Laura Williams eDiplomacy Liaison Officer State Department
FROM HER NOMINATION:
Laura Williams has been a leader in advocating for users’ interests and improving staffing of IT positions. She is a key contributor to developing the cutting-edge work of the office in advancing diplomacy by providing effective knowledge-sharing initiatives, guidance on the convergence of technology and diplomacy, and first-class technology consulting.
As a a mid-level officer, she organized and executed a global workforce survey, requiring State Department IT staff worldwide to take a hard look at the work activities, staff structure and skills required to meet the department’s future strategies. The speed with which the survey was created, approved and the participation rate – more than 50 percent of all department direct-hire American IT staff overseas, with significant participation at 55 percent of all posts – were unparalleled.
Laura Williams tells Federal News Radio why she doesn’t sit in the back row and just keep quiet.
Want to hear more from Laura Williams? Listen to our full radio interview with the Causey Award winner in the “Listen” box above.
“… Seems to have the perfect blend of technical abilities and an understanding of IT workforce issues with sound HR workforce planning principles.”
“She takes on initiatives … that go above what’s to be expected of her position.”
“Good blending of CIO and ‘customer’ focus as a way of improving HR and mission delivery.”
GET TO KNOW THE AWARD WINNER:
My job title is Foreign Service Specialist/Information Management Specialist My job title should be I think the title is fine. … I’m not much for titles.
What is the best piece of advice you have ever received? Don’t be afraid of taking a position/job opportunity outside “the well worn path.” Consider the skills you might gain by taking the job and consider how the position might expand your portfolio/vision/set of experiences.
What is the worst piece of advice you have ever received? Sit in the back row and keep quiet.
Who has been your biggest role model, and why? Colin Powell. Powell’s leadership principles need no introduction. I was a fan before he became Secretary of State. But his leadership at State (and his emphasis on technology as a tool of diplomacy) turned me into a huge fan! It’s extremely difficult to be the nation’s top diplomat AND an excellent leader for the employees in the trenches – but Powell accomplished that. Secretary Clinton has done a fine job in both roles as well – and she also “gets technology.”
If I could do it over again, I would have been a more focused student in college. The students I have come to know through my recruitment and mentoring efforts are so impressive!
If I could have one super power it would be time travel. Seems like that would be the ultimate way to be a tourist/life learner. To witness history and the future first hand and NOT have to travel on US Airways to do it!
In my opinion, ….
If you didn’t work for the federal government, what would be your dream job? Travel review – spa treatments, safaris, eat in exotic locales … get paid to check out the scene and have fun writing about it.
What is the last book you read? I just read “Goodnight Gorilla” to my son, but I also recently read Powell’s new book “It Worked for Me.” … I highly recommend it.
I’d rather be scuba diving or hanging out in the Italian countryside.
Federal News Radio awarded six individuals with a 2012 Causey Award. Read more about each of the recipients.