News @ Georgia Law Feb. 2013 Alumni Profile
Name: Shyam K. Reddy
Title: Regional Administrator
Employer Name: U.S. General Services Administration
Location: Atlanta, Ga.
Number of years there: 3
Georgia Law graduation year: 2000
Other degree(s)/institution(s): B.A. and M.P.H. / Emory University
1. Why did you choose to attend Georgia Law?
Although Georgia’s Top 25 ranking was important to me, I made my decision based on the academic and social reputation of the men and women I’d be attending class with. I knew Georgia Law students would be well-rounded and take the work, rather than themselves, seriously.
2. Who was your favorite Georgia Law professor? Why?
Professor Dan T. Coenen. He made contracts fun!
3. What is your most memorable experience from your time at Georgia Law?
I enjoyed going to Georgia football games with my friends in law school.
4. What was your favorite thing about living in Athens?
No traffic and great dive food.
5. What advice would you give to current Georgia Law students?
Undergo self-examination to overcome obstacles and conquer challenges, as opposed to focusing on external reasons that may be getting in the way of success (double-loop learning). Create your own luck, strive for excellence, take risks and embrace failure. I also encourage young lawyers to augment their private sector experience with public service commitments (i.e., clerkships, elected office and appointed office).
6. Please give a brief description of your responsibilities as the regional administrator for the U.S. General Services Administration's Southeast Sunbelt Region.
I am responsible for the real estate, fleet and procurement operations of the federal government in eight southeastern states. Accordingly, I manage a 1,000 employee operation, 44 million square feet of owned and leased real estate, a 41,000 vehicle fleet operation and several billion dollars of federal government procurement.
7. What made you decide to pursue a career with GSA?
GSA has given me the opportunity to support President Obama’s efforts to make government work better for the American people. I especially love being an executive at GSA because we are the business, real estate, fleet, technology and government-wide policy arm of the federal government. As a result, we’re in a position to move the needle on government reform; debt and deficit reduction; energy, national and climate security; innovation in government; and economic development.
8. What is one of the greatest challenges facing your field right now?
The current budget environment is one of the greatest challenges facing federal agencies.
9. How do you relax after a stressful day?
I try to immerse myself in activities that put me in thought-free zones. Examples include working out, cooking meals for my family and watching mindless action movies.
10. What advice would you give to someone wanting to work in your field?
Public service is rewarding, but not financially lucrative. However, in many instances, government can provide you with incredible opportunities that are difficult or impossible to get in the private sector. Whether you’re working as a clerk for a federal judge, tackling drug cases as an AUSA [assistant U.S. attorney], prosecuting offenders in local court, or serving in the president’s or governor’s administration as a political appointee, you’ll have the authority, influence and power to make decisions that can have a significant and meaningful impact on peoples’ lives. The opportunity to serve is priceless, so recognize and appreciate that value, so you can view the opportunity cost, not as a financial sacrifice, but as a professional development opportunity and investment in your country.
11. What do you enjoy doing in your free time? What are your hobbies?
I love cooking, reading and playing with my 3.5 year old. I’m looking forward to playing golf and attending sporting events again, which I haven’t done since joining the administration.
12. What would you consider your greatest accomplishment in life?
As a son of Indian immigrants who grew up in small town Georgia, I am most proud of being asked to serve in the Obama Administration as a presidential appointee.
13. What book/resource do you find yourself referencing the most?
My heavily-published and accomplished wife! Armed with exceptional credentials and 16+ years of McKinsey & Co. [a global management consulting firm] experience, my wife provides me with invaluable gut-checks and strategy insights. She’s also quick to put me in my place when necessary.
14. When you look out your office window, what do you see?