Global Director of Strategic Initiatives
Excellence in Public Sector
After decades of public service experience, Jerry Friedman says he tries to put himself in the position of the human services customer and seeks to understand the challenges they are facing. “I continually ask myself that if I was on the other side of the desk, would this product, tool, or solution be something that I would want to employ to improve my efficiency, accountability and services delivery,” he says. “I am encouraged by Accenture to maintain this public human service administrative focus, put the client first, and invest the time to really understand their needs.”
Well, that approach sure seems to be working. Friedman is the Global Director of Strategic Initiatives for Accenture’s Human Services industry group. A longtime industry innovator and advocate, Friedman has more than 40 years of experience in human services leadership at local, state and federal levels. Friedman says he is “grateful to be empowered by the leadership at Accenture to engage in diverse and cutting edge projects delivering results that benefit the field of Human Services.”
Some of the projects that stand out are: A California County Analytics Project that’s critical for future analytics work in North America that applies advanced analytics to detect fraud and insure program integrity and compliance; organizational reviews of services to children, youth and their families designed to improve the integration and coordination of programs to this critical target group; and, strategic planning for the consolidation of county based human services agencies to achieve an economy of scale and provide better client access, efficiency, and program effectiveness.
“I have an absolute passion for the work that we do in human services and I am inspired by the incredible leaders who care deeply about their communities and strive to serve those in need,” he says. “I was blessed to be raised in an environment that valued and encouraged service as a family ethic.”
Friedman says he believes that there can be no higher calling than being in service to others and points to the impact that human services has with over 47 million people reliant on USDA nutritional benefits as an example.
“We are engaged in a compassionate business, but it is a business with an obligation to be as efficient, accountable, and effective as possible to our stakeholders, the taxpayers,” he says. “Therefore, there is a special role for the consultant community in partnership with the human services community to help achieve this objective.”
As far as winning the award, he says that as a former association director, he is much more accustomed to giving awards than receiving them. “I am humbled by this personal recognition, but it truly is a team effort made possible by the teamwork of my co-workers,” he says.
Q&A: What stands out the most about the work you do?
“That I am part of a team that is able to make such a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives. One of the reasons that I joined Accenture is because of the combination of cutting edge technology solutions, strong leadership, and dedication to the mission. As a global consulting