The Harold Gracey File

Title: Vice president of government affairs,

Career: Began his federal career in 1970 as management intern with the

Department of the Army at Fort Meade, Md. Worked at the Department of Health

and Human Services from 1974 to 1983, holding a series of management positions.

Joined the VA in 1983 as a program analysis officer, received his first

promotion two years later, and ended his 17-year career there as head of

the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology.

Awards: Gracey received the Presidential Rank Award of Meritorious Executive

in 1993 and was given the Rank Award of Distinguished Executive the next


Quotation: "The last 30 years are a blur like rises in a roller coaster — and some dips."

Rises: "Getting compensation for Vietnam veterans and their kids from

[exposure to] Agent Orange and Persian Gulf veterans [with illnesses] were

peaks because we got something done that had been talked about for a long


Dips: "Oklahoma City was a real shocker, and I have a piece of granite

from that building because it made you think that people didn't think about

government the way they should. And the [1995 to 1996] government shutdown

was just awful because you'd walk into a normally bustling office and see

just a handful of people, all essentially over a political stalemate over

the budget."


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