Get to Know POGO’s Data Specialist: Five Questions with Johanna Mingos

Johanna Mingos joined POGO in the fall of 2010. Whether she’s pitching in with massive undertakings like POGO’s SEC revolving door database or devising a system to keep track of investigators’ Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, she’s always made things go more smoothly here in suite 900 and has been an invaluable part of our team. In addition to her work as Data Specialist at POGO, Johanna is studying biology at Northern Virginia Community College. The Watercooler recently caught up with her to inquire about her work at POGO, pathology, and her favorite restaurants in her neighborhood in DC.

Watercooler: What do you like about working at POGO?

Johanna Mingos: I love the office atmosphere. It’s amazing how much important work we’re doing while having way too much fun at the same time.

Watercooler: What’s your favorite POGO program area and why?

JM: My favorite program area is the one that I’m working on that day. My job allows me to experience the behind-the-scenes pieces to so many of the areas that I try to learn as much as I can while I’m working on any project.

Watercooler: We hear you’re kinda into pathology. What’s one of the most interesting diseases you’ve come across in your studies?

JM: Smallpox. From its devastating history and eradication to the continuing debates over the remaining stockpiles, smallpox is fascinating science.

Author Richard Preston illustrates just how dangerous smallpox can be and it was his “Dark Biology” trilogy that sparked my interest in this virus. Another great read about smallpox history and eradication is Smallpox – Death of a Disease.

Watercooler: What’s your favorite restaurant in the Capitol Hill area?

JM: My favorite date-night restaurant is Acqua Al 2, just across the street from Eastern Market. The menu is full of fantastic pasta dishes. As much as I would like to try something new, I always find myself ordering the Topini al Gorgonzola (gnocchi with a gorgonzola sauce).

For after-work pitchers of margaritas, it’s La Plaza on Pennsylvania Ave. Grab a table outside and enjoy people (and pet) watching and lots of good eats. Bonus: complimentary tequila shot after your meal!

Watercooler: You’ve sat at several different desks during your time at POGO. Which spot is the best?

JM: Considering all factors—location, chair, and computer—my preferred workspace is the window desk in Bryan and Pam’s office. It’s often a hub of activity, conversations, and spur-of-the-moment meetings.

Watercooler: You’ve been an enormous help with our Provoke Accountability sticker distribution project. What’s the most interesting place we’ve ever sent a sticker to? What’s your favorite Provoke Accountability photo in our Facebook album?

JM: Schenectady, NY. Because I like to say “Schenectady.” Try it. Favorite photo, hands down, is the sticker on the horse’s…bumper?

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