The president has named Katherine Archuleta to replace former OPM Director John Berry, who stepped down in April.
President Obama has tapped Katherine Archuleta to head the Office of Personnel Management, succeeding John Berry who left the agency in April.
Archuleta was national political director for the president’s reelection campaign and chief of staff at the Department of Labor. Her resume also includes stints as a senior policy advisor to the city of Denver and executive director of the National Hispanic Cultural Center.
If confirmed, she will be the first Hispanic woman to head OPM.
"Katherine brings to the Office of Personnel Management broad experience and a deep commitment to recruiting and retaining a world-class workforce for the American people. I am grateful Katherine has agreed to serve, and I look forward to working with her in the coming years," Obama said in a statement.
The nomination comes as OPM is facing criticism from some in Congress for a backlog in processing retirement claims, and as the agency deals with managing the details of federal employee furloughs under sequestration. OPM is in the midst of revising its own workforce management strategies, including testing a new data-driven system for evaluating its own human resources efforts called HRStat. Additionally, OPM is at the center of an effort to insure that there is pay equity between men and women working for the federal government.
Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 23, 2013 at 4:06 PM0 comments
David McClure won the 2013 John J. Franke award for his 'incredible track record of ... making good things happen.' (File photo)
David McClure, Associate Administrator of the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, is the recipient of this year's John J. Franke Award from ACT-IAC. McClure accepted the award May 20 at the Management of Change Conference in Cambridge, Md.
ACT President and Nuclear Regulatory Commission CIO Darren Ash explained that the award is generally given to a government IT executive for long-term leadership and staff-development efforts. "Dave has an incredible track record of getting people together and making good things happen," Ash said.
John J. Franke, who died in 1991, was an agency executive and director of the Federal Quality Institute.
McClure accepted the award by noting that he was honored to be grouped with the previous winners, who include the Office of Management and Budget's Lisa Schlosser, former Veterans Affairs Department CIO Roger Baker, and then-Agriculture Department CIO Ira Hobbs.
McClure also took the opportunity to address rumors of "my imminent demise" -- speculation that he would soon either retire or return to the private sector. "There is still some tread left," he said.
A Federal 100 winner in 2004 and 2012, McClure has worked in the private sector as well as in government, and he urged the audience to move around rather than spend their career in a single agency. But for himself, he said, this is too exciting a time to leave government.
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on May 21, 2013 at 9:17 AM0 comments
Ernest Moniz, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, has been confirmed as the new Secretary of Energy by a 97-0 vote in the Senate.
According to published reports, Moniz served on a blue ribbon panel studying nuclear waste issues during President Obama’s first term. And during the Clinton administration, he served as Undersecretary of the Energy Department, where his responsibilities included the department's supercomputer projects. Earlier in the Clinton administration he was associate director for science in the Office of Science and Technology Policy.
The Senate confirmed him on May 16. As Secretary of Energy, he will succeed Steven Chu.
Posted by FCW Staff on May 17, 2013 at 8:46 AM0 comments
Posted on May 15, 2013 at 6:16 AM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on May 14, 2013 at 7:35 AM0 comments
An Army enterprise information evangelist, the Commerce Department CIO and the General Services Administration’s data center consolidation director are among the winners of the Association for Federal Information Resource Management’s (AFFIRM) 2013 Leadership Awards.
Simon Szykman, CIO at the Department of Commerce, won AFFIRM’S Executive Leadership in Information Resources Management (Civilian) award, while Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, CIO of the Army, took the association’s defense award for that category.
The General Services Administration's Zach Baldwin, who directs the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative, received a Special Recognition Award from the group.
AFFIRM said its annual Leadership Awards recognize individuals and groups in the federal information technology community for leading innovation in government. Winners will formally receive their awards on June 13, at an AFFIRM luncheon in Washington, DC.
Other winners include:
Leadership Award for Service to the Citizen -- Terence Milholland, CTO, Internal Revenue Service, Department of Treasury.
Leadership Award for Innovative Applications -- Mary Snavely-Dixon, director, Defense Manpower Data Center, Department of Defense.
