Federal Drive interviews – June 26

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.

Today’s guests:

Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.)


We had some scorchers last week, but thankfully it’s a bit more pleasant now. That’s a good metaphor for the National Weather Service’s treatment on Capitol Hill. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration head Jane Lubchenko went to Congress last week to plead for emergency funds for the weather service. The agency had moved around dedicated dollars and left a $36 million gap. Lubchenko spoke before the House appropriations subcommittee on science. Wolf, the subcommittee’s chairman, says lawmakers probably will approve the funds. His Senate counterpart, Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), says her subcommittee will go along with the request too. But like Wolf, senators are demanding more information from the agency.

Bill BransfordPartner, Shaw, Bransford and Roth

President Barack Obama has directed agencies to carry out diversity strategies. He didn’t require them to follow quotas, but he said accountability would be key. A governmentwide report released Monday shows agencies could use that push. The share of women and minorities at the higher pay grades has inched up slightly in the past couple of years. In this week’s Legal Loop, the Federal Drive speaks with employment lawyer Bill Bransford, who recently led a panel discussion on diversity in the federal workforce.

Dr. Howard GarrisonDeputy Executive Director for Policy, Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology

As public funds continue to dry up the effects are being felt everywhere. One new study by Food and Water Watch shows private funding for agricultural research is now at an all time high. So what happens when the private sector picks up the slack?

Read more: NIH director voices concerns about sequestration

Danette CampbellSenior Telework Advisor, Patent and Trademark Office

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may be responsible for handing out licenses when others break new ground. But the office is breaking new ground itself when it comes to telework. More than two-thirds of patent office employees work from home — compared with less than 6 percent government-wide. One of the driving forces behind that stunning figure is Danette Campbell. She is now a finalist for a Service to America Medal.

Meet the rest of the 2012 Sammies finalists


Tuesday federal headlines