2014 Causey Award Winner – Dr. Nick Nayak

Dr. Nick Nayak
Former Chief Procurement Officer
Homeland Security Department

Nick Nayak was recognized for his efforts as the former DHS chief procurement officer in leading a governmentwide push to build a smarter acquisition workforce.

Read what the nominators had to say about Nick Nayak.

Judges’ Comments:

  • Very strong results from programs he initiated.
  • At the third largest department in government, he is improving and transforming its acquisition program.
  • He has strengthened the acquisition workforce, improved customer satisfaction and reduced turnover.

Listen to our full interview with Nick Nayak:


Federal News Radio asked each Causey Award Winner to answer questions about him or herself so that we could learn a little bit more about them. Here’s what Nick Nayak had to say:

  1. What is the best piece of advice you most often give to your protégés?

    Aim to be likeable in every interaction with every person daily — it will make others feel better, you will be happier and your stakeholders are more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt when working through tough issues.

  2. What is the worst piece of advice you have ever received?

    I have never listened to bad advice.

  3. Who has been your biggest role model and why?

    My father and mother — they came to the United States from India with $5 — worked hard, treated all people well, helped many who are less fortunate and lived the American Dream.

  4. If you didn’t work for the federal government, what would be your dream job?

    An employee of a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping others.

  5. What hidden talent do you have that most of your coworkers don’t know about? Or, what’s one thing most of your coworkers don’t know about you?

    I’m teaching myself how to play guitar using YouTube.

  6. If you could ask one person in history any question, who would it be, what would be the question and why?

    My mother — why did you guys leave India to come 10,000 miles to that place called America? I love hearing the answer.

  7. Who would you most like to have a business lunch with?

    My sons Anil and Nilesh — they are the smartest people I know, they are funny and I love them.

  8. Your alarm clock rings at 5 a.m. on a Monday workday. What’s the first thing on your mind?

    I look forward to the day!

  9. What is the last book you read?

    “Autobiography of a Yogi”

Federal News Radio awarded four individuals with a 2014 Causey Award. Read more about each of the recipients.