Leadership in Service to the Government IT Community -- Rick Holgate, assistant director for science and technology, CIO, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives, Department of Justice.
Executive Leadership Award for Industry -- Doug Bourgeois, VP and chief cloud executive, US Public Sector, VMware.
Leadership Award in Acquisition and Procurement -- Robert Coen, acting director, NITAAC, National Institute of Health, Health and Human Services.
Leadership in Service Excellence -- Jonathan Rubin, First Fridays Usability Testing Program manager, Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, GSA.
Leadership Award for Service to the Country -- Vincent Capezzuto, director, Air Traffic Systems, Program Management Organization, Federal Aviation Administration, Department of Transportation.
Leadership in Technology Innovation -- Mark Day, director, Office of Strategic Programs, Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration.
Leadership in Health Information Technology -- Tony Trenkle, CIO, director of the Office of Information Services, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Health and Human Services.
Leadership in Cyber Security -- Mike Robertson, director, OCIO Cyber Support Division, Energy Information Technology Services, Department of Energy.
Posted by Mark Rockwell on May 13, 2013 at 11:35 AM0 comments
Brian Deese is slated to become OMB deputy director. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons)
Brian Deese, slated to serve as deputy director on the budget side of the Office of Management and Budget, faced a friendly confirmation hearing, with no Republican members of the Senate Homeland Security and Oversight Committee on hand to ask tough questions.
Deese, 35, has served the Obama administration in a variety of economic policy roles, most notably as a leader on the government task force that restructured and revived U.S. automakers General Motors and Chrysler. If confirmed, Deese will replace Heather Higginbottom, who left OMB to take a senior post in the State Department in February.
The hearing mostly focused on high level taxation and budget reform issues, but Deese indicated an interest in issues of government efficiency such as improper payments and improving the management of the federal real estate portfolio that are near and dear to Committee chairman Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)
The OMB leadership for President Obama's second term is starting to take shape, with the recent confirmation of director Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the nomination of Deese to head the budget side, and the nomination of Georgetown law professor Howard Shelanski to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. The president has yet to name a replacement for Jeffrey Zients, who recently resigned as acting director and head of the management side of OMB.
Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 13, 2013 at 2:31 PM0 comments
Jennifer Kerber comes to the Government Transformation Initiative after gaining experience at the TechAmerica Foundation.
Jennifer Kerber is the new executive director of the Government Transformation Initiative, the group has announced. She will lead the non-profit coalition as it works to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of the federal government.
Kerber's work will ultimately lead to the creation of a Government Transformation Commission or Task Force, said David Walker, GTI board chair and former U.S. Comptroller General.
"Jennifer Kerber’s proven track record for fostering public and private sector collaboration and dialogue will be an asset to the GTI effort," Walker said. "We are confident that her experience on the Hill coupled with her passion for improving the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of government will make a positive difference in our efforts. We are delighted to add her to our team."
Kerber previously served as president of the TechAmerica Foundation.
Posted by Michael Hardy on May 08, 2013 at 8:58 AM0 comments
The Partnership for Public Service's Service to America awards honor achievement in various aspects of federal service. (Stock image)
Several federal technology professionals, including some past Federal 100 winners, are on the list of finalists for 2013 Service to America medals.
The Partnership for Public Service bestows the annual awards, named in honor of its late founder, Samuel J. Heyman.
Among the tech heavy-hitters on the short list, all in the category of Citizen Services:
Dave Broomell, a project manager for the Social Security Administration's Chicago Region, who developed several technological innovations to improve Social Security’s customer service and employee efficiency.
Martha Dorris, deputy associate administrator of the General Services Administration and head of its Office of Citizen Services, for using web portals, social media, crowdsourcing tools and a search engine to deliver information on federal programs and services and to get the public engaged. Dorris is a multiple Fed 100 winner.
Terence V. Milholland, the IRS's CIO and CTO, for overhauling the service's IT and tax processing systems. Milholland has also won the Fed 100.
To see the complete list of finalists and more detailed bios of each, click here.
