Honoring a Man and his Legacy as a Presidential Management Fellow

July 8, 2009

David Kincaid is a first year Timothy J. Hauser Presidential Management Fellow who obtained his Masters degree from the George Washington University’s Elliott School of International Affairs.  In addition to his coursework in international affairs and economics, David has experience in business and non-profit program management.  During the first year of his PMF program, David has had the opportunity to work with Invest in America, the Corporate Partners Program, Advocacy Center, the Office of Energy and Environmental Industries, and is currently working with the Foreign-Trade Zones Board located in Import Administration.

 Living up to expectations

Last August, when I joined ITA, I arrived on the scene bearing, in addition to the title Presidential Management Fellow or PMF, the name of a man I had never known—Timothy J. Hauser.  Many told his story, each expression unique, yet the message was the same—Tim had been a pillar of the ITA family and had left an indelible mark on the soul of this organization.  But for me, one piece of his story resonated with clarity.  As someone close to Hauser said, “Tim advocated that all ITA personnel should seek a variety of experiences in the organization.  Only in this way can they see how it all works together and get beyond the weeds.”  I took Timothy Hauser’s inspiration to heart and embarked on my journey as a PMF.

During my Masters program I learned a great deal about the work of ITA, I learned about trade law, antidumping and countervailing duties, I learned there are four business units within ITA and that Census and BEA are not part of ITA but rather are part of Commerce, I even learned that certain offices conduct trade policy analysis and others support the efforts of the U.S. Trade Representative.  But who knew there are USEACs and political appointees and taskers and that hundreds of people work to foster exports of everything from chemicals to cars and from tourism to pension funds?  There was no course on TMs and IBPs, FSNs and SCOs, or how OSP works on PIPs for MAS, CS, MAC, ODUS, OCFO, and IA through WBTs developed by folks in OCIO!  It’s true; the alphabet soup was at best daunting to learn.  But, beyond the intellectualist brain-tickling, far more valuable lessons have come of my PMF journey.

Working through others to achieve a common goal

On the first day of my new position, a respected voice said to me, “the greatest skill you can learn here at Commerce is working through others to achieve a common goal.”  And oi!, how true it is—even beyond the walls of this building—because this is, in fact, what we do here. The International Trade Administration is made up of thousands of people who work tirelessly through others to achieve a goal on behalf of the American people.  They work to ensure opportunities for small and medium-sized businesses overseas, they work to create jobs for Americans, they work to level the playing field in the global marketplace for U.S. companies, they work to foster innovative and cutting-edge strategies for American competitiveness, they work to serve the American people.  Whether it be promoting foreign direct investments that create job opportunities for American workers, or engaging corporate partners who may facilitate U.S. exports, or advocating on behalf of American companies for foreign contracts, or opening foreign markets for civil nuclear reactor builders, utilities and wastewater technology industries, or programs that reduce duties on value added imports so American manufacturers can remain competitive and keep jobs at home.  I have worked in all these areas and have met people working through others to serve the American people.

And so it is that I am now armed with many rewarding experiences, a renewed understanding of people and the inspiration of Timothy Hauser.  Having now gained a 30,000 foot view of the organization and having built an abundance of rewarding relationships, I am grateful for the opportunity to participate as a PMF and honored to be of service as part of the ITA family.

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