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Spotlight on Commerce: Tanika Hawkins, Acting Director of Administration, Office of the Secretary

Guest blog post by Tanika Hawkins, Acting Director of Administration, Office of the Secretary

I have served for 25 years at the U.S. Department of Commerce. I am the Acting Director of Administration with the Commerce Department’s Chief of Staff and oversee, coordinate, and perform all administrative functions and essential tasks for the Office of the Secretary. Each day, I directly support the Secretary and Deputy Secretary and serve as the liaison for the Chief of Staff to other departmental bureaus and offices within the Office of the Secretary. My office is responsible for managing the Commerce department’s financial resources, human resources and facilities as well as establishing and monitoring the implementation of departmental policies and procedures for administrative functions affecting program operations in Commerce’s operating units. 

Before coming to the Office of the Secretary, I supported the essential functions for three Commerce agencies including the National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA), the International Trade Administration (ITA) and the Economic Development Administration (EDA).

I was born and raised in Prince George’s County, Maryland where I currently reside with my husband of 20 years and son.

What I love most about my job at the Department of Commerce is its greatest resource, the people.  It’s been a pleasure being an integral part of four Presidential transitions and working for three Secretaries of Commerce. 

My advice to today's youth is to set goals, establish good work habits, and be committed and dedicated to your career. Always strive for a career, opposed to a job.

My greatest inspiration is my mother. She worked for 41 years as a civil servant for Department of State and traveled around the world. She has always encouraged me, prayed for me, loved me into the women I am today. I am thankful for her inspiration. So, in honor of Women's History Month, I salute her. 

To me, Women's History Month is a time to acknowledge and spotlight women that have made an impact on the world through accomplishment in society, community, activism, leadership, and technology. Being able to empower women around me brings me great joy.

Ed. note: This post is part of the Spotlight on Commerce series highlighting the contributions of Department of Commerce employees during Women’s History Month.

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