Women across the world are recognized and honored for their work and accomplishments every year throughout March, which is Women’s History Month. And, by sharing their stories and achievements, women are influencing others and showing values of equality. Many of these tributes take place on social media platforms, and among those showcased are federal government workers. Here are some of those celebrated for how they are making a difference in and for their community:
Holly Ridings, the chief flight director of NASA, leads a team that manages spaceflight missions in the Mission Control Center at Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. Far from new to the sector, Ridings has been involved with NASA since 1998 when she started as a flight controller, and worked her way up to flight director in 2005. Over the years, Ridings has been the lead flight director for several expeditions, proving women deserve a place of authority.
Allison Brigati, deputy administrator of the General Services Administration, has served in her agency since 2017, contributing to matters of governmentwide policy. Her previous positions include being a director of strategic initiatives for the National Academy of Public Administration; being senior adviser and senior quality assurance officer to the director of the World Bank’s Department of Institutional Integrity; and being a real estate associate broker of both commercial and residential properties. Throughout her career Brigati has provided counsel on high-level legal and policy matters.
Our Regional Administrator Tom Scott joined @USGSA Deputy Administrator Allison Brigati as she met with some of the #WomenLeaders from key GSA business lines (@FAS_Outreach, PBS & @18F) at the historic 50 UNP building in #SF. #WomensHistoryMonth pic.twitter.com/iR15wEvxSd— GSA Pacific Rim (@US_GSAR9) March 5, 2019
Margaret Weichert, acting director at the Office of Personnel Management and deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, has held several executive leadership positions in her 25-year professional career, and is considered an innovator, entrepreneur and inventor. She paved new paths in the lines of payment technology and banking improvements, and currently navigates the challenge of a dual-hatted role of setting both workforce and broader federal management policy.
Hala Kadhem, a logistics manager for the U.S. Army, organizes the maintenance and management of troop property. She is also a professional linguist who has spent years assisting with international government initiatives and has experience with multinational government programs, large-scale logistics and simultaneous translations. Kadhem takes on varying responsibilities within her job and inspires other women to do the same.
"I went from a place where women are second class citizens to a place where male leaders see me as a dynamic individual and hold me to a high position regardless of my gender," says #USArmy Cpl. Hala Kadhem. #WomensHistoryMonthhttps://t.co/SgVCX6Npqd pic.twitter.com/jsXQbJwXrC— U.S. Army (@USArmy) March 2, 2019
Melissa Cohen works to bring a voice to men and women who have suffered assault in their lives, serving as the principal adviser on the prevention of and response to these issues to the director of the sexual assault prevention and response office for the Navy. Previously, Cohen was involved with the U.S. Marine Corps for over eight years where she served as the director of the Personnel Studies and Oversight Office and the Branch Head of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Program.
Rohida Khan, victims assistance specialist in the Department of Homeland Security, is a part of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. She is involved in policy-making, grants, protocol development, training and direct services to victims in her area. Khan is also on the Board of Directors for the Children’s Advocacy Center, working primarily out of Los Angeles, California. She strives to be an influencer in her government position, as well as her local community, using her career to help the people around her.
Meet @ICEgov Victim Assistance Specialist Rohida Khan.— Homeland Security (@DHSgov) March 12, 2019
"I love making a positive difference in the lives of others. One victim told me, 'you gave me the strength to change my life, to dream again, and achieve whatever I want to achieve.'” #WHM2019 #WomenofDHS #WhyIServe pic.twitter.com/yccJ7jHDeg
Marsha Blackburn is a freshman U.S. senator for Tennessee. Though she took her position on the Hill in January 2019, she is not new to government. Blackburn was elected to the Tennessee State Senate in 1998, and she has dedicated her public services to empowering women. Blackburn was once a small business woman and author, so she is passionate about promoting opportunities for women.
As the first woman elected a senator of California, Dianne Feinstein has built a substantial reputation since her election in 1992. Following her involvement with an impressive amount of legislation in California, Feinstein became the first female to be top Democrat on the Senate Judiciary Committee, and she helped shape many policies with this position. She was also the first woman mayor of San Francisco. Over the many years of her service, Feinstein has received a long list of awards due to her achievements, and her strong presence in the state and the government has been an encouragement to women in this field.
Joni Ernst, a U.S. senator for Iowa, served in the military for over 23 years before being elected to the Senate. She is the first woman to serve in federal elected office from Iowa. Ernst has worked to eliminate wasteful government spending, and as a senator she has fought to balance the budget and protect taxpayers. She has experience as a soldier and mother, and she brings those insights to D.C. and to encouraging other women to pursue personal aspirations.