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Reflecting on the Vital Contributions of Public Servants

May 3, 2021

By: Emory Rounds

This year and the last have been extraordinarily challenging for public servants across our nation and around the world. Public servants have been asked to respond directly to the COVID-19 pandemic, to manage the economic fallout from efforts to reduce the loss of life from the disease, and to keep essential services running, while contending with disrupted workplaces. It has been, for many, an unforgiving and difficult time.

Fortunately, and as always, public servants have risen to the challenges. Putting their own health and safety on the line, public servants have helped treat and prevent the disease. They have dedicated themselves to getting our society and economy running again. And, they have kept the services upon which we all depend running, while working from home, caring for their families, and protecting their own health and safety. We may not know their names, but we do know that each one has made great sacrifices to keep us safe, healthy, and secure.

During this Public Service Recognition Week, I am grateful for each and all of the contributions, big and small, made by public servants to help our nation weather this storm. Sometime in the future, through a combination of vaccines, therapeutics, and good policy decision-making, we will emerge to something resembling normal. Our fears and frustrations will slowly recede, and we will begin the difficult work of rebuilding our economy, our workplaces, and our lives.

Public servants will be vital to these efforts, and the public’s trust in these dedicated people will be vital to our success. For this reason, I am particularly grateful to OGE’s staff and to the more than 4,000 ethics officials across the executive branch who have been working tirelessly to protect this trust that is so vital to our recovery.  

As we begin to rebuild our new normal, I would ask those who serve the public to be resolute, to look after themselves and their health, and to remember that they serve as stewards of our country’s wellness.

I would also remind you, as members of the public, to stay engaged, to stay informed, and to do what you can to support the public servants who continue to ensure our nation’s many successes.