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NIH Record vertical blue bar column separator Retirees graphic

OD's Ana Kennedy Retires

Amid a group of family and well-wishers, Ana Kennedy retired from NIH after 32 years of government service. At the time of her retirement, Kennedy served as a management analyst in the Office of the Director's Equal Employment Opportunity Office.

"Ana exemplifies the positive attributes we value in federal service — excellent communication skills and always helpful," noted Mary Okwaro, EEO specialist in OD and Kennedy's longtime friend and coworker.

Kennedy began her federal career in 1971 as a GS-3 clerk-typist in the National Institute of Mental Health (clearinghouse). "I came as a summer aide and just stayed," she said, summing it up simply. During her tenure at NIH she worked in several other capacities with ever-increasing responsibilities, including at the National Institute on Drug Abuse as an information clerk, at the Clinical Center as a management analyst, and in OD's Office of Management Policy as a management analyst. In 1995, she joined the OD EEO staff.

Ana Kennedy (c) enjoys her special day among friends and coworkers in the OD EEO office (from l) Hilda Dixon, Jennifer Haley, Pat Fong and Mary Okwaro.

"Ana has given unselfishly to the NIH community in general and to the OD specifically," said Hilda Dixon, OD Diversity and Special Emphasis Program manager and head of OD EEO. "Her kindness, generosity, creativity, patience and her wealth of knowledge will be greatly missed."

In addition to her duties as a management analyst, Kennedy served as advisor to the OD EEO advisory committee for several years and gave her leadership to many outstanding initiatives, including the "RESPECT" campaign, "Wake Up and Walk," and the OD Mentoring and Training Program, which grew and flourished under her expert guidance.

Marcia Doniger, a writer-editor in the NIH Office of Communications and Public Liaison and chair of the OD EEO advisory committee, recalled Kennedy's contributions: "If I were asked to describe Ana's accomplishments at NIH in just a few words, they would be: 'Ana, you made a difference!' Whether you were functioning as Hilda Dixon's 'right arm,' or juggling your way through several different projects at once, you always made time for people — even when time was a short and a precious commodity."

Kennedy also served as coordinator for the NIH Gallaudet Intern Program, sponsored by OD EEO. Over a 5-year period, Ana placed more than 40 Gallaudet interns. She served on many NIH Special Emphasis Program committees, including 4 years on the "Take Your Child to Work Day" planning committee, and at least twice on the committee to plan NIH's Deaf Employees Awareness program.

"She was dedicated to giving some ideas on how to educate the NIH community about recruitment and trying to hire more deaf and hard of hearing people," remarked Blaise Delahoussaye, a former chair of NIH's Deaf Employees Awareness Forum who worked on several planning committees with Kennedy. "She understands the deaf community pretty well and always enjoyed communicating with me and other deaf employees independently. She likes to talk to me directly by signing. That has helped her freshen her memory of the sign language course she took at Montgomery College. She was fascinated with learning American Sign Language. Once a week, we chatted and she learned some new signing each time."

Sally MacDougall of OD's Office of Management worked next door to Kennedy. "She is one of the nicest persons I ever met and I always enjoy chatting with her," MacDougall noted. "She was very enthusiastic to learn sign language and I was impressed with her efforts, because she found the time to take sign language classes and keep practicing while she had a very busy schedule at work."

A retirement gathering, "Ana Kennedy Day," was held in Bldg. 1's Wilson Hall, where dozens of her family, colleagues and friends said goodbye and good luck.

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