The Community: Parkes brings 32-year career in government to a close

Rosita Parkes

Rosita Parkes, CIO of the Energy Department, will wrap up more than three decades of government service when she retires Jan. 3, 2006.

Parkes told GCN that she plans to continue her career of public service, but in a new arena.

'It's time for the next challenge. I want to teach bilingual education. ... I love my country, and I served my country for 32 years. It's time to give back at the community level,' she said.

'What I'm going to miss the most is this fabulous staff, both the Department of Energy and the CIO's office,' she added. 'They're professional, hardworking, loyal, dedicated people.'

Parkes came to DOE in October 2003 from the same position at the Federal Emergency Management Agency'a job she was appointed to one year after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Looking back, she considers that the greatest job of her long career. 'Being part of that whole rebuilding of America's spirit,' Parkes said. 'I don't think that job has been completed, but it was a moment, a period of time when we all worked together. That's the piece that gets the lump in my throat. ... That's the best definition of public servant.'

Prior to her arrival at FEMA, Parkes was CIO for the Defense Commissary Agency. She spent a number of years as a civilian employee of the Army.

She received the Commander's Award for Superior Civilian Service in 1990 and 1996 and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2001.

There is no word on who will replace Parkes. Gordon Errington currently is Energy's deputy CIO.

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