Since 1985, the United States has set aside the first week of May to celebrate Public Service Recognition Week. This recognition honors the hardworking individuals serving our nation as federal, state, county, and local government employees.
At the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), we are privileged to share the inspiring stories of our employees. They demonstrate the power of taking action toward advancing clean energy technologies and building a more sustainable future. They also serve as shining examples of how anyone can become a Clean Energy Champion.
From May 8 to 12, 2023, EERE will introduce you to some of our outstanding public servants to learn why they serve. Below is a brief interview with Kat Clark, a support service contract management division director in the Financial Oversight Office.
Kat Clark (she/her/hers)
Support Service Contract Management Division Director, Financial Oversight Office
Golden Field Office, CO
30 years of public service
What drew you to public service?
I served in the military, and my father was a community/civil rights leader who spoke up and made a difference.
What does being in public service mean to you?
It’s an opportunity to be part of the change and make a difference to better the well-being of our country.
What aspect of public service do you find most rewarding?
The opportunity to make a difference. For example, this could be done by taking extra steps when negotiating the award of contracts that can save the country millions. In 2012, I saved the Department of Commerce over $2.1 million in one year, as noted by President Obama. I was allowed to be innovative by thinking outside the box. The savings confirmed that I made a difference by impacting the way awards are negotiated. Each of us holds the key. We need the support and encouragement to turn it in the right direction.
Can you describe the path that brought you to EERE/your career in clean energy?
I have held positions in the acquisition field my entire career in the public and private sectors. I now have the opportunity to bring my acquisition knowledge to assist in various processes from the budget/finance office to the acquisition team with awarding a contract.
What advice do you have for Clean Energy Champions who want to pursue careers in public service?
First and foremost, understand the agency’s overall vision and mission. Then take that knowledge to grasp how the agency takes the necessary steps to achieve its goals. Also, ask yourself how you fit into the agency’s overall goals. The final question to ask yourself is, is this a good fit based on your morals and values?
Clean En∙er∙gy Cham∙pi∙on
/klēn/ /ˈenərjē/ /ˈCHampēən/
1. A person or group that takes action to support or join the transition to a renewable energy economy, with the knowledge that reducing carbon emissions provides daily benefits to every American so they can live happy and healthy lives.