At the St. Louis Fed, new chapters are being written in our story every day by employees in every division, department and unit. Our We Are Central profile series will introduce you to some of those employees who help make our Bank central. The following is a profile of Emilee Dufford, an analyst in our Research department.
Emilee joined the Bank in September 2013 and began her St. Louis Fed career as a general business analyst for Research before her role evolved into her current specialty: planning and executing the Research department's many events and conferences that spotlight the efforts of Bank economists.
Why did you decide to work for the Federal Reserve?
I attended a Career Fair at St. Louis University and met a recruiter from the Federal Reserve who said, “You should think about the Fed; it's a great place.” I had honestly not heard anything about the Fed before! She had the job description for the role I have now, and it looked interesting to me. I applied that night.
Then I started telling people, “I applied for a job at the Fed,” and I kept hearing from people who said, “I work there,” or "I know somebody who works there; it's a great place!” I kept getting amazing feedback after amazing feedback! By then I thought, “I have to get a job there!” So it worked out really well.
What are your key responsibilities at the Bank?
My key responsibility is to plan and execute the Research department events. So, I work extremely closely with our Guest Services department. I handle logistics such as sending the invites and working with our economists who are hosting the events, and I really get the nitty-gritty details done for them so they don't have to think about it.
For example, our STLAR (St. Louis Advances in Research) Conference is an annual Research event, one of our big ones. Since I started, that event has evolved into younger crowds and more people and really hitting a different audience, and I've been there to help evolve that process.
During the first year I was here, we did maybe seven or eight events, and now we do close to 15 events a year. So the number has just multiplied because there is somebody in this role to help facilitate, and the economists who are hosting don't have that overwhelming task of trying to plan the logistics themselves.
What do you enjoy most about being central in your role?
What I really enjoy is being almost a subject-matter expert for the events in the Research department. There are times I don't know the answer, and I have to use Guest Services as a backup. But being able to help our economists host events well and get recognition makes me really enjoy what I do.
When I help an economist plan a great conference—and we bring in all kinds of visitors from around the world for these conferences—it helps the Bank become known worldwide. Our research is being shared in ways that we might not have been able to do otherwise.
What do you enjoy outside the Bank?
I have 2-year-old twin girls, so I spend a lot of my free time outside the Bank just hanging out with them! When I do get a minute, I really enjoy reading and traveling. Those are my absolute passions.