Emerging Leaders finalist: David Rader
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Emerging Leaders finalist: David Rader

Date
May 7, 2022 | Updated on May 6, 2022
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During Public Service Recognition Week 2022, the Partnership is spotlighting some finalists in each award category for this fall’s Samuel J. Heyman Service to America Medals® program.

Today, for the last blog post in this series, we’re focusing on David Rader, the deputy director of the Office of Foreign Investment Review at the Department of Defense. He is a 2022 Emerging Leaders finalist for his work leading a critical initiative to monitor and prevent foreign investments in American technology companies that can be used by adversaries to gain an economic and military advantage over the United States.

We asked him a few questions to learn more about what drives him as a public servant and what he likes to do when he’s not serving the country.

What’s your best career advice for someone entering public service?

Never shy away from the impossible tasks and always take the job that is the biggest challenge. It will be messy, but you’ll learn the most, grow the fastest and have meaningful effects on the mission.

What are some fun or surprising things we should know about you?

I’ve coached hundreds of transitioning service members and helped many find meaningful careers; I have a weird knack for memorizing biographical facts about people and places; and I have been to all 50 states.

Who is your favorite public servant and why?

My favorite is George Marshall. He was Army chief of staff, architect of the Marshall Plan, a special envoy to China, secretary of state, president of the Red Cross, secretary of defense, recipient of the Congressional Gold Medal and recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.

What is your favorite thing about working for the U.S. government?

I love working alongside a diverse group of individuals from all over the country who care deeply about making America a safer, freer and more prosperous place for everyone. There is something truly special about seeing people from each corner of the country and every walk of life get together to solve problems and serve the public and the nation.

What object would you save if your house was on fire?

I’d save a flag that my best friend’s unit flew for me in a distant and dangerous land.

What are you reading, watching or listening to right now?

I’m reading “A First Rate Madness”by S. Nassir Ghaemi, listening to the “Masters in Business” podcast and watching “Babylon Berlin,” a German neo-noir series on Netflix.

To learn more about David Rader and our other Emerging Leaders honorees, visit our Sammies website.


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