After 32 years at HHS, and 38 years within the federal authorities, our photographer Chris Smith is retiring. I can converse for our complete HHS crew 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 title 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 pictures; 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 have now an unparalleled document of what the individuals who’ve been a part of HHS have completed for America over the past 32 years.
Chris began at HHS in September 1990 and has served underneath six administrations and photographed 9 HHS Secretaries. Earlier than that, he obtained his introduction to the federal authorities on the U.S. Division of the Treasury the place he labored underneath one other trailblazer and early Black photographer within the federal authorities.
Chris’s father and father-in-law have been each Tuskegee Airmen and his father turned a fireman in D.C., Chris’s hometown. Chris attended Duke Ellington College of the Arts and found his love of images by means of a summer season youth program and by taking part in round in his father’s darkish room.
His work is featured within the Smithsonian—this image he took of buttons and lapel pins in assist 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 grasp within the Nice Corridor the place they may keep, enshrined in historical past.
That’s why I wished to take a second and write just a little about Chris, his life, and his work – it’s part of historical past. Historical past flows by means of us, and we turn into it. It’s one thing value celebrating, and one thing value 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 Providers.
We want you a really blissful retirement.