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Long-Serving Interior Staff Take Stage With Obama

By Ed O'Keefe

First Lady Michelle Obama appeared on stage at the Interior Department today with several of the department's longest-serving employees seated behind her. (Photo by Reuters)

Several long-serving Interior Department staffers sat on stage behind Michelle Obama during her visit to department headquarters today. Their names and years of service are listed below:

Michael Smith, Bureau of Indian Affairs – 48 years
Gloria Mora, Bureau of Indian Affairs – 42 years
Barbara Davis, Bureau of Indian Affairs – 46 years
Thelma Harjo, Office of the Secretary – 44 years
Carolyn McGuire, Fish and Wildlife Service – 42 years
Sylvia Jones, Office of the Secretary – 40 years
Stanley Penn, Jr., Bureau of Land Management – 42 years
Robert Brown, Minerals Management Service – 32 years
Richard Trinidad, Office of the Secretary – 30 years
Ethel Smith, Office of the Secretary – 47 years
Daisy West, Bureau of Indian Affairs – 39 years
Carmen Santana, Office of the Secretary – 37 years
Charles Pereira, National Park Service – 36 years
Darwina Neal, National Park Service – 43 years
Charles Riggins, National Park Service 32 years
Laura Curlett, Office of the Secretary – 36 years

"The people who work here have a passion for what they do," Interior Sec. Salazar said to the audience before the first lady spoke. "You don't come here as you're moving from one step to another. You come here because you believe in the great work that the Department of the Interior does."

Obama later acknowledged the staffers saying they are "Folks who have been in this department longer than I’ve been alive. That is amazing.”

By Ed O'Keefe  | February 9, 2009; 4:40 PM ET
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Next: Eye Opener: Feb. 10, 2009


Just what does Mighty M have to do with the Interior Dept. other than they are trying to establish her credentials as a co-president. Why is it that the Dems need a co-president: Bubba/The Queen, JFK/Jackie/Monroe, FDR/Eleanor, etc. and now Mighty M who just recently became proud of her country for the first time. It is a disgrace those who they honor.

Posted by: Raylene | February 10, 2009 12:00 PM | Report abuse

To Raylene: It is you that is the disgrace for making such divisive comments about Mrs. Obama. If you haven't noticed yet, the country is falling apart, Americans are suffering and the Department of the Interior was beset by scandals, neglect and mismanagement perpetrated by a Secretary appointed by President George W. For Mrs. Obama to spend time meeting with and honoring hard-working but forgotten Interior employees was indeed refreshing, and not worthy of your thoughtless comments!

Posted by: ofeiaydl | February 10, 2009 3:22 PM | Report abuse

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