Ask Me Why I Care
Public Service Stories | Transportation and Emergency Services
The Public Service Stories in this issue focus on the accounts of people working in transportation and emergency services. Dealing with catastrophes caused by weather, human weakness and the earth’s shifting crust are described in detail--as are the myriad problems of safely and efficiently getting people and goods where they need to go. These stories are told by trailblazers in their fields, putting human faces on events and issues that most of us have only read about.
If you are excited by change, by the idea of being a part of something vital to our nation’s health and welfare, by the opportunity to make a difference in both good times and bad, these stories have YOUR name on them. Watch them more than once. They just might change your life.
Thad Allen – former commandant, U.S. Coast Guard. Interview recorded in 2005 by the National Academy of Public Administration. This is a “MUST SEE” video—the story of the largest displacement of population by a natural disaster in U.S. history, as told by the Principal Federal Official in charge of the government’s response and recovery in the aftermath of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.
Alan Dean – former associate administrator, Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Interview recorded in 2006 by the National Academy of Public Administration. Alan lived through and participated in most of the major events in the early days of public administration in the federal government—the Marshall Plan, the Hoover Commission, the Bureau of the Budget, the creation of FAA. Don’t let the length of this scare you—it’s a great story!
William Ciaccio, Sr. – senior director of the New York City Metropolitan Transit Authority in the Capital Program Department, managing a $3B Infrastructure Program. Interview recorded in 2014. Interested in transportation? This video will introduce you to the largest transit system in the nation.
Wendy Haynes – former first assistant inspector general for Megaproject Oversight in the Office of the Massachusetts Inspector General. Interview recorded in 2014. Ever heard of the controversial “Big Dig” in Boston? Watch this video for a first-hand account by one of the auditors of the project.
Dwight Ink - former director, Alaska Planning and Reconstruction Commission. Interview recorded in 2005 by the National Academy of Public Administration. Did you know that Alaska was almost totally destroyed by a major earthquake in 1964? This is the story of how the state was saved, told by the man in charge.
Jeremy Plant – professor of public policy and administration, Penn State Harrisburg. Interview recorded in 2014. (Please ignore the background noise.) Interested in making the world better? Professor Plant describes how transportation makes a positive difference in people’s lives. Take a look.
Suggested Assignments for Students
Review videos for one or more of the following:
- What did you find inspirational/admirable about each of the speakers?
- While all of the interviewees may not have told us why they chose a career in public service, what do their words indicate that they care about?
- What is the content of the emergency management or transportation work they’ve done?
- How does their work fit into public service?
- Some of these videos were recorded in 2005/2006. What parts of their content sound current?
- Where did each feel they made a difference in the lives of others?
- What surprised you about any of these individuals and their stories?
- Which speaker did you like best and why?
- What are your take-aways from these interviews?
- What are the common threads in all the videos?
A Special Thank You
UNO thanks the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA) for their generosity in providing the video interviews of Thad Allen, Alan Dean, and Dwight Ink for use in this project.