Yvonne Jones manages teams that carry out audits resulting from requests by members of Congress or legal mandates. She develops questions to respond to the issues raised by the members of Congress, develops methodologies to answer the questions, interviews federal and private sector officials, and writes reports with findings and recommendations.
About Yvonne Jones
Yvonne Jones is a director in the Strategic Issues team at the General Accountability Office, where she manages teams analyzing federal government human capital issues, such as the use of paid administrative leave by federal employees, the adoption and implementation of telework, and training policies by executive branch agencies. Prior to joining the Strategic Issues team, she was a director in the GAO Financial Markets and Community Investment team. She managed engagement teams examining issues like the state of financial literacy in the United States, money laundering and terrorist financing deterrent measures in the financial system, and financial sector regulatory oversight and operations issues.
How did your prior experience prepare you for your current role?
For my entire career, I’ve worked as a public policy analyst. Before joining GAO, I worked as a sectoral development analyst at a specialized United Nations agency. Being in a team of sector specialists, economists, and lawyers, I worked with the civil servants of emerging market countries to identify their sectoral development needs, defined projects to improve the government’s capacity to deliver public services, and oversaw the implementation and evaluation of the projects. I worked in countries in northern and sub-Saharan Africa, East Asia and the Pacific, and Eastern and Central Europe and the former Soviet Union.
What do you wish you knew when you started in the federal government that you know now?
I wish that I had known a lot more about how important laws and statutes are for defining and implementing public policy in the U.S. federal system. Previously, working in a multilateral organization in emerging market countries, I didn’t have to focus as much on domestic laws.
What is the importance of cross-agency collaboration in your role?
While GAO must always maintain its independence from the agencies it audits, it is important to maintain open relationships with the audited agencies. This is more likely to lead to the exchange of information that can help clearly define issues and provide insights into how to manage them.
What advice would you give younger government workers?
You should follow your passion. If you do what you love, you will find it easier to deal with difficult circumstances that you are bound to experience. Learn from every new experience. Continue to learn during your whole career. Continually exchange ideas with your agency colleagues and with colleagues in other agencies. Don’t be afraid to admit that you made a mistake.