DOE’s long-time Inspector General to retire

friedmanGreg Friedman, whose distinguished and extraordinary 48-year federal career is capped by the past 17 years as the U.S. Department of Energy’s Inspector General, will retire from government service, effective Oct. 3.

Friedman notified President Obama and Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz of his intentions in July 10 correspondence.

“Serving the people of this great Nation has been an extraordinary honor,” he said in his letter to the President.

As Inspector General, Friedman said, “I have had the unique opportunity to work for three Administrations and five Secretaries of Energy. I have been fortunate to have been in a position to closely observe the evolution of U.S. energy policy. While significant political differences existed, the Department has been led by people of distinction who shared an unquestioned commitment to the United States and to its national security and well-being.”

Friedman is an articulate gentleman, and his good-bye notes are professional and yet personal, too. He told President Obama that his professional life had been enriched by the love and support of his wife and children and grandchildren. “They make it all worthwhile,” he said.

He emphasized the honor of working around talented and dedicated colleagues and friends, and he said he would miss the excitement of challenges that the Energy Department faces in its role as the government’s premier science agency and delivering on diverse missions that are critical to the nation’s security and economy.

In closing his memo to Moniz, the Inspector General addressed the same sort of complex personal/professional relationships that journalists often navigate in carrying our their jobs.

“Finally, Mr. Secretary, as a natural consequence of my responsibilities as Inspector General, I recognize that I do not always deliver welcomed or happy news,” Friedman wrote. “But, let me express my thanks to you for the respectful way in which you have treated me and the Office of Inspector General. You have provided enlightened leadership of the Department. I salute you for a lifetime of exemplary public service.”

Friedman is the longest-serving Inspector General at a cabinet-level federal agency.

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About Frank Munger

Senior Writer Frank Munger covers the Dept. of Energy's Oak Ridge facilities and many related topics — nuclear weapons, nuclear waste and other things nuclear, environmental cleanup and science of all sorts. Atomic City Underground is, first and foremost, a news blog, but there's room for analysis, opinion and random thoughts that have no place else to go.