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U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of Insular Affairs
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OIA director David Heggestad to Retire



Roger G.Stillwell
CNMI Desk Officer, Room 4314
Office of Insular Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior
Wash. DC 20240 Phone: 202-208-6974 Fax: 202-208-6507

Thursday, December 30, 2004

WASHINGTON, DC-David Heggestad, director of Budget and Grants Management for the Department of the Interior's Office of Insular Affairs, has announced that he will retire after 22 years at the Interior. Heggestad's retirement will become effective on Jan. 3, 2005.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed my 22 years in this office and believe very strongly in the direction it has been headed in recent years, particularly the heavy emphasis on business development and accountability,' said Heggestad. "Only those who work here and love their work realize just how privileged we are."

Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Interior for Insular Affairs David Cohen had high praise for David Heggestad. "It's hard to express how much I respect Dave's intelligence, wisdom and judgment. He's one of the people whose opinion I really trust when it comes to island issues. He has played a tremendously important role in the development of the islands. When he walks out the door, an irreplaceable amount of institutional knowledge will walk out with him."

OIA director Nikolao Pula also talked about how different the OIA will be without Heggestad. "Dave Heggestad and I do not always agree on issues, but then who wants to work with boring people anyway. As Linda Ellerbee once said, 'Only dead fish swim with the stream all the time.' I will definitely miss having long interesting conversations with Dave on various strategies on how to better improve the services rendered by OIA. While no one is indispensable in any federal job, some folks, however, set invaluable standards that those who follow will find it difficult to fill those shoes. Dave is one of those folks. His work ethic, keen mind and dedication to his job has set a high standard for the director of Budget slot in the Office of Insular Affairs. "

Heggestad plans to spend the summers at a beach house in Delaware. Meanwhile, he expects to break ground on a new retirement home in North Augusta, South Carolina in January.

"I have been very fortunate in my life and can only pray that my good fortune continues. I have a wonderful wife, two great sons and recently my first grandson was born. I count my time at Interior, particularly the friends I have made here and in the islands, next on my list of great fortunes."