Murphy leads Treasury's HSPD-12 charge

MaryBeth MurphyMary Beth Murphy

Director of special projects

Office of the Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement, Internal Revenue Service

In May 2007, Mary Beth Murphy took over leadership of the Treasury Department’s fledgling efforts to issue secure, interoperable identification cards to employees and contractors, as required by Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12. Success did not come immediately, but retrospectively, you could say it has come quickly.

By March 2008, Treasury had issued only six cards to employees and contractors out of the nearly 130,000 who needed the cards, according to department data. However, a little more than a year later, an Office of Management and Budget report showed that as of June, Treasury had issued 98,100 cards.   

Nominators said Murphy’s leadership was critical to the successful move away from Treasury’s HSPD-12 solution to the General Services Administration’s shared-services program for issuing the cards. The department and Murphy have received acclaim because of her efforts in shepherding one of the government’s largest departments toward meeting HSPD-12 requirements.

Under Murphy, the HSPD-12 program reduced reliance on contracted staff by 65 percent from fiscal 2007 to fiscal 2010, thereby avoiding $13 million in costs. In addition, nominators said she established effective program controls for the effort, such as using earned value management and an integrated master schedule.

Murphy, a self-described exercise junkie, said she draws on her personal discipline to help her organization succeed. She said that discipline has been central to Treasury's success with issuing HSPD-12 cards under her guidance. She also emphasized the importance of setting goals and fostering teamwork.

“A key for us was a great network of teams of people throughout Treasury,” she said.

Robin Locy, who worked with Murphy before she took the lead on the HSPD-12 card program, said she is driven by quality and acts with the utmost professionalism. “She’s well-respected because she knows her stuff,” said Locy, executive director of Internal Revenue Service contractor Kadix Systems.

Locy worked with Murphy on the IRS’ Accounts Management Services project to provide Web-based services for taxpayers.

“She’s always right on the mark, brings the right level of history, can take you where you need to go and navigate through facilitating a solution to whatever the problem is, and that was demonstrated by her success on HSPD-12,” Locy said.

Nominators also cited Murphy's selection for the IRS Executive Readiness Program in March 2007. They said her promotion stemmed from the outstanding work she did for the IRS and the HSPD-12 initiative.

Murphy said she is set to graduate from the IRS' Candidate Development Program in late September. In October, she plans to start a job as director of employee support services at the agency, where she will oversee payroll, help-desk and travel programs for employees.

“I take a real team approach to all of my work,” Murphy said. “It’s really about getting the people to do the job because you can’t do it yourself.”


The annual Rising Star awards are presented by the 1105 Government Information Group, publisher of Federal Computer Week, GCN and Washington Technology,  to public and private sector employees in the federal IT community who have gone above and beyond their job descriptions to make a lasting impact in their organization. See all the 2009 Rising Star award winners.

About the Author

Ben Bain is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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