lead a very exciting life traveling the world and dining at many of the best restaurants. If anyone was traveling to places you had been and for that matter were in the DMV area they could always count on you to provide great recommendations for restaurants and other attractions. I assume that you will continue to travel the world now and you will have more free time to do it. All the best to you as you enter a new chapter in our life--RETIREMENT. You deserve it. Take care.. Katrina Moss

29: Bill: Congratulations on your retirement! Unfortunately, I did not have a chance to work with you, but I enjoyed the few talks we had about the Arctic and climate change during our director "check-ins" when I joined HSJ. In all settings, I admired how you maintained a passion for your ideals and a personal authenticity through the end of your career at GAO, in addition, you were just a pleasure to be around and always friendly. Take care, God bless, and I wish you many, many wonderful, exciting adventures in the years ahead! Jennifer Bryant

30: Bill: I'm glad I had the chance to work with you before your retirement, even if it makes me extra sad to see you go. I do find some consolation though in knowing that instead of entrance conferences and testimonies your retirement will be full of fabulous expeditions to every corner of the world. In the short time we worked together, I really appreciated your unwavering dedication to your teams and calm poise under pressure. Thank you for a great PDP experience in HSJ and, perhaps equally importantly, for introducing me to Fran's salted caramels--they may become a Seattle writing on walls staple! Best of luck! Allyson Goldstein | Bill: I am so glad that I got the opportunity to work with you before you call it a career. I really enjoyed working with you on the FEMA disaster assistance audit engagement. It was one of the best and most enjoyable of my career and I am really proud of the great report that we wrote on an important area that affects the lives of millions of Americans every year. Not only did you lead our team the entire way, but you made it fun. I already miss your laugh and sense of humor, acute perspective and insight, stories about your travels throughout the world, and the team meetings in your office where we strategized our work and developed the messages for the report. Congratulations and best wishes for a happy and healthy retirement. Joe Dewecter

31: Bill: Congratulations on your retirement! I will miss you very much; HSJ will not be the same without you! You have been a mentor and a guide to me over the past 10 years, and you always provided me with thoughtful and helpful advice. In particular, throughout both DHS anniversary reports (which were at times a little stressful), I often came to you for support or advice, or to laugh about something that had nothing to do with either job. I was so grateful for those times; because you always helped me to put things into perspective. Having worked for you, whether on the Homeland Security Advisory System review, courthouse security review, or others, no one could have been more supportive of staff. Thank you for being a role model and mentor to me, and please know how much you will be missed. Fondest wishes Rebecca Gambler

32: It's been an honor and a pleasure to work with you so closely in HSJ for the past four year. Your humor, your hard work, and your refreshing sense of candor and insight will be fondly remembered and missed by everyone here. You were "the" touchstone for knowledge on all things FEMA, federal courts, and elections--an eclectic portfolio where you made substantial and long-reaching impacts. You should take pride in your work, in the results and impact of your work, and in how you helped everyone around you. Of course, our paths first crossed may moons ago-- almost 15 years ago to be exact when we were both much younger. At the time, you were an AD and I was a relatively new EIC (as they were called back then) trying to figure out how to assess whether the war crimes tribunal for the former Yugoslavia had sufficient resources to carry out its mandate. I had absolutely no idea where to even begin to answer that question. You patiently helped me think through how to approach the work, what questions to ask, what issues to steer clear of, and so forth. The major impact was not so much on that individual job--it was showing me how, with help from expertise within GAO, even difficult questions can be cut down or refocused to something doable. It was a valuable lesson and one I will never forget. So thank you and best of luck to you in your post-GAO life! Dave Maurer | Dear Bill: I wish you the best on your retirement and am certain you will have many wonderful adventures. Although we rarely got the chance to work directly together, I have appreciated when our grants work has overlapped and we were able to collaborate on that topic. I have also appreciated your contributions to The Enforcer and your

33: I have been honored to work with Bill on multiple election and emergency preparedness engagements. Being assigned to work with him is a sought-after prize--first because he is wonderful person, followed by the depth he brings to the work. He is the most well rounded intellectual I know, and very much a humanist, despite not meshing well with GAO culture. I always learn something from talking to Bill and his positive, reasonable | perspective to the work and life is contagious (unless you are talking about Polar Bears). He always took time to know his team members as professionals and people. Regarding the work, the fact that he is routinely called to testify as an expert on any area is no surprise to anyone. He has an encyclopedic knowledge of the facts and a deep understanding of what it all means in the big picture, which he shares in a straightforward way with clients and team members alike. It has been a pleasure to work with Bill every time, and we will miss him. Best wishes to you Bill! Monica Kelly | support of HSJ's various committees and activities. The treats you've left us in the kitchen after your journeys and the rubber ducks you have allowed us to adopt have been terrific mementos as well. Thanks for everything you've done for HSJ and enjoy every minute of life post-GAO! All the best, Joy Booth

