Howard retired in 2018 after a 43-year federal career which spanned the US Senate, four cabinet level departments and as a federal contractor. He came to Washington in 1975 to work for the late Sen. Charles H. Percy (R-IL) and specialized in Illinois projects such as the revitalization of Midway International Airport, securing support for corn and soybean growers, and expedited industrial exports to third world countries.
He was appointed by Secretary of Agriculture John R. Block during the Administration of Ronald Reagan to be the Associate Administrator of the Office of International Cooperation and Development at USDA where he managed international exchanges with Eastern Europe, India and Taiwan. He also worked at the Commerce, Interior and Energy Departments.
Howard is a native Chicagoan who grew up on the far West Side (Garfield Park) and attended Chicago Public Schools (K-12). He was in the first graduating class at the University of Illinois at Chicago campus where he was editor of the Chicago Illini newspaper and went on to get a Master's degree in Journalism from Northwestern University. Howard also attended a Senior Managers in Government course at Harvard University. Before coming to Washington, he was a reporter for a newspaper in Oshkosh, WI, a researcher for The Reader's Digest in New York City and finally an investigative reporter at Chicago Today newspaper and a general assignment reporter at the Chicago Tribune.