Ted Kaufman - United States Senator for Delaware

Kaufman Recognizes Great Federal Employee, Alison McNally

July 27, 2010

Madam President, I rise today to recognize another of America's great Federal employees. This will be Federal employee No. 89.

In 1829, a British scientist who had never set foot in our country bequeathed to the American people his estate in order to create ``an establishment for the increase and diffusion of knowledge.'' That he did so is a reminder of what this young country represented to those around the world who yearned for liberty and an approach to government based on wisdom and science.

James Smithson's gift continues to enrich Americans' lives to this day in the form of the Smithsonian Institution. The millions of Americans who have visited the 19 Smithsonian museums, the National Zoo, and the over 150 affiliated institutions can attest to the value of the Smithsonian. Since its founding by Congress 163 years ago next month, the Smithsonian Institution has helped expose the American people to the arts and sciences.

Some of its museums have been traditional stops for families to bring their children when visiting Washington, such as the Air and Space Museum, the National Museum of American History, and the National Portrait Gallery. Many of us here can recall exploring them in our youth.

I can remember when I lived in Washington for 2 years after the Second World War. We didn't visit anything, and then, in the last 2 weeks, my mother took me and my sisters and we went on a tour of all the different museums in town. It was fantastic, and it is even much better today.

Other Smithsonian museums have joined them in recent years or are under construction today. The National Museum of the American Indian--a beautiful new building with wonderful, educational exhibits--is celebrating its 5-year anniversary.

The successful operation of this network of museums and galleries and the preservation of its treasures relies on the more than 4,000 dedicated Federal employees on its staff. There are dedicated, smart, hard-working employees on the Smithsonian staff.

Alison McNally is one of them--and a great one at that. As the Smithsonian's Under Secretary for Finance and Administration, Alison supervises a number of departments, including: the Office of Facilities Engineering and Operations, the Office of the Chief Financial Officer, the Smithsonian Archives, the Office of Human Resources, and the Office of the Chief Information Officer.

In this capacity, she plays an important role in the day-to-day operations of the Smithsonian, helping to ensure that it continues to provide the services Americans and foreign visitors have long enjoyed. Earlier, Alison served as the Smithsonian's senior executive officer in the office of the Under Secretary for Science. In that position, she directly oversaw a number of scientific research support programs.

Alison has been with the Smithsonian Institution since 2005 and previously spent twenty-four years working at NASA. There, she served as Deputy Associate Administrator for the Management of the Science Mission Directorate. From 2002-2004, Alison was the Associate Director of NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center.

Throughout her career in public service, Alison has consistently demonstrated a keenness for public administration and successful management.

She holds an undergraduate degree in Human Development from the University of Connecticut and a master's of social work from Columbia University. She has pursued additional study as well at the Simmons College Graduate School of Management and Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.

Madam President, I hope my colleagues will join me in thanking Alison McNally and all those who work at the Smithsonian Institution for their service to our Nation.

They are all truly great Federal employees.

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