Meyers sets up system to monitor $50B in Hurricane Sandy disaster relief

Monday - 6/9/2014, 4:31pm EDT

Listen to our interview with Sara Meyers, the director of the Sandy Program Management Office at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (Photo by Sam Kittner/Kittner.com)

Download

The Department of Housing and Urban Development is now able to track performance, locate problems and implement solutions using data analysis thanks to HUDStat, a performance system co-created by Sara Meyers.

Using HUDStat, the housing agency can compile and analyze date, making it easier to assess the impact of federal housing programs.

"Sara has a relentless focus on results, but she does it in a way that builds consensus," said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan. "Her work is so effective because it helps her colleagues think about how to clear hurdles and get positive outcomes for the American people."

When President Barack Obama tapped Donovan to lead the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force, he asked Meyers to establish a system to oversee the federal funding going to the storm-battered region. Her efforts created a process to track the $50 billion in federal disaster relief.

"In the Sandy role, she provided information and was successful at getting agencies to agree to a set of plans," said Lisa Danzig, the associate director for personnel and performance at the Office of Management and Budget. "As a result, we are rebuilding in a more coordinated way and, most importantly, building a more resilient infrastructure."

For her efforts in creating HUDStat and helping to set up a system to monitor the allocation of Hurricane Sandy funds, the Partnership for Public Service recently named Meyers as one of the finalists for the 2014 Call to Service Medal. The award recognizes federal employees for professional achievements that demonstrate important contributions being made by a new generation coming into public service.

Getting to know Sara Meyers

Federal News Radio asked each of the Sammies finalists questions about themselves. Here are Meyers' responses:

What three words best describe your leadership philosophy?
Strategic, collaborative and data-driven.

What's the best piece of advice (or words of wisdom) you've ever received and who gave it to you?
When I was starting college, my dad told me that the way to get the most out of the experience was to find the best teachers and just take their classes, regardless of the subject. I've adapted this over the course of my career, and always try to seek out jobs where I know I can learn from and be challenged by the people with and for whom I'll be working!

Who is your greatest role model and why?
Without question — my older siblings. My brother Evan and sister Rachel are simply amazing, and are both leading brilliant careers and remarkable families. I've always been motivated to live up to their high standards!

What's the last thing you read and what's next on your reading list?
I'm currently reading Patti Smith's "Just Kids" and next up is " target="_blank">Germania: In Wayward Pursuit of the Germans and their History" by Simon Winder.

The Call to Service Medal is just one of the Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals (Sammies) presented annually by the Partnership for Public Service. View a photo gallery of all the Sammies nominees.