Federal Spotlight: Georgia A. Thomas
Georgia A. Thomas serves at the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) as the organization’s Southeast and Southwest Area Manager, Communication and Stakeholder Outreach (CSO), Field Operations. Here is our Federal Spotlight interview:
MC: How long have you been in Federal service and what is your main responsibility in your role today?
Georgia A. Thomas: I have been with the IRS since 1979. In my current position, I serve as an Area Manager in Stakeholder Liaison—Field Operations. I manage two Areas of the country, (1) the Southwest Area which includes the states of Arizona, New Mexico, and Texas and (2) the Southeast Area which includes the states of Florida and Georgia. My management assistant is located in Rhode Island. As Manager, I provide oversight to the outreach efforts within both geographical areas. Our stakeholders are primarily the Small Business/Self-Employed (SB/SE) Community. We also provide Disaster Assistance in these areas. In addition to providing education and resources to our stakeholders, issue management is an important tool we utilize to support our stakeholders and effectively influence compliance with tax laws.
MC: What keeps you motivated and passionate to stay in the public sector?
GT: I stay in public service at this point in my life because no two days are the same. I am motivated by knowing that the liaison work we do involves helping someone each and every day. While education and outreach is one of those fields where you can measure success by the number reached, growth in knowledge can sometimes be very speculative. However, being able to note the improvement in overall compliance levels over time because a group was educated on a given topic makes all the difference in tax administration. I am proud to be a part of a small group within the Internal Revenue Service that educates our stakeholders and lessens the burden of the American taxpayer through our outreach activities that focus on education, disaster assistance, and stakeholder issue resolution.
MC: What is one of your biggest achievements?
GT: For me, my biggest achievements have been the ability to mentor and assist others in their careers. I have been rewarded by the gift of seeing others grow and accomplish the career goals they have set for themselves, and in several cases exceed what they thought they could do. And of course, the added bonus is when the person comes back and lets me know how much they’ve appreciated the assistance.
MC: What advice would you share with young people on entering government?
GT: Join an organization, whether you join something like Federally Employed Women (FEW) or another organization that supports your career and your passion. Never underestimate the power of personal growth and moral support gained by being proactively involved with others. Joining FEW has given me an appreciation for the hard work and service that Federal employees provide every day. I am especially appreciative of the positive impact that women make in the Federal workplace and in their service to the American taxpayer. My involvement with FEW has been invaluable to my career and personal growth. Without my involvement with FEW, I would not have been exposed to so many skillsets and career paths in my interactions with FEW sisters and brothers across the United States.
Being active in FEW gave me the confidence to speak in front of large groups. When I became a member, I didn’t want to talk in small groups, not to mention large ones. Support from FEW has changed that. It has helped to advance my career greatly in my area of government, where I provide leadership, outreach, and education to others. Serving on the FEW board has provided me with travel opportunities as we meet up in various locations throughout the United States. Finally, the membership benefits I gain, such as mentoring, networking, friendships, technical skills, and broadened knowledge base, inspire me to give back, not only to the FEW organization, but to the community as well.