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Spotlight on Commerce: Sara Rosario Nieves, Chief of Strategic Planning and Portfolio Management, U.S. Census Bureau

Guest blog by Sara Rosario Nieves, U.S. Census Bureau, Chief of Strategic Planning and Portfolio Management

While pursuing my MBA studies at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus, my primary goal was to secure a career in the private sector.  However, during one of my classes, my professor suggested that we consider a career in Federal service.  Somewhat intrigued I decided to apply that summer for a Federal government internship through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities program.  I was selected to work at the U.S. Census Bureau and, voilà, my Federal career began!

What immediately struck me when I joined the Census Bureau was the level of professionalism and dedication of both my colleagues and leadership. How open they were to listening to my ideas and how they encouraged me to find new ways to achieve our goals and streamline our processes. It was outstanding!

The U.S. Census Bureau’s mission is to serve as the nation's leading provider of quality data about its people and economy This mission has always been very important to me and I am proud of how we constantly look for innovative ways to accomplish that mission.  Having worked there for 16 years, I could not be happier about my career choice to become a public servant.  As Chief of the Strategic Planning and Portfolio Management staff, I maintain open communication and transparency with oversight entities, including the Office of the Inspector General, Office of Management and Budget, and the Government Accountability Office, which focuses on better utilization of taxpayers’ money and accountability to Congress.

I am also currently part of the Decennial Census Programs team, which is responsible for conducting the census of population and housing.  And now, during the 2020 Census, we are committed to providing quality statistical data to the American people.   

Throughout my career I have held many positions and each position has been rewarding and allowed me to serve my country proudly as a public servant. 

My grandfather was an educator, as was my mother. They both instilled in me an endless desire to learn. I find it exciting to come to work, prepare for the unknown, and tackle new challenges. I serve because it’s extremely fulfilling. I serve because it’s the right thing to do. I serve because I can!

Editorial Note: This post is part of a series in honor of Public Service Recognition Week (PSRW), showcasing the vast and diverse work of Commerce employees collectively working together to deliver important services that are helping the American economy grow.

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