1952 - 2009
The staff of CTG is grieving over the loss of one of our own. Valerie Gregg died Thursday evening, February 12, after a short but intense battle with cancer. Our loss is more deeply felt than might be expected from the relatively short time Valerie was officially part of CTG. She came on board as our first Government Fellow in early 2008 after retiring from a long career in the National Science Foundation and US Census Bureau. But she was a part of the CTG “family” far longer, going back nearly a decade as a partner in developing a digital government research community. She also has been central to building our international programs and new relationships with federal agencies.
But as valuable as her professional place was in CTG, the personal loss feels much worse. We learned early on that friendship was an integral part of working with Val. Her warmth, wit, generosity, caring, and ever-present enthusiasm enriched all our work together. She was a joy to travel with as we learned on trips with Val and others to conferences in India and China. She befriended virtually everyone we encountered. She took a spontaneous, infectious joy in each day’s new adventure.
Her camera was constantly at the ready to capture a smiling face, a colorful street scene, or a beautiful landscape. Her pictures are a gift of happy memories for all of us, especially the wonderful book of images from China that she recently finished. The pictures represent, in a way, the kind of spirit that imbued everything she did with us—a beautiful gift, done with professional skill, but delivered with affection.
Her light shown bright and faded far too soon. We will miss you Val.
—Anthony M. Cresswell, Interim Director
As a government fellow, Val played a central role in CTG's global project to engage researchers, government officials, and students in a multi-cultural digital government community. The work she fostered includes people from a dozen countries working on e-democracy, detection of emerging crises, and international cooperation across national borders. Her work and dedication to the iGov Research Institute benefitted students who attended from six contintents.
Prior to CTG, Valerie held the position of assistant director for development at the Digital Government Research Center at the University of Southern California’s Information Sciences Institute. She has also served on the board of directors for the Digital Government Society of North America
(DGSNA). She served on the Conference Committee for the annual International Conference for Digital Government Research (dgo) since its inception in 2000 through dgo2006. Valerie also actively participated in numerous facets of the annual European Union e-Challenges conference and the Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences.
Before her work in academia, Valerie had a 30-year career in federal public service. For eight years, she was program manager for Digital Government Research in the Division of Information and Intelligent Systems at the National Science Foundation. Thanks to her work with CTG while she was an NSF Program Manager, CTG became involved in several experiments in international cooperation with colleagues in Europe and China.
Prior to NSF, Valerie worked for twenty-two years at the United States Census Bureau as a program manager in various aspects of the decennial census. She managed an intra-agency team charged with designing and building the Census Bureau’s first Internet site. Valerie also served as chair for the Interagency Task Force responsible for the design, development, and management of the award winning “one-stop” shopping for the federal statistics Internet site (http://www.fedstats.gov
Valerie graduated from the University of Mary Washington, Fredericksburg, Virginia with a BA in Geography.
"Anyone who had the good fortune to work with Valerie knows first-hand how her enthusiasm and energy brought people together and helped them create new connections and hatch new ideas. But for me personally, she was so much more than a partner in discovering the world in a novel and exciting way. She was a dear friend, whose openness, zest for life, and generosity of spirit are unmatched and unforgettable."
Sharon Dawes, Senior Fellow
"Val made a difference in the lives of so many people. She did it naturally because she was the kind of person who could. But she also did it on purpose because she believed one person could make a difference in the lives of others. So many of us have benefited from her commitment to this belief. I feel privileged to have known Val and to call her my friend. I will miss her."
Theresa Pardo, Deputy Director
"Val was always very enthusiastic and working with her was always rewarding. She was a visionary and had always interesting ideas and suggested additional aspects to consider in any given situation. Val was a great colleague and friend. She was also a very nice person."
J. Ramon Gil-Garcia, Research Fellow
"Valerie embodied community in every aspect of her life, she rallied people together and brought a sense of empowerment and belonging. And she did it all while having a hell of a good time. Her presence is already missed."
Meghan Cook, Program Manager
"Its hard to grasp the fact that Val's presence here on earth is over. Her memory, humor, and impact on all those who were fortunate to have worked with her and call her friend will live on forever. As Ralph Waldo Emerson once said 'It is not length of life, but depth of life.' Val's life should not be counted in years but instead in the number of people she has touched. She will be truly missed."
Donna Canestraro, Program Manager
"Val was kind and generous. She often reflected her life experiences through a camera lens and encouraged me and others to engage with all the interesting things all around us (but often hidden)."
Natalie Helbig, Program Associate
"During the precious few opportunities I had to work with Val, she brought a love of life, friends, public service, and a good cup of coffee that was infectious."
Brian Burke, Senior Program Associate
"Val is one of the greatest gifts I received in America, and losing her was the saddest moment in my seven-year stay in the US. I made four trips with Val to China. She is not just a great colleague for me, but also a big sister of mine. She is such a fun and encouraging person, and has a big heart. We went to the Great Wall together for four times. Whenever I go back to the Great Wall in my life, I will miss her very much!"
Lei Zheng, Graduate Assistant