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    OPM Director

    Tonight is my major league baseball debut, and I’m excited to share the names of the five Federal employees I’ve asked to join me on Nationals field when I throw out the first pitch.

    Each of these individuals was recognized by their peers on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for representing the spirit of Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW). I hope you’ll join me in cheering them on when the Washington Nationals play the LA Dodgers this evening.

    Mika J. Cross is a Human Capital Policy Strategist at USDA who specializes in work/life balance, diversity, inclusion and employee engagement. She was nominated by her colleague Jamie Edmunds, who tweeted that Mika is “inspiring and forward thinking” and that she “thrives in the face of adversity.”

    Shannon Edwards is a Management Assistant in the Retirement Services division of OPM. She is committed to the accurate and timely processing of retirement claims for Federal retirees. She was nominated by Robert Gandy Sr. at USDA, who tweeted that Shannon “epitomizes #FedSpirit with her dedication” and that “she has #Natitude.”

    Pamela Marstiller is a Management and Program Analyst at the FBI, where she takes great pride in knowing she’s been a “small, but integral part of National Security” for the past 19 years. Pamela was nominated by her niece, Amy Brodie, who tweeted “@OPMDirector, you need her by your side to throw out the first pitch.”

    Justin Herman leads the government-wide SocialGov Community at GSA, uniting more than 450 government social media practitioners from more than 130 federal agencies into an objective-based problem-solver community. He was recognized by his colleague Tim Lowden, who tweeted that Justin is an “innovator, influencer, organizer, and devoted public servant,” and that his “curveball drops off the table.”

    Carmen Garcia is the Executive Resources Coordinator and Pathways Program Officer at OPM. She is responsible for recruitment and staffing, classification, executive resources, change management, and advocating an environment of diversity and inclusion. She was recognized by her colleague Justin Johnson, who tweeted that Carmen is great at recruiting and has #FedSpirit.

    I’ve really enjoyed seeing all of your recognition posts, tweets, and photos, and I hope you’ll continue thanking Federal employees all week long using #FedSpirit. And please follow me on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook through @OPMDirector to watch my pitch this evening.

    Play ball!

    Photo of OPM Director Katherine Archuleta walking down a locker room hallway with a Nationals Jersey that reads: Archuleta #1

    Thursday was an inspirational day for me. I had the honor of witnessing 35 new Americans from 20 countries take the oath of citizenship at the USCIS office in Fairfax, Va. and offering them some words of welcome.

    And this was a very special group of new citizens. You see, they had not passed their first citizenship test. So they studied and studied and in the true spirit of this country, they returned Thursday to try again. And they succeeded. The look of pride in their faces and of the family members, including some young children, was heartwarming.

    One by one, as the name of country they emigrated from was called, the prospective citizens stood: Albania, Bangladesh, Bolivia, El Salvador, Eritrea, Ethiopia Ghana, India, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Nepal, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Somalia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam. And after all 35 were standing, Sarah Taylor, USCIS Washington District Director, administered the oath.

    As I told them in my remarks, these new citizens are what America is all about. It’s about hard work. It’s about determination. And we need Americans like this to make our country grow and prosper. The United States has always been a country of immigrants who come to our shores to find a better life. And I was privileged to be a small part of their journey.

     Photo of Director Achuleta, Sarah Taylor (District Director US Citizenship and Immigration Services), Kimbelry Zanotti (Field Office Director US Citizenship and Immigration Services) and a woman who is becoming a citizen.


    Today is my first day at OPM, and I am excited to be joining this great team. For my inaugural blog post, I wanted to share with you my message to the OPM workforce. Please check back here in the coming months for more on my activities as Director of OPM.

    I know everyone who starts a new job says they are both excited and nervous for their first day, but I think, today, that I am just excited and honored to be here with all of you. I am humbled by the opportunity to serve the President, the American people, and you, as the 10th Director of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and the first Hispanic to hold the office.

    Earlier this morning, I was officially sworn-in by Elaine Kaplan, who has done a spectacular job of leading this agency during the transition.  I want to thank her for keeping the seat warm for me and doing a tremendous job. We all want to wish her well as she steps into her robe and onto the bench as a Judge at the U.S. Court of Federal Claims.

    I start my first day filled with hope and encouragement. There is hard work ahead and many challenges we will face, but I know that the incredible team here at OPM – including all of you – is ready to stand by my side and work together to get the job done.

    I look forward to spending time with all of you over the coming weeks and months as we work toward making the Federal government a diverse and inclusive environment and recruit, retain, and honor a world-class workforce.

    Let’s get to work!

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