After 32 years at HHS, and 38 years within the federal authorities, our photographer Chris Smith is retiring. I can communicate for our entire HHS group once I say we’re going to overlook seeing him round together with his digicam, and we’ll miss his presence.
He’s a widely known identify round right here, recognized all through our constructing and throughout the federal authorities.
In three many years, he’s captured historical past and helped inform our story to the nation. He did extra than simply create extraordinary photos; he helped us doc who we’re as individuals, and who we’re as a Division.
As a result of it isn’t simply the work we do, it is the those that do the work. And because of his eager eye, we’ve an unparalleled document of what the individuals who’ve been a part of HHS have achieved for America during the last 32 years.
Chris began at HHS in September 1990 and has served below six administrations and photographed 9 HHS Secretaries. Earlier than that, he acquired his introduction to the federal authorities on the U.S. Division of the Treasury the place he labored below one other trailblazer and early Black photographer within the federal authorities.
Chris’s father and father-in-law had been each Tuskegee Airmen and his father grew to become a fireman in D.C., Chris’s hometown. Chris attended Duke Ellington Faculty of the Arts and found his love of images by a summer time youth program and by enjoying round in his father’s darkish room.
Pictured right here: Chris Smith’s father, Theodore Paul Smith, in uniform as a Tuskegee Airman.
His work is featured within the Smithsonian—this image he took of buttons and lapel pins in help of our work to handle the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
Chris has additionally taken numerous headshots, together with my very own, and 4 of his Secretary portraits presently hold within the Nice Corridor the place they may keep, enshrined in historical past.
That’s why I needed to take a second and write a bit of about Chris, his life, and his work – it’s part of historical past. Historical past flows by us, and we turn into it. It’s one thing price celebrating, and one thing price preserving for future generations.
Chris, thanks for preserving our historical past and congratulations on leaving your mark on the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Companies.
We want you a really completely happy retirement.