September 21, 2023

After 32 years at HHS, and 38 years within the federal authorities, our photographer Chris Smith is retiring. I can communicate for our complete HHS group once I say we’re going to overlook seeing him round along with his digital camera, and we’ll miss his presence.

He’s a well known identify round right here, identified all through our constructing and throughout the federal authorities.

Pictured right here: Chris Smith and his digital camera.

In three many years, he’s captured historical past and helped inform our story to the nation. He did extra than simply create extraordinary photographs; he helped us doc who we’re as individuals, and who we’re as a Division.

As a result of it is not simply the work we do, it is the those that do the work. And because of his eager eye, we have now an unparalleled file 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 acquired 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 grew to become a fireman in D.C., Chris’s hometown. Chris attended Duke Ellington College of the Arts and found his love of images by a summer time youth program and by enjoying 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 work is featured within the Smithsonian—this image he took of buttons and lapel pins in help of our work to deal with the HIV/AIDS epidemic.

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

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

That’s why I needed 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 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 Companies. 

We want you a really glad retirement.

Pictured right here: Secretary Becerra and Chris Smith posing on the 2022 employees vacation get together.