Personnel Security Specialist
Robin Portrait

Location: Washington, DC

Office: Office of the Chief Operating Officer

Position Summary: A Personnel Security Specialist or Agency Personnel Security Officer is responsible for processing and clearing all paid and unpaid SBA personnel and contractors, ensuring all personnel have been properly investigated, making determinations on suitability and security background investigations, providing education, advisement and training regarding personnel security processes, policies and procedures to agency employees.  This position ensures that SBA employees and contractors are safe and all personnel are properly investigated for the safety of all Agency personnel.

What inspired you to join SBA?  I own a business that allows me to perform duties that supports other small businesses in human resources.  I believe that small business owners are integral to the growth and prosperity of our cities and nation and after learning more about the SBA’s mission, I wanted a chance to help make a difference.

How has working at SBA helped you grow as a professional? I have been able to work with a diverse group of internal and external partners and learn from a lot of them to help better understand the impact we have on the Agency. I have also been able to hone my lean six sigma skills to streamline our processes and procedures. I also use those skills to improve SBA’s customer service and security education programs.  I have also had supervisors who took the time to mentor me and continue to do so even though I no longer work under their groups.  Their mentoring has allowed me to breach barriers and grow in a way I would not have known had they not invested their time, honesty and energy into mentoring and helping me work toward my goals.

What has led you to choose each of your roles at SBA? I like the diversity and complexity of the work and my most current role with SBA was brought on by my knowledge and subject matter expertise in the security and personnel security realm as I have been doing some aspect of security since 1996.  I love thinking outside the box and ultimately like the challenge of being given fixing processes or functions.  I want to continue to grow professionally and personally.