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FHWA Works: Employee Spotlight - Doug Atkin

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Full Name: Doug Atkin
Title: Assistant Division Administrator Nebraska Division
Division/Department: Nebraska Division
Location: Lincoln, Nebraska

  1. What is your current position and how long have you been in this role?
    I am the Assistant Division Administrator of the FHWA Nebraska Division. I am responsible for staff management, unit planning, budget and general support of the Division Administrator.

  2. What is your typical workday like?
    My day to day activities vary depending on the times of year and things that are going on in the office. I may be working on developing the unit plan or reviewing status of the current plan. I also work with staff, providing guidance and direction on project or program issues. I review and comment on products, charters, work plans and reports. I am the first line supervisor in the office, so I am involved with personnel issues including performance and employee development. As part of the division’s leadership team, I help manage the division and its direct interaction with the state transportation department (Nebraska Department of Roads).

  3. What has been your biggest accomplishment over the last year?
    I would say that my biggest accomplishment over the last year would be my involvement in the formal partnering effort with the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR). We had some difficult issues with the NDOR that threatened our relationship. Working through a formal process, we improved our relationship and worked through our concerns in a more productive manner.

  4. Prior to working at FHWA, what was the most unusual or interesting job you've ever had?
    One of the most interesting jobs I had prior to joining FHWA was managing the early development of the I-15 Reconstruction Project in the Salt Lake Valley. I learned a lot about freeway design concepts, public involvement, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and project management.

  5. What are your hobbies in your spare time?
    I like to play the piano, brew beer and do wood working. My youngest daughter and I built a cedar strip canoe together that we like to take out. I also enjoy outdoor activities, including hiking, hunting and fishing.

  6. What is one of the biggest lessons you have learned in your career to get you where you are today?
    You are in charge of your own career. In order to make a difference in your job and to influence the program in your division or state, you have to become engaged and look for opportunities to contribute. You can’t wait for someone to ask you to do something, you have to look for those things and take the initiative to do what needs to be done, what should be done and what you can do to add value.

  7. Complete this sentence: "People would be surprised if they knew..."
    People would be surprised if they knew I am a twin.

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Page posted on May 18, 2015.
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