Posted by FCW Staff on May 06, 2013 at 4:40 PM0 comments
The Brambleton Golf Course in Ashburn, Va., is one of three Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority courses where furloughed federal employees can get a discount. (Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority photo)
One would have to look long and hard to find any sort of upside for federal workers facing furloughs this summer, but the Northern Virginia Regional Parks Authority is at least trying to provide a silver lining for feds who golf.
As of May 1, federal employees will get a discount of roughly 30 percent on a round of golf at any of NVRPA's three courses, Mondays through Thursdays after 10 a.m.
"It is very unfortunate" that feds are bearing the brunt of the sequester, NVRPA Chairman Brian Napp said in announcing the offer. "In a small way, we wish to thank them for their contributions to our local communities and the nation."
Golfers need only to show a federal I.D. to get the special price; proof of furlough is not required. But no self-respecting fed would golf on the clock while colleagues are sitting at home with no pay -- so be sure to schedule leave accordingly!
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on May 03, 2013 at 1:02 PM3 comments
Dawn Meyerriecks is leaving her post at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence for a tech-related position with the Central Intelligence Agency's Directorate of Science and Technology team.
Wired first reported Meyerriecks' move on April 30, with the current Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Acquisition, Technology & Facilities expected to begin her new position as CIA's deputy director for science and technology shortly.
Meyerriecks has held a variety of tech-related positions over the past decade, including from 2004 to 2006 as AOL's Senior VP for product technology, where she was responsible for developing a slew of consumer-facing products, including the relaunch of AOL Instant Messenger, aol.com and Messenger's open-client platform.
She also spent a decade at Defense Information Systems Agency as chief technology officer of its Joint Interoperability and Engineering Organization and worked at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory as a senior engineer prior to her time at DISA. Meyerriecks was a judge for FCW's most recent Federal 100 awards. She is a past Fed 100 winner herself, and was GCN's Defense Executive of the Year in 2004.
“The CIA is pleased to have Dawn’s experience and expertise on the senior leadership team," said CIA spokesman Preston Golson. "Director [John] Brennan is proud that officers of the CIA’s DS&T are proven innovators, and is confident Dawn will add to this tradition of excellence.”
In a statement, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said "filling Dawn's shoes will be no easy task."
"Dawn has done truly incredible work at ODNI and leaves a legacy of aligning and integrating the acquisition, S&T research and facilities communities across the entire IC," Clapper said. "She focused the workforces of these very different disciplines on their common mission of integrating technology into operations. I know she will be a terrific addition to the CIA Directorate of Science and Technology team." Clapper added that ODNI has a strong team and personnel ready to continue ongoing projects.
Meyerriecks will be replaced by Kevin Meiners, who previously served the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.
"The continued ascent of acquisition and technology in the IC is due in no small part to Dawn's vision and leadership, and she leaves a strong ODNI team in place to continue her work," Clapper said.
Posted by Frank Konkel on May 01, 2013 at 4:01 PM0 comments
President Obama will appoint former cable and mobile carrier industry lobbyist Tom Wheeler to head the Federal Communications Commission, according to multiple press reports. The news comes as no surprise -- Wheeler was considered the leading candidate for the post by telecom policy observers, even before the current occupant of the post, Julius Genachowski, announced his resignation.
Wheeler, former head of the National Cable and Telecommunications Association and the mobile group CTIA, was an early backer of the presidential aspirations of then-Sen. Obama. During the transition, Wheeler led the administration's transition efforts to staff the technology, science, space and arts agencies. He currently advises the administration on policy as part of the Intelligence Advisory Board. Wheeler is a managing director with the venture capital group Core Capital partners.
A White House official told The Hill, "Tom Wheeler is an experienced leader in the communications technology field who shares the President's commitment to protecting consumers, promoting innovation, enhancing competition and encouraging investment."
