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The First Inspectors General

Department of the Interior

June Gibbs Brown

June Gibbs Brown

June Gibbs Brown retired from federal service in December 2000. The former inspector general (IG) for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), arguably was the most widely known and respected IG in the federal government. With a department that spends more than $376 billion annually on such high-profile programs as Medicare, Ms. Brown’s prominence was inevitable, but respect was something she had earned. Serving as IG at HHS since 1993, she brought to the position the knowledge and experiences she gained while serving as IG at three other federal departments, a major independent agency, and a Navy component. She consistently demonstrated a strong ability to lead people with differing areas of expertise to work together to achieve a common goal, a vital skill for responsive leaders.

Brown was a member of the first cadre of inspectors general, joining the Interior Department as IG in 1978. Since that time, she served as IG at National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Defense, the Social Security Administration and the Pacific Fleet, and also has worked in the private sector.

She is a certified public accountant with a master’s degree in business administration and a law degree. Her resume, as one U.S. House of Representative staffer put it, makes her the “prototype IG.”

Source: Journal of Public Inquiry, Fall/Winter 2001