In this Govie Spotlight series, WashingtonExec will highlight government folks leading transformational change and innovation. Get to know a bit about their background, drive and advice for aspiring leaders.
Featured: Mittal Desai, chief information officer in the Office of the Executive Director for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.
How did you get your start in government?
I started in 2007 as a GS-9 IT specialist in our IT Policy Division. After working in the private sector, I had an opportunity to enter through the now legacy Federal Career Intern Program, which allowed aspiring federal leaders to join the government.
The FCIP was attractive among other opportunities because it gave me the ability to do a rotation in every division of the CIO organization to better understand their responsibilities and how it all comes together to provide mission support services.
What is the most rewarding part of working in government?
Working for an organization amongst great professionals who are talented and strive for positive change. Working in a small agency allows you to connect with different individuals across the Commission’s program offices to better understand their responsibilities and how we can better support the overall objectives of FERC.
The people at FERC are collaborative and I am very proud to lead the CIO organization that works tireless to provide a positive digital experience to our user base.
What is something you wish you knew when you were rising in your career?
It is not always a technical issue or problem. People management is one of the most important and difficult things to master in order to move an organization forward. Developing your soft skills in communication, emotional intelligence, and seen as a collaborator will serve one well that aspires to be an executive in the government.
What advice would you share with the next generation looking to join the government or help make a positive, transformational change?
Working as a civil servant is one that I truly take great pride in serving the American public. The government offers exciting and important missions that impact American lives and lives across the globe. Working as a government professional gives one the ability to be the change you want to see and truly make a positive and rewarding impact.