As a former trade association head, Wheeler faces critics in the advocacy community. "The Federal Communications Commission needs a strong leader — someone who will use this powerful position to stand up to industry giants and protect the public interest. On paper, Tom Wheeler does not appear to be that person, having headed not one but two major trade associations. But he now has the opportunity to prove his critics wrong, clean up the mess left by his predecessor, and be the public servant we so badly need at the FCC," Free Press President and CEO Craig Aaron said in a statement.
Wheeler could also face a testy Senate confirmation. Commerce Committee Chairman Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.) and 36 other Senate Democrats sent a letter to Obama in March urging the elevation of FCC commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel – a former committee counsel -- to the chairmanship.
Note: Wheeler also co-founded and is currently chairman of the news service SmartBrief, where FCW staff writer Adam Mazmanian previously worked as an editor.
Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 30, 2013 at 3:51 PM0 comments
The Air Force got a new under secretary on April 29, but will have less than two months before facing a bigger vacancy as the service's longtime secretary retires.
Air Force Secretary Michael Donley plans to step down from public service June 21, after nearly five years in the position. Before that, he served as acting secretary for four months, and also filled in during a seven-month stint in 1993 – making him the longest-serving Secretary of the Air Force in the service's history.
In an April 26 statement, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel praised Donley's leadership and dedication.
"Mike has been an invaluable adviser during my first two months as Secretary of Defense and has been an outstanding leader of the Air Force for nearly five years," Hagel said. "His leadership came during a challenging time for the Air Force, and he helped instill a culture of responsibility, initiative, and professionalism to the service. Mike has been an unwavering champion for our airmen, their families, and for American airpower."
Prior to his Air Force post, Donley worked in the Office of the Secretary of Defense as the director of administration and management, overseeing Pentagon organizational and management planning for the Pentagon and all of its administration, facility, IT and security matters, his bio states. Prior to that, he jumped between the private sector, a think tank position and other roles within DOD.
There is no word on Donley's post-Air Force plans. However, AOL Defense reports that he may be succeeded as secretary by Debbie Lee James, executive vice president for communications and government affairs at SAIC. James is a former professional staff member at the House Armed Services Committee and a former assistant defense secretary under President Bill Clinton.
The announcement of Donley's departure came just before the swearing-in of Eric Fanning as Air Force under secretary.
Fanning previously served as the Navy's deputy under secretary and deputy chief management officer. He fills a second-in-command post that has been vacant since last June, when Erin Conaton was appointed as under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness. Dr. Jamie Morin has been filling in during the interim.
"I come from a family with a long history of service in uniform -- two uncles graduated from West Point and made careers in the Army, another uncle served a career in the Air Force, a cousin flew helicopters in the Marine Corps," Fanning said during his February confirmation hearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee. "I learned from an early age the importance of service and developed early on a deep respect and admiration for those who serve in uniform."
According to the Air Force News Service, Donley praised Fanning's background in national security as well as his congressional experience.
Outside of the Pentagon, meanwhile, Fanning is being celebrated for a different reason: as DOD's highest-ranking openly gay official.
The Human Rights Council and the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, where Fanning reportedly is a former board member, were among numerous websites and blogs that posted news of the appointment. Fanning's appointment comes more than a year and a half after the official repeal of Don't Ask, Don't Tell.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Apr 29, 2013 at 3:51 PM1 comments
Shelley Metzenbaum (file photo)
Shelley Metzenbaum, associate director of performance and personnel management at the Office of Management and Budget, is leaving the position, Federal News Radio reports.
Industry sources say Metzenbaum is returning to Boston. OMB has not confirmed the report.
Metzenbaum won FCW's Federal 100 award in 2011 for her lead role on the Obama administration’s performance management agenda.
Posted by FCW Staff on Apr 24, 2013 at 9:08 AM0 comments
There will (we're pretty sure) be no 'Reservoir Dogs' tactics when Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.) holds a hearing at this vacant warehouse in southeast D.C., but witnesses can expect some tough questions. (Photo: Google Maps Street View)
Say you're a federal employee and the chairman of a key oversight subcommittee asks to meet you in a vacant warehouse near the Anacostia River so he can ask you a few questions. It sounds scary, but it’s not a hypothetical.
