Federal Spotlight: Doris Sartor
Dr. Doris Sartor serves as Course Director for the Air Force Civilian Associate Degree Program at Maxwell Air Force Base, and is national president of Blacks In Government (BIG). Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview:
MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today?
DS: 35 years. My main responsibility is serving as Course Director, Air Force Civilian Associate Degree Program at the Ira C. Eaker Center for Professional Development at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery, Alabama. The Eaker Center is standing up the Associate of Applied Science in Leadership and Management Studies for Air Force civilians. This degree program is designed to create a body of core competencies, key skills, and abilities infused with Air Force Core Values to prepare USAF civilians to be effective as they assume increased responsibilities as Air Force Leaders.
MC: What keeps you motivated and passionate to stay in the public sector?
DS: That’s an easy question to respond to. First of all, I really enjoy the prospect of designing and implementing new programs and courses. I do enjoy seeing the plethora of positive effects the programs or courses have on civilian and military members. On a daily basis I get to witness, first-hand, the innovation, dedication, and commitment of my fellow military and civilian co-workers.
Secondly, as a public servant, I get to live my passion of helping others. My nine-year position as the Course Director for the Air Force Sexual Assault and Response Coordinators and Sexual Assault Prevention and Response Victim Advocates Courses allowed me the opportunity to work with those who provide sensitive care for sexual assault victims. Academically empowering students through interactive, engaging activities, helps ensure their success as they educate, advocate, and collaborate to respond to and stop sexual assault. Being a part of their journey was an incredible experience.
MC: What is one of your biggest achievements?
DS: Now, that’s a really hard question! I’ve had many wonderful opportunities throughout my civil service career. It’s difficult to choose just one achievement. Presently, I’m honored to serve as the 14th National President of Blacks In Government (BIG). With my involvement with such a prestigious organization, I have had many opportunities and challenges that have enriched me both personally and professionally. For example, over my 28 years of involvement with BIG, I’ve had the opportunity to serve as Corporate Sponsorship Chair and collaborate with organizations, agencies, and businesses that have donated more than one million dollars to BIG’s programs, services, and initiatives. Kudos to them for investing in such a noteworthy organization! The invaluable experiences of being the program coordinator for numerous BIG programs such as the National Oratorical Program; Information Superhighway Student Competition; Future Leaders in America’s Government; and Darlene H. Young Leadership Academy have served me well.
The skills I learned while working with BIG transferred into my many government positions as GS-15 Leadership Seminar Executive Course Director; Quality Advisor; Associate Editor, Air and Space Power Journal; EEO Counselor; Mediator; and AETC Quality Air Force Instructor.
Certainly, if you ask my mother that question, she would tell you to look at the many photos she has of me with such outstanding leaders like our former President, Barack Obama; Attorney Johnnie Cochran; Actor Clarence Gilyard; and General Dennis Via. Perhaps, she is right. It has been a personal honor to have exposure to such high caliber individuals. However, I do believe my greatest accomplishment is still yet to come, because BIG is just on the precipice of its greatest accomplishments as well.
MC: What advice would you share with young people on entering government?
DS: My advice to young people entering government actually works regardless of the field you are entering and it is simple to adhere to. Young people, select a field of work that you have passion about. Be one of those people who jump out of bed, excited about the day ahead and the challenges you will face. Always, remember to treat everyone with respect and dignity.
As Maya Angelou said, “At the end of the day people won’t remember what you said or did, they will remember how you made them feel.” Do more than is expected; always strive to be great at what you do. Surround yourself with positive people and find a mentor.
Be patient, don’t be afraid to take one step back today to take two steps forward tomorrow.
Be continually learning—I’m still learning.
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