DorobekInsider: Meet “the good bureaucrat” — Dwight Ink

Thursday - 1/14/2010, 4:54pm EST

Government workers generally despise the term “bureaucrat” — mostly because it has all sorts of negative connotations. Generally politicians use it dripping with derision as they scoff at the work done by government workers. And so the term has come to be synonymous with red tape and government problems.

Today on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to “the good bureaucrat” — Dwight Ink.

Giving credit where credit is due, the idea comes from William Eggers, global director of Deloitte’s public sector research program and co-author of the wonderful book If We Can Put a Man on the Moon: Getting Big Things Done in Government. (Hear Eggers here.) Eggers and his co-author John O’Leary of Harvard University, have a column in Government Executive today titled, “The Silent Leader,” in which they write about Dwight Ink.

History tends to adore the person at the helm, the president who calls the shots from the Oval Office. Overlooked are the bureaucrats who actually carry out the commands. Out of the limelight, Ink served seven consecutive presidents, from Dwight Eisenhower to Ronald Reagan. Now retired, this unassuming bureaucrat was often the one doing the heavy lifting.

Read the full column here.

But Eggers got me photos of Ink through the years.


Kennedy & Test Ban


Kennedy & Nuclear Space

LBJ & Alaskan Recovery

LBJ & HUD Leadership

Nixon & Ink

Ford & Arab Embargo

Reagan & CSA Closeout

Bush & Agency Termination