34: Bill, I don't think you know this but I came to GAO specifically to work for you. I didn't know who you were at the time, but doesn't change the fact that I came to work for you. As you know, I started five years of graduate school at the University of Chicago pre-9/11 to become an emergency management subject matter expert/professional. I finished my studies in June 2005 and had two primary employment options: (1) go to work for FEMA directly, starting at the bottom and working my way up over time to a position that might be able to effect positive change at the agency--or alternatively, (2) come to GAO to perform FEMA oversight and hold the agency accountable. The latter of course offered the possibility of studying the EM system-of-systems at the macro level and the ability to effect change by offering recommendations directly to the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Administrator of FEMA. The final decision was, for me, and obvious one. I could go work for FEMA and attempt to rearrange the deck chairs on the Titanic, or I could come to GAO and hope to add value and potentially effect positive change from early in my career. In choosing GAO, I was choosing to work for you and in my time at GAO, you have served as my boss, a mentor, my sponsor, a voice of reason, my colleague, and a friend. I am indebted to you for all the opportunities that you have provided me within the field of emergency management from our privileged position (i.e., of being at a non-partisan agency with Congress' ear). From starting at GAO one month before Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, to now as you sail (literally) off into the Arctic/Antarctic sunset, I have always appreciated and admired the sanity you represent in what can be a navel-gazing organization. I will miss our casual conversations, our EM SME dialogs (who else can carry on whole conversations in only EM acronyms?), and our working relationship. More than anything, I will miss having the opportunity to engage with you day-to-day. I owe most of my success at GAO to you and your trust in me. And for that, I thank you. Rather than narrate too many stories of formal engagements past, I will instead walk you down the memory lane that is our shared history at GAO. David Lysy

35: HURRICANE KATRINA: Providing Oversight of the Nation's Preparedness Response and Recovery Activities, GAO-05-1053T, Sep 28, 2005 | MARITIME SECURITY: Federal Efforts Needed to Address Challenges in Preventing and Responding to Terrorist Attacks on Energy Commodity Tankers, GAO-08-141, Dec 10, 2007 | NATIONAL RESPONSE FREAMEWORK: FEMA Needs Policies and Procedures to Better Integrate Non-Federal Stakeholders in the Revision Process, GAO-08-769, Jun 11, 2008 | GOVERNMENT OPERATIONS: Actions Taken to Implement the Post-Katrina Emergency Management Reform Act of 2006, GAO-09-59R, Nov 21, 2008 | NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS: FEMA has made progress, but Needs to Complete and Integrate Planning, Exercise, and Assessment Efforts, GAO-09-369, Apr 30, 2009 | SPECIAL PROJECT FOR THE COMPTROLLER GENERAL OF THE UNITED STATES: Classified | HOMELAND DEFENSE: DOD Can Enhance Efforts to Identify Capabilities to Support Civil Authorities during Disasters, GAO-10-386, Mar 30, 2010 | HOMELAND DEFENSE: DOD Needs to Take Actions to Enhance Interagency Coordination for its Homeland Defense and Civil Support Missions, GAO-10-364, Mar 30, 2010 | NATIONAL PREPAREDNESS: DHS and HHS Can Further Strengthen Coordination for Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Risk Assessments, GAO-11-606, Jun 21, 2011 | CHEMICAL, BIOLOGICAL, RADIOLOGIAL, AND NUCLEAR RISK ASSESSMENTS: DHS Should Establish More Specific Guidance for Their Use, GAO-12-272, Jan 25, 2012

36: Dear Bill: I really enjoyed working with you on many engagements, but in particular on the American Samoa judiciary engagement. So far in my short career, that has been the best job I had the pleasure of working on, and I wouldn't be surprised if it still tops the list twenty years from now. I couldn't have asked for a better director to work and travel with as we delved into interesting issues and cultural sensitivities. I wish you the best in retirement and hope that you know how much you will be missed. Best, Tracey King | Bill: The thing I will always remember first about you is all the laughing that went on. No matter how crazy the situation was you could always find the quirky side of things, and we could have moment of true fun. The second thing I'll remember is that your work was always top notch. How lucky I was to work with you for so many years. Let's stay friends. Laurie Ekstrand

37: Bill: I am grateful that the universe has brought our lives into corresponding orbits these last 10 years. Assembling these expressions of gratitude and | a life. As the author Annie Dillard said, "the way we spend our days is, of course, the way we spend our lives." Though the sentiments expressed on such occasions can also tend toward easy platitudes, hollow and rote, I believe the genuine outpouring of admiration and respect that met my call for submissions sings a ode to a life very well lived. You and I have spoken before about the lasting imprints some people have left on the institution of GAO, even with its strong institutional personality; people whom I have never met and yet know their names. For me and for many others who have contributed to these pages, it is obvious that the pieces of yourself that you have given will remain with us long after your are no longer a daily fixture in our organizational life (note the recurrent use of the word indelible). And, what is more remarkable is that the indelible legacy you leave with us is one of such goodness and light. Other recurrent themes that stood out to me in the notes were your humor, your joie-de-vivre, your respect for staff, your positivity, your professional balance, your wit, and your wisdom--all themes which, in light of my own experience of you, ring quite true. I have always admired your proclivity to see the best in everyone. I heartily hope that Sir McCartney was right when he said "and in the end the love you take is equal to the love you make," and that the kindness you have demonstrated will be returned to you in equal measure or more. You are the very definition of a role model, and I shall strive to live your example--to be smart and dedicated, to do good work, but in all things to be first a good human. Best of luck to you in this next phase of your life. I hope that we will remain in contact, though it will inevitably be less frequent, nevertheless, you will be often be in my thoughts and in my heart. Kathryn Godfrey | affection provided by our friends and colleagues into this compendium, I am struck with such an overwhelming admiration of you--not unfamiliar sentiment, but now intensified by the reflection that this exercise inevitability provokes. Such a volume as this--compiled upon an occasion as momentous as the end of a 30+ year career--can in some cases, as it has here, illuminate

Sizes: mini|medium|large|behemoth
Default User
  • By: Kathryn G.
  • Joined: over 5 years ago
  • Published Mixbooks: 1
No contributors

About This Mixbook

  • Title: Bill's Book
  • A memory book for Bill Jenkins
  • Tags: Bill Jenkins Retirement
  • Published: over 5 years ago