One Thing Leads to Another | Stiens’ interests at Xavier were health and business, not government. But jobs at health care centers and a Boston summer camp for diabetic children led to his dual master’s degrees and a residency at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in England. “It brought me into international health care delivery, which is why I am where I am now.”
English Beginnings | In England, Stiens shopped at an Air Force base for cheap gas and PX specials. There he met former Secretary of the Navy and now Congressman James Webb who put him in touch with his wife at the Veterans Administration. She hired Stiens into his first government job as a health policy analyst.
First Lady | Stiens was the VA’s representative on the national health care reform team led by then-First Lady Hilary Clinton, who is now his boss at the State Department.
Getting To Know You | “I met with her more on a conversational basis when I worked on health care reform. If you’re on her good side, she’s wonderful, but if you’re perceived to be an enemy, look out. I consider it an honor to work for her.”
Aid Worker | Wanting to get back into international health care, Stiens was hired in 2001 by the State Department as an auditor for the U.S. Agency for International Development. He was drawn by the work USAID did in international health care such as baby and maternal health, and HIV prevention.
World Traveler | The job involved traveling every three months to places like South Africa, Namibia and Botswana; Paraguay, El Salvador and Brazil; Belarus, Macedonia, Ukraine; and Thailand, Indonesia and China.
Family Man | Stiens’ favorite project was in South Africa. It provided health care and nutrition education for mothers and training centers to give them job skills. “I liked meeting the people. We’d go to folks’ houses and have a cookout. I learned that many people are similar across the world.”
Promotion | Since 2006, Stiens has been in charge of the system that distributes the funds to the projects he used to audit, overseeing funds going abroad for USAID, the State Department and AIDS relief. “This is the level where I go to Congress and ask for money,” Stiens says.
Home Boy | When he isn’t working, Stiens relaxes in his townhouse with his three dogs. He owns rental property and enjoys fishing the Potomac on a 1977 boat he restored. He misses traveling and thinks about the possibility of accepting a foreign service assignment somewhere. South Africa usually comes to mind.