News & Events
Alumnus Larry R. Felix '80 Appointed Director of U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Larry R. Felix, a 1980 graduate of City Tech's liberal arts program, was named director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing by Treasury Secretary John W. Snow in January 2006. He succeeds former director Thomas Ferguson.
Mr. Felix came to the bureau from the United States Savings Bond Division in 1992. He had held increasingly more responsible positions in the bureau until this most recent appointment and had served as deputy director since late 2004.
An agency of the Department of the Treasury with facilities in Washington, DC, and Fort Worth, Texas, that employ 2,500 people, the bureau produces all U.S. paper currency and many other security documents, including 35 million notes a day with a face value of approximately $635 million. Its larger mission includes extensive efforts in the area of counterfeit deterrence.
While serving as the bureau's deputy director, Mr. Felix oversaw the implementation of more frequent currency redesign and the acquisition of new equipment. He also instituted new training programs for bureau employees, including those designed to enable staff to respond more quickly to marketplace threats against the nation's currency. He also supervised progressive enhancements in anti-counterfeit deterrents to the currency and other government securities produced by the bureau.
Born in Port of Spain, Trinidad, Mr. Felix came to the U.S. when he was a child and was raised in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. A Brooklyn Tech High School graduate, he worked at Irving Trust as a financial investigator the whole time he was a City Tech student in order to pay for college. He also holds a degree from City College of New York and has done doctoral work in political economy at Columbia University.
“City Tech was a formative part of my career in that I learned how to relate to people who were very different from me,” he says. “The students came from so many different countries and cultures and were the most diverse group of people I ever saw.” This has not changed in the quarter-century since Mr. Felix graduated. For the last three years, US News & World Report has described City Tech as the most diverse college of its type in the northern U.S.
Mr. Felix is well known for his affinity with people, a quality that is reflected in how he conducts business. Despite a hectic schedule and frequent official worldwide travels, he enjoys extensive interaction with bureau employees at all levels. He routinely visits all sections of the agency to find out how employees do their jobs and what tools they need to improve their skills and performance.
Serving as campaign manager for a slate of student government officers during his senior year at City Tech was a valuable experience, he notes. “It taught me how to communicate and deal with an organized communication effort. We developed an agenda and held public forums and conferences on issues. We won the election and the following academic year our team met with then President Schwerin on a regular basis.”
Those communications skills served him well in his 13-year career at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, during which he held such positions as manager of marketing, chief of external relations, associate director for technology, and chair of the Inter-agency Currency Design Taskforce, a group responsible for recommending technical enhancements to the U.S. currency design.
Mr. Felix says that the positive atmosphere created on campus by the many students who were the first in their family to go to college and/or were immigrants looking to succeed was inspiring. “It was very upbeat at the College; you felt that all things were possible, that you could achieve whatever you set out to do,” he recalls. “I saw the sense of enthusiasm that the hospitality management and advertising design students exuded and it rubbed off on me; it helped focus me on my eventual career path, namely public service.”
As a young man, he always felt a pull toward government service. A strong believer in following your passion, he says his passion involves serving the people and strongly recommends public service for those with a similar inclination. “Public service makes a difference one can see and in which one can take great pride,” he says, “and in no other sector can you truly see how your work benefits others.”
Mr. Felix, his wife and two daughters live in Northern Virginia.