Rep. John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the Government Operations subcommittee of the Oversight and Government Reform committee has summoned a panel of witnesses, including General Services Administration deputy commissioner Michael Gelber, to an empty storage building about halfway between an elevated highway and Nationals Park for an April 25 hearing on wasted federal properties.
The warehouse at 49 L St. SE in Washington, D.C. costs the government $70,000 per year, according to the hearing notice, yet it has stood empty since September 2009. Mica, who has oversight authority over a wide range of federal IT issues but has always had a special interest in agency real estate, plans to use this capacious and conspicuously empty stage to make a larger point – that taxpayers are ponying up an estimated $1.67 billion to maintain vacant or underused federal real estate.
The Government Accountability Office has rated the government’s federal real estate operations as "high risk," in part because the government lacks data about its real estate portfolio to guide its management practices. The GAO’s David Wise will testify at the hearing, along with Tommy Wells, a Washington D.C. city council member and likely mayoral candidate and Ed Kaminski, an area resident who sits on a neighborhood advisory council.
Warehouse concerns won't keep technology issues off the agenda for long, however. Back in March, Mica told FCW that he expects to take a look at the government’s data center consolidation efforts and other federal IT issues in the coming months.
Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 24, 2013 at 7:38 AM2 comments
Better broadband just might be coming to a middle seat near you.
Julius Genachowski is preparing to exit the top spot at the Federal Communications Commission, and it looks like he’s planning on going out with a crowd-pleasing finale. Gadget junkies rejoice – the FCC is looking at a new rule to expand broadband access for airline passengers in flight.
Right now, airlines can offer Internet connections through satellite services to passengers – sometimes charging for the privilege. The FCC is looking at dedicating a swath of radio spectrum in the 14.0-14.5 gigahertz band for an “Air-Ground Mobile Broadband service.” The spectrum is currently used by amateur radio operators.
Genachowski has long been critical of restrictions governing the use of electronic devices including tablets and e-readers in flights during takeoff and landing. Last year he urged the Federal Aviation Administration to change its policies on devices in a letter to agency head Michael Huerta.
Now the FCC is poised to allow the deployment of in-flight broadband, pending a new rulemaking, which will kick off at the agency’s May 9 open meeting. The notice of proposed rulemaking would be followed by a lot of technical discussion among industry stakeholders. If the FCC votes to approve the spectrum allocation, a spectrum auction would follow before the launch of a commercial service. Assuming such an offering does get off the ground, it could provide connection speeds comparable to home broadband. Chinese firm ZTE recently announced the successful test of such a system, with speeds in excess of 12 megabits per second.
Admittedly, this is not a federal IT issue per se -- agency-controlled sprectrum is being eyed for different uses entirely -- but what computer-toting traveller isn't interested in airborn broadband?
Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 19, 2013 at 2:13 AM1 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Apr 18, 2013 at 9:59 AM0 comments
An artist's rendering of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal, which was to cover cyber warfare, among other pursuits. (DOD image)
Cyber warriors won't be getting their own medal after all.
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on April 15 that the Distinguished Warfare Medal, which former secretary Leon Panetta had unveiled just three months earlier, would be scrapped. The medal had been intended to honor cyber personnel, drone pilots and others who do not enter direct physical combat for "extraordinary achievement, not involving acts of valor, directly impacting combat operations or other military operations."
The new honor's precedence ahead of the such combat awards as the Purple Heart and Bronze Star prompted complaints, and the Pentagon on March 12 suspended production of the new medal pending a 30-day review led by Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.
"While the review confirmed the need to ensure such recognition," Hagel said, "it found that misconceptions regarding the precedence of the award were distracting from its original purpose."
The new plan is to create "a new distinguishing device that can be affixed to existing medals to recognize the extraordinary actions" of cyber personnel and others who would have been eligible for the Distinguished Warfare Medal, Hagel said. "I agree with the Joint Chiefs’ findings, and have directed the creation of a distinguishing device instead of a separate medal."
