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Spotlight on Commerce: Greg Brown, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, U.S. Economic Development Administration

Guest blog by Greg Brown, Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer, U.S. Economic Development Administration

I am the Chief Financial Officer and Chief Administrative Officer at the Commerce Department’s U.S. Economic Development Administration with broad responsibilities for management of the agency’s budget and finances, human capital resources, administrative support services, information technology resources, and internal administrative and financial control systems.

My professional responsibilities include assisting others in EDA through troubleshooting and implementing business solutions.  I appreciate my role enabling EDA’s network of staff across the Nation and supporting a portfolio of flexible investment mechanisms that help communities, especially those suffering economic distress.

My birthplace is Jacksonville, Florida, where I spent my adolescent years mostly fishing and becoming proficient in tossing a frisbee on the beach. Growing up, I spent time camping, hiking, and backpacking, eventually earning the Eagle Scout award from the Boy Scouts of America. 

I attended Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland, where I attained a Bachelor of Science in Economics and a minor in Systems Analysis. I then went on to serve in the U.S. Army as a communication specialist at U. S. European Headquarters Command in Stuttgart, Germany. Upon my return, I went back to Morgan State University and attained a Master of Arts in Economics. 

Black History Month always provides me with very special reflective moments. While in graduate school, I tutored undergraduate students in statistics and economics in office space in the campus library.  To my great pleasure, the office space next door was occupied by a near-legendary scholar, Dr. Benjamin Quarles, the retired long-time Dean of the History Department at Morgan State University. Professor Quarles was an American historian, educator, and writer, whose knowledge centered on black American social and political history. Many of his books have at times been required reading in African American history courses in many colleges and universities. He was a revered teacher and counselor and I was honored and amazed to have had personal, philosophical, scholarly, and casual conversations with such a pioneer in African American history.  His influence spanned not only my academic studies and point of view but also how I view myself in the world.

After over 30 years in private, public, and non-profit organizations, I have valued being a civil servant not only as a livelihood but also because I truly believe in the benefits of service to others.  As federal employees, we all take an oath to support and defend the U.S. Constitution.  I am proud to have illustrated that devotion through both military and civil service.  

The United States Constitution is the world's longest surviving written charter of government. The first three words—"We the People"—affirm that the government of the United States exists to serve all its citizens.

Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce African Americans during Black History Month.