The Circuit


Making an entrance

If you’re late for a big event, you probably want to make your entrance as discreetly as possible. The likelihood of that actually happening when you’re a former federal chief technology officer, however, is low. 

The June 11 U.S.-India Joint Commission Meeting on Science and Technology Cooperation was nearing its end when a familiar figure emerged through the doors, trying to sneak his way to the front row without drawing attention to himself. But no such luck.

“We just had one late addition; nice to see nothing changes! Aneesh Chopra, the former chief technology officer, just joined us,” Chris Vein, White House deputy chief technology officer, announced in jest as the latecomer flashed a sheepish smile and took his seat.

Chopra was appointed as the first federal CTO in 2009 and stayed for more than two years. The White House broke the news of his resignation in late January 2012, and a few weeks later came the announcement that he had joined the Advisory Board Co., a consulting firm focused on health care research.

During his White House tenure, Chopra led open government efforts and was involved with the creation of the Open Government Platform, which was unveiled at the June 11 event. The open source, so-called Data.gov-in-a-box, initiative strives to increase transparency and accountability, as well as provide citizens with one portal to government information.

Rumors have swirled that Chopra soon intends to announce a run for Virginia lieutenant governor, with one source saying that announcement will come after July 15.

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jun 14, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments


Top VA official recognized for excellence in leadership

The Veterans Affairs Department’s most senior technologist has received top honors for his leadership in information resources management.

Roger Baker, VA CIO, received the award June 12 at the AFFIRM Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. He received the Executive Leadership in Information Resources Management – Civilian award. 

Under his direction, VA has been setting an example of how agencies can update and modernize their network infrastructure, with Baker spearheading efforts in cloud adoption and IT systems consolidation, his nomination said.

In accepting his award, Baker offered a few words on what leadership means and highlighted the focus on outcomes.

“I think a leader has to be the rock that results are built on in an organization, and really has to be focused on delivering those results,” he said. “In the end, results are all that matter. We spend a lot of time on process in the government [but] process doesn’t serve veterans. Process doesn’t serve the taxpayers. Process doesn’t serve all of our other mission focuses.”

Baker, who also is assistant secretary for information and technology, has served as VA’s CIO since May 2009. His previous role to that appointment was as president and CEO of Dataline LLC, an IT services and integration company.

Other 2012 AFFIRM Leadership Awards winners include:

Executive Leadership in Information Resources Management – Defense
Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, director of cyberspace operations, Office of Information Dominance and CIO, Air Force

Executive Leadership in Information Resources Management – Intelligence
Al Tarasiuk, intelligence community CIO, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Executive Leadership Award for Industry
Todd Ramsey, general manager, U.S. federal, IBM

Leadership Award in Acquisition and Procurement
Oliver Voss, manager, headquarters procurement division, Environmental Protection Agency

Leadership Award for Service to the Citizen
Prudence Goforth, web communications and new media division director, Health and Human Services Department

Leadership Award for Service to the Country
Robert Tosatto, captain, U.S. public health service director, Division of Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, Office of the U.S. Surgeon General

Leadership Award for Innovative Applications
Sara Schroerlucke, director, Northern Border Division, Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, Homeland Security Department

Leadership in Service to the Government IT Community
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), House of Representatives

Leadership in Service Excellence
Carpool App Team, Transportation Department

Leadership in Technology Innovation
GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool Team, Office of Governmentwide Policy, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, General Services Administration

Leadership in Health Information Technology
Make the Connection Team led by Sonja Batten, deputy chief consultant for specialty mental health, VA

Leadership in Cybersecurity
Heidi Avery, deputy assistant to the president for homeland security, National Security Staff

Leadership in Human Capital
Barbara Whitelaw, chief of staff, Office of the CIO, DHS

Special Recognition Award
Tim Schmidt, deputy CIO, Transportation Department

Posted by FCW Staff on Jun 13, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments


Federal labor union leader to step down

The nation’s largest federal employee union is losing its president. 

John Gage, who heads the American Federation of Government Employees President, announced in a letter to union members that he’s stepping down from his position.

Gage called his near-decade-long tenure as president at the union as “challenging but invigorating.”

“Along the way, there have been exhilarating wins and hard losses, one after another,” he wrote. “Always they were accompanied with the reality of the next organizing drive, the next demonstration, the next election.”

Gage, who’s 66, said he didn’t decide to step down because he wanted to retire but because he wanted to “contribute to the labor movement in other ways.”

"I have a growing family that I've kind of neglected," he told the Baltimore Sun in an interview.

In the next 10 weeks, Gage plans to wrap up his time at AFGE by completing negotiations on the organization’s first contract the Transportation Security Agency and ensuring continued representation for the union’s members.

No word yet on who’ll replace him, but Gage said he plans to leave the office of the national president in “excellent shape” for his successor.

 

Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jun 06, 2012 at 12:11 PM0 comments