Monday, May 29, 2023

Celebrating our HHS Photographer of 32 Years: Chris Smith


After 32 years at HHS, and 38 years within the federal govt, our photographer Chris Smith is retiring. I will talk for our entire HHS workforce after I say we’re going to omit seeing him round along with his digital camera, and we’ll omit his presence.

He’s a well known title round right here, recognized all over our construction and around the federal govt.

Pictured right here: Chris Smith and his digital camera.

In 3 many years, he’s captured historical past and helped inform our tale to the country. He did extra than simply create bizarre pictures; he helped us report who we’re as folks, and who we’re as a Division.

As a result of it is not simply the paintings we do, it is the those that do the paintings. And due to his prepared eye, we now have an exceptional report of what the individuals who’ve been a part of HHS have performed for The us over the past 32 years.

Chris began at HHS in September 1990 and has served below six administrations and photographed 9 HHS Secretaries. Prior to that, he were given his advent to the government on the U.S. Division of the Treasury the place he labored below some other trailblazer and early Black photographer within the federal govt.

Chris’s father and spouse’s father have been each Tuskegee Airmen and his father changed into a fireman in D.C., Chris’s native land. Chris attended Duke Ellington College of the Arts and found out his love of images thru a summer time adolescence program and via taking part in round in his father’s darkish room.

Pictured here: Chris Smith’s father, Theodore Paul Smith, in uniform as a Tuskegee Airman.

Pictured right here: Chris Smith’s father, Theodore Paul Smith, in uniform as a Tuskegee Airman.

His paintings is featured within the Smithsonian—this image he took of buttons and lapel pins in strengthen of our paintings to handle the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

Pictured right here: {Photograph} of AIDS button show, now featured within the Smithsonian Museum gadget.

Chris has additionally taken numerous headshots, together with my very own, and 4 of his Secretary portraits lately dangle within the Nice Corridor the place they’re going to keep, enshrined in historical past.

That’s why I sought after to take a second and write  a bit about Chris, his lifestyles, and his paintings – it’s part of historical past. Historical past flows thru us, and we turn out to be it. It’s one thing value celebrating, and one thing value holding for long term generations.

Chris, thanks for holding our historical past and congratulations on leaving your mark on the U.S. Division of Well being and Human Services and products. 

We want you a more than pleased retirement.

Pictured right here: Secretary Becerra and Chris Smith posing on the 2022 group of workers vacation birthday party.


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