Longtime programmer Dave Broomell has come up with new technology to serve the more than 40 million citizens who come to the Social Security Administration each year for help. He’s also created tools to help his fellow SSA employees do their jobs better.
“Dave is a unique individual who can see a problem from the side of the beneficiary and the employees,” said Andrew Philipson, director of systems and automation at the SSA’s Chicago Region office. “He is Social Security’s version of Steve Jobs. Year after year, he comes up with something new to help the agency and the public.” In recognition of Broomell’s work as the project manager at SSA’s Chicago Region Office, the Partnership for Public Service named him a 2013 Service to America Medal finalist in the Citizen Services category.
Broomell recently appeared on In Depth with Francis Rose to talk about his work and his award nomination.
He also answered the following questions about himself and his career in the federal government.
What three words best describe your leadership philosophy? Commitment, Compassion and Determination.
What’s the best piece of advice (or words of wisdom) you’ve ever received and who gave it to you? “Focus on the positive. Don’t dwell on the negative.” I’m not sure who first told me that, but I try to live by these words both at work and in my personal life.
Who is your biggest role model and why? My grandfather, he taught me to live life to the fullest. He was someone that truly lived by example. He was very compassionate and hardworking, and always looked for the positive things in life.
What’s the last thing you read and what’s next on your reading list? The last book I read was “The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” trilogy by Stieg Larsson. My next book will probably be Dan Brown’s new book “Inferno.”
What’s your favorite bureaucratic phrase? I can’t really say I have a favorite bureaucratic phrase, but one that comes to mind is “Information is the Currency of Democracy.” The more informed we are today helps us make the right decisions moving forward.
The Citizen Services Medal is just one of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) presented annually by the Partnership for Public Service. View a photo gallery with more information on each of the Sammies nominees here.