Upon earning a bachelor’s degree in business education from Morgan State University, Gladys Mack initially sought a career in teaching, having been inspired by her mother’s vocation. Despite her initial plans, she was hired by federal government recruiters because they “liked her smile” and commenced her career with the federal government in 1955. Throughout the course of her career, Ms. Mack climbed the ladder and obtained managerial roles within her field before retiring from the District of Columbia government as director of budgeting and program evaluation. After she retired from the D.C. government, she was hired by the United Planning Organization in Washington, D.C., a community action agency, where she excelled as deputy director for 15 years.
Notably, Ms. Mack was the first African American director of the D.C. budget office, having been appointed by the mayor of Washington, D.C., Marion Barry. Serving in the cabinet of Marion Barry for about 10 years, she also dedicated herself as a 25-year member board member for the Washington Metro Transit Authority. Additionally, she has served on the board of the Association for the Study of African American Life and History since 2016 and is affiliated with The Links, Incorporated. Due to her outstanding body of work, Ms. Mack has been honored many times throughout her career, including being inducted into the District of Columbia Hall of Fame in 2009, which she considers the highlight of her career.
While her hard work and dedication have brought her far, Ms. Mack credits her success to her tireless curiosity and desire to make a difference and be part of change. She notes she has always been eager to learn, explore ways and participate in efforts that will make an impact in her city and community. It is important to her that whenever she is part of an organization, she contribute and be a part of the success of the organizational goals. Ms. Mack has always been attracted to people who look forward and enjoys the saying that she tells her children, “No solution, no problem.”
With helping and giving as the focal point of her life’s work. Ms. Mack also believes that continuous learning and teaching are essential. She feels flattered that people come to her for advice and that her colleagues view her as someone upright, honest and truth-seeking. Likewise, she feels blessed to have had an exciting and wonderful life. In the coming years, Ms. Mack intends to reflect on her career and enjoy her semi-retirement.