Federal Spotlight: Amira Reiss

Amira Reiss serves as Homeland Security Acquisition Institute’s (HSAI) Associate Director for Training. Here is our Federal Spotlight interview:

MC:  How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today?

AR:  I have been in Federal Service for almost seven years. I currently serve in the DHS Office of the Chief Procurement Officer (OCPO) as the Homeland Security Acquisition Institute’s (HSAI) Associate Director for Training.  HSAI’s Training Program continues to be one of the most active acquisition training offices in the Federal Government, supporting over 400 formal learning opportunities with over 12,750 course completions last fiscal year.

Our program supports more than 13,000 DHS acquisition workforce members nationwide. We provide them with the training required to earn certifications in any of the ten acquisition career fields we support. We also offer a wide variety of continuous learning opportunities to ensure our workforce maintains current skills and knowledge.

MC:  What keeps you motivated and passionate to stay in the public sector?

AR:  The people. I truly enjoy assisting and learning from other people. My passion has always been giving individuals the tools they need to succeed.  I enjoy connecting people with information and knowledge. I thrive by seeing sparks when connections are made. Navigating the Federal Government is challenging, but I enjoy connecting my colleagues with the tools, resources, and people who can help make them successful.

MC:  What is one of your biggest achievements?

AR:  Several years ago, I represented DHS in the cross-agency working group that redeveloped the Federal Acquisition Institute Training Application System (FAITAS). FAITAS is the official system of record for tracking the training, certification, and continuous learning fulfillment of the federal-wide acquisition workforce. I was also responsible for rolling out the redeveloped platform across DHS. Today, we leverage the centralized platform to track the accomplishments of our workforce across their careers, including between agencies. This was a great, successful endeavor and I was honored to be part of making the government more efficient.

MC:  What advice would you share with young people on entering government?

AR:  Listen more than you speak. Never think you have all the answers.  There are always other perspectives. Ask questions and clarify the answers. Your actions, and those of others, have ripple effects. Personal goal achievement almost always stems from a team effort.

Also, each day, directly or indirectly, your work in the Federal Government impacts millions of people. It’s worth taking the time do it right.

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