New criteria and other details regarding the "distinguishing device" are to be submitted to Hagel for final approval within 90 days.
Posted by FCW Staff on Apr 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM0 comments
Office of Management and Budget Acting Director Jeffrey Zients is reminding agencies not to engage with Congress without first getting OMB clearance.
Acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeffrey Zients sent agencies a simple yet stern reminder on April 15: If you want to talk to Congress, talk to OMB first -- and do it fast.
The memo states that "the operational challenges posed by sequestration" make "enhanced levels of communication and cooperation between agencies and OMB" especially important, and urges officials to submit draft materials to OMB "as far in advance as is feasible."
OMB is supposed to clear all legislative proposals, agency testimony and letters on pending legislation to ensure that such communications reflect "coordinated executive branch views." The memo includes a summary of the "legislative clearance function," and -- lest an agency leader be tempted to circular-file the reminder -- promises that "Legislative Reference Division staff at OMB will be contacting their agency counterparts to discuss these matters."
Although the timing is notable for the IT community, given Department of Homeland Security CIO Richard Spires' extended leave and reported standoff over CIO authorities, the reminder is more likely due to the many budget-related conversations under way on Capitol Hill. Or Zients might simply be putting the house in order before stepping aside for director-nominee Sylvia Mathews Burwell.
OMB could not immediately be reached for comment on what prompted the memo. But whatever the catalyst: You've been warned.
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Apr 16, 2013 at 11:58 AM1 comments
Rumors continue to swirl about the status of Department of Homeland Security Chief Information Officer Richard Spires, who recently went on leave without explanation.
It turns out, the department is definitely searching for a CIO. It just happens to be for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, not DHS overall.
USAJobs continues to advertise the position, currently held by acting CIO Rob Thomas II, who took over in February.
The position pays between $119,000 and $179,000 per year, and the ad says it will remain open through May 6.
Posted by Frank Konkel on Apr 11, 2013 at 11:26 AM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Apr 05, 2013 at 10:42 AM0 comments
The myth-busting effort is intended to dispel misconceptions about the rules governing vendor/agency engagement. (FCW image)
Work for an agency that did great things with acquisition? You might want to consider it for the Myth-busting Award.
The American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council and its federal government partners have introduced the 2013 "Myth-busting Award" for agencies and programs that made significant advances in acquisition processes by improving communications.
In previous years, the Office of Federal Procurement Policy issued memoranda on myth-busting with the aim to enhance communication between government and industry in the federal acquisition process. Agencies then created government-industry communication initiatives to improve acquisition outcomes.
The ACT-IAC Acquisition Management Shared Interest Group now wants to acknowledge government’s work related to this effort. Only government programs are eligible for the award, which will be presented at the May 29 ACT-IAC Myth-busting Forum.
For more information and to access the online Myth-busting Award nomination form, visit ACT-IAC's Myth-busting page.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Apr 04, 2013 at 3:19 PM0 comments
The Federal Trade Commission tapped the Challenge.gov contest platform to find new ways to hang up on illegal robocallers -- telemarketers who use automatic dialers to contact consumers and play them prerecorded messages.
The agency on April 2 named Serdar Danis and Aaron Foss as the winners of $25,000 each for their proposals for systems that identify and block robocalls, which use techniques like caller ID spoofing to trick unsuspecting consumers. The FTC also bestowed a non-monetary award on two entrants from Google, who proposed a system to use algorithms to identify illegal callers.
While the FTC can’t implement or even endorse specific solutions on its own, the agency’s consumer protection chief Charles Harwood said that he hoped the results of the contest on the Challenge.gov platform would inspire the private sector to take up the problem of marketing robocalls. Every month, the FTC receives about 200,000 consumer complaints about robocalls, Harwood said.
The FTC launched the contest on the Challenge.gov platform in August of last year, drawing almost 800 eligible entries. Entrants got access to FTC datasets on robocalls, covering four years of consumer complaints.
Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 02, 2013 at 10:32 AM2 comments
Stu Shea, chairman and CEO of the United States Geospatial Intelligence Foundation (USGIF) is stepping down from the non-profit educational foundation focused on innovation that he founded ten years ago. He announced his decision at a quarterly meeting of USGIF’s Board of Directors in early March.
