Famous Federal Employees
Our nation is run by some amazing people. The men and women who work for the Federal Government are not only hard workers, but they are dedicated to doing great things for the citizens of our country. Many of them have gone on to become quite famous!
It’s astounding how many former Federal Employees are now famous actors, musicians, chefs, etc… Join us as we take a look at the lives of some Famous Federal Employees.
Wanda Sykes is a prime example of a famous Federal Employee, first working as a National Security Agent then becoming a successful actress and comedian. Wanda graduated from Hampton University with a bachelor’s degree in marketing, and began working for the National Security Agency in 1987, where she became a contracting specialist with high-level clearance. Wanda kickstarted her career as a stand-up comedian when she performed in the Coors Light Super Talent Showcase in 1987.
After working for the NSA for 5 years she moved from D.C. to New York City to further pursue her comedy and acting career. Soon after moving to the Big Apple she got her first big break opening for Chris Rock at Caroline’s Comedy Club.
In 2000 she played the role of Chantell in the Nutty Professor II and was soon offered roles in movies such as Evan Almighty, Barnyard, The Muppets, and many more. Wanda was also a writer for Comedy Central and the Chris Rock show for four years.
Wanda says one of the highlights of her career was hosting the White House Correspondents’ Dinner in 2008. Over her years as a comedian, she received numerous awards and was ranked the 70th funniest standup comedian of all time. Over her career Wanda has worked very hard to go from a high ranking NSA agent to one of the best standup comics around.
Steve Carell says the only job more difficult than managing a small paper company in northern Pennsylvania is working for the U.S. Postal Service. Before Steve was the hilarious actor we all know from television shows and movies like The Office, Crazy Stupid Love, and Despicable Me, he worked as a mail carrier in rural Connecticut for six months. Steve recalls in an interview on 60 Minutes that it was the toughest job he ever had, and after six months he quit because his boss said he wasn’t very good at it.
Soon after he quit, he went to work for a children’s touring theatre company. In 1989 he made his first televised appearance in a commercial for Brown’s Chicken. Steve had a few small acting parts in TV shows and appeared on a couple of episodes of Saturday Night Live.
In 2004 he starred in the movie Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, and later wrote and starred in The 40-Year-Old Virgin. Steve also starred in The Office in 2005, a show that continued for nine seasons. Steve Carell is one of the most recognized names in Hollywood today.
Before she became the famous, funny, go-to reference for cooking, Julia Child worked for the Office of Strategic Services. During World War II Julia attempted to join the Women’s Army Corp, but because she was too tall, she began a career as a typist for the Office of Strategic Services instead.
She was soon given the responsibility of working for the head of the department, General William Donovan, then became a file clerk for the Emergency Rescue Equipment Section, where she assisted in the development of a shark repellent. Julia was stationed in Sri Lanka in 1944, and in China for the remaining part of the war. Soon after the war was over she married Paul Cushing Child in 1946.
Paul, a refined artist and poet, introduced Julia to the world of French cuisine. They moved to France in 1948, and she became fascinated with French cooking. She joined a women’s cooking group where she met two women who helped her test recipes for their book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The group of three women also founded an informal cooking school where they taught American women to cook French food.
After writing her book and a few articles for the Boston Globe she started her own cooking show, which was an immediate success. During the 70’s and 80’s she was a celebrity on Baking With Julia, Dinner At Julia’s, and Julia Child and Company. Julia Child’s kitchen became so famous it is now in the National Museum of American History. She started her career in the Federal Government but was introduced to French cuisine, and eventually made her into one of the funniest and most well-known TV chef personalities of all time.
As 38th president of the United States, Gerald R. Ford is most remembered as the president who worked with “compassion in healing the nation’s wounds following the war in Vietnam.” His accomplishments as president are many, but to President Ford one of his greatest accomplishments was serving his country as a Park Ranger for the National Park Service.
According to his supervisor at Yellowstone, Canyon District Ranger Frank Anderson, he was a “darn good ranger.” While at Yellowstone, Ford held many duties, one of which was serving as an armed guard for the bear-feeding truck. The park no longer feeds the bears, but they did when President Ford worked there, and he often told exciting tales of his bear-feeding days to his family.
As president, Ford saw to it that the National Park Service was managed well and tightened the criteria for national park land. Under his administration 18 National Park Systems were added to registry. The National Park Service has always felt that President Ford was one of their own and released a heartfelt condolence letter to his family when he passed away.
As one of the most famous chefs and cookbook authors of modern times, Ina Garten, more commonly known as the Barefoot Contessa, was once just a home cook and lover of good food. Soon after marrying her husband, Jeffery, the couple moved to Fort Bragg, North Carolina.
While Jeffery served four years in The Vietnam War, Ina cultivated her cooking and entertaining skills to keep herself busy. She also earned her pilot’s licence. After her husband returned from the war, the two took off on a four-month camping trip to Paris, where Ina truly fell in love with French cooking.
Upon her return to the States, she dove into Mastering the Art of French Cooking, by another famous Federal Employee, Julia Child. To practice her new culinary skills, Ina started hosting weekly dinner parties, and when the couple moved to Washington, DC these weekly parties became a tradition.
In Washington, Ina took a job at The White House and took classes at George Washington University, earning her MBA. She started out as a low-level aide, but quickly climbed the ladder and became a budget analyst for the Office of Management and Budget. Under Presidents Ford and Carter, Ina wrote nuclear energy budgets and policy papers on nuclear centrifuge plants.
This job was stressful and the setting in Washington so serious and high-powered that Ina threw herself into cooking and entertaining during her time off. She also began flipping houses in the Dupont Circle and Kalorama neighborhoods.
The profits finally allowed Ina to quit her government job and open a speciality food store, The Barefoot Contessa, in Westhampton Beach, New York, which launched her new career in cooking. From there she went on to write numerous cookbooks, host TV cooking shows, and sell her Barefoot Contessa speciality food items. She and Jeffrey split their time between Manhattan, East Hampton, and Paris.
For All Federal Employees
Even if you aren’t a ‘famous’ federal employee to the rest of the world, you still mean a lot to us. We’ve been helping federal employees plan their retirement for years and we’d love the chance to help you as well.
For over 30 years, federal employee retirement planning has been a key focus of Medallion Financial Group. We recognize that FERS retirement benefits have extra layers of complexity, such as the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP), 401K, Pension plan, FEGLI and more. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of bad advice when so few people understand the basics. We help with the basics and beyond to enable our clients to get the education and advice they need to retire with confidence.
Our focus is twofold: first and foremost, we are fiduciary advisors. We stand against any violation of laws, values, and ethics. Second, we treat our clients as part of our family, not only those who call Maryland and Georgia home, but clients across the US who have benefited from our reputation of personal service, integrity, and expertise.
We strive to exceed client’s expectations – because we have high expectations of ourselves.