The guest presenter at this year’s Flory Lecture in Public Policy is a McPherson College alumna who has had a profound influence during her career on the federal government itself.
Vincette Goerl, a 1971 graduate in history and politics, will present “Public Policy – Who Cares and Why Care” at 4 p.m., Sunday, Nov. 2 at the McPherson Church of the Brethren, 200 N. Carrie. St. in McPherson. Goerl has a 41-year career in Federal financial and budget management positions.
Following graduation from McPherson College, Goerl chose to move to the East Coast, working as a clerk in the U.S. Navy. She soon moved on as a budget analyst in the then-new Environmental Protection Agency. That led to a series of financial management positions, culminating with her selection to serve on the financial management team for Vice-President Al Gore’s National Performance Review in 1993 – an initiative to make the federal government more efficient and cost less. It marked some of the first analysis on how to use technology to improve communication and information sharing in government.
“All those things that we take as a given today were brand new,” Goerl said.
From there, she went on to become the first chief financial officer at the U.S. Customs Services in 1994, and was in charge of an annual budget of $5 billion – quickly reforming the organization to earn its first clean financial audit. She also served as the first chief financial officer at the U.S. Forest Service, before retiring in 2001.
Today, Goerl is the president of Goerl Consulting, LLC, where she provides advice and counsel to Federal executives. She is a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and also serves as a chief financial officer of Strategic Advisors to Government Executives – or SAGE – a Partnership for Public Service program that provides advice and counsel to chief financial officers across the Federal Government.
She also devotes time to a variety of non-profit organizations where she has served in board and leadership positions. She has been a strong supporter of women’s issues – serving as Chair of the Virginia Business and Professional Women’s Foundation and as president of BPW-Virginia, where she supported issues including helping women re-entering the workforce, workplace equality and fair pay, and raising awareness of domestic violence against women.
“I felt a responsibility to be a mentor,” she said. “To be a leader in those kind of ways where I could be helpful.”
She’s also given back to McPherson College with commitments of both money and time – she is a current member on the college’s Board of Trustees, and has served on the board previously for more than a decade, including serving as chair.
The Raymond and Rowena Flory Lectureship in Public Policy was established at McPherson College by former Flory students Dean Coughenour and Howard Mehlinger in recognition of long-time McPherson residents Dr. Raymond Flory and Mrs. Rowena Frantz Flory. Raymond, who passed away in November 2002, was affiliated with McPherson College for 50 years as an administrator and professor of history and politics. Rowena continues to reside in McPherson. The lectureship is designed to stimulate dialogue on a public policy issue relevant to the McPherson College community, the city of McPherson, and the surrounding area. Goerl was, herself, recruited to attend McPherson College by Dr. Flory.
For those unable to attend in person, the lecture will also be available live via the Internet at new.livestream.com/McPherson-College. The lecture is free and the public is invited and encouraged to attend.