The board appointed USGIF President Keith Masback to replace Shea as the organization’s CEO while Shea will remain with the organization as the Chairman of the USGIF Board of Directors.
Also during the meeting, USGIF Vice President of Operations Aimee McGranahan was named to the newly-created chief operating officer position.
These changes highlight the foundation’s evolution of leadership to where the organization no longer requires both a CEO and president, according to a statement from USGIF.
"These two promotions reflect the respect and confidence the Board of Directors have for both Keith and Aimee, and the leadership success they have achieved for the foundation, its Membership and the GEOINT Community," said Shea. "Since Keith joined USGIF five years ago, he has helped set the strategic direction and grow the Foundation into the respected organization it
is today." Masback joined USGIF in March 2008 after more than 20 years of military and government service. He came to USGIF from the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, where he was a senior executive.
McGranahan, who has been with USGIF since its founding in 2004, oversees the foundation’s day-to-day business. Prior to joining USGIF, she worked as a project manager at Northrop Grumman TASC for the Space and Intelligence Operating Unit.
Posted by Frank Konkel on Mar 28, 2013 at 12:20 PM0 comments
David Kappos, former director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is the latest ex-federal executive to join the Partnership for Public Service’s board of directors.
A former Commerce Department official has been named to the Partnership for Public Service’s board of directors.
David Kappos served as undersecretary of commerce for intellectual property and director of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office from August 2009 until February 2013. Before joining the public sector, he spent 26 years at IBM as vice president and assistant general counsel for intellectual property. He is currently a partner at the law firm Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP.
“Dave is an innovator, and we’re thrilled that he is lending his management and leadership expertise to our government reform efforts,” said Max Stier, president and CEO at the partnership. “He’s a great addition to the Partnership for Public Service board of directors.”
Kappos won’t be the only former fed on the board. Stier worked previously in all three branches of the federal government. His most recent role was at the Housing and Urban Development Department.
Other board members with government background include:
- Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, senior vice president at Booz Allen Hamilton, most recently served as Deepwater Horizon national incident commander.
Tom Davis, director of federal government affairs at Deloitte, is a former Virginia congressman and chaired the House Government Reform Committee.
Peter Orszag, financial strategies and solutions group and vice chairman of global banking at Citigroup, Inc., left his role as Office of Management and Budget director in July 2010.
Nancy Killefer, director at McKinsey & Company, served as assistant secretary for management, CFO and COO at the Treasury Department from 1997 to 2000.
Sean O’Keefe, chairman and CEO at EADS North America, served four times as a presidential appointee, most recently as NASA administrator.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 27, 2013 at 7:41 AM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Mar 22, 2013 at 3:28 PM0 comments
GSA's WillowWood facility in northern Virginia.
Smart cards for entry. A conference room with flat-screen TVs for videoconferencing. Docking stations that make it easier to take laptop PCs between home and the office. A wireless phone system that automatically transfers office calls to cell phones. Dry-erase boards on conference room walls to encourage collaboration.
Even today, that sounds like a dream setup for government agencies, but the General Services Administration’s WillowWood office building in Fairfax, Va., had all that back in 1999.
"We were state of the art before state of the art was cool," said Bob Suda, who was chief financial officer and acting CIO at GSA’s Federal Technology Service at the time. "We were green before green was green."
Suda, now president and senior consultant at Suda and Associates, led the way in designing the building’s features. The cost caused some controversy, but Suda said the benefits over the years have been worth it. The Federal Technology Service -- which was combined with the Federal Supply Service to form the Federal Acquisition Service in 2005 -- needed to show off its tech savvy at a time when tech savvy had yet to spread across the government.
Fourteen years later, WillowWood is still considered a high-tech office, but despite its resiliency, GSA officials have decided to close it so they can move out of high-cost leased buildings and consolidate their office space in the region.
A renovated GSA headquarters at 1800 F Street in downtown Washington will nearly double in capacity -- from 2,500 to 4,400 employees -- by adding 62,000 square feet, which will allow GSA to move out of leased space in Washington and Northern Virginia, a GSA spokesman said. The changes will be happening throughout the spring.
Employees will no longer have designated offices but instead will work in a variety of open settings under flexible workplace policies such as hoteling. Hoteling involves reserving a work space in the office -- however, without a continental breakfast or a free USA Today on the doorstep. Employees also have the option of using an unreserved work space or teleworking.
"There will be a seat for every employee at the building, and resident contractors will be able to use work spaces in the building," the spokesman said.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Mar 22, 2013 at 7:05 AM0 comments
GSA's Mary Davie
Mary Davie reached the end of her stint as acting Federal Acquisition Service commissioner at the General Services Administration in January, and, having had some time to reflect, she seems happy to have had the experience.
Being acting commissioner "was an exhilarating ride," she wrote March 15 on her Great Government Through Technology blog. "It provided a lens into just how important our role is in -- and to -- the government at all levels: federal, state and local."
Davie is now back to her regular job as the assistant FAS commissioner for the Information Technology Service. Thomas Sharpe took over the role of FAS commissioner in January.
But during her time as acting commissioner, Davie said, she learned how important GSA is to government agencies, fulfilling roles as diverse as providing emergency support during weather emergencies or helping agencies consolidate space.
Now she is taking that perspective back to her office.
"Armed with a greater knowledge, I am confident ITS can support government needs, deliver efficient operations, drive world-class value, and be recognized as agile and innovative," she wrote.
Overall though, she reassured readers, "It's great to be back at ITS."
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Mar 15, 2013 at 6:46 AM1 comments
Alec Ross, senior advisor for innovation to the Secretary of State, officially vacated his post March 12, according to an announcement on his Facebook page.
Ross will be go back to work in the private sector as an "advisor to investors, corporations, institutions and government leaders," according to his letter of resignation, which he posted on Facebook.
"I also plan to dig deep in areas of emerging opportunity in the innovation space," Ross said in the letter. "There are products that only live today in peoples’ imaginations that will help us live happier, healthier, more productive lives while unleashing the next stage of value creation and economic growth. I will be spending a lot of time engaged with the thinkers and entrepreneurs imagining and inventing the future."
Ross joined the State Department in 2009 after serving a key role in President Barack Obama’s campaign, spearheading the agency’s "21st Century Statecraft" initiative and leading Civil Society 2.0,a grass-roots program that helps organizations all over the world harness the Internet to promote good government.
Ross, who began his career educating low-income students for Teach for America, helped foster a culture of eDiplomacy at the State Department, where every embassy now has a social media account and dignitaries reach out to the masses via tweets.
Read our earlier coverage of his plan to step down.
Posted on Mar 14, 2013 at 1:57 PM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Mar 13, 2013 at 12:23 PM0 comments
The Securities and Exchange Commission, charged with enforcing the nation's financial regulations, could get a leader who sees technology as a high priority. (Stock image)
President Barack Obama’s pick to head the Securities and Exchange Commission says she will work to ensure technology stays at the forefront.
Mary Jo White, who testified before the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs the morning of March 12, said she had mapped out early focus areas if she were to be become the SEC chairwoman.
Together with staff and other commissioners, White said, she would first take on the rulemaking mandates in the Dodd Frank Act and Jumpstart Our Business Startups Act, the latter of which has now been in adoption for a full year.
“To complete these legislative mandates expeditiously must be an immediate imperative for the SEC,” she said.
White said a second priority would be to bolster SEC’s enforcement function, which “is essential to the integrity of our financial markets.”
Third, her focus would be to make sure SEC has the cutting-edge technology and expertise necessary to keep pace with the markets and its responsibilities to monitor, regulate and enforce the securities laws. “It’s a great investment to hire experts,” she said.
White, a former U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, most previously served as chair of the litigation department at Debevoise & Plimpton LLP. If confirmed by the Senate, she is expected to replace interim SEC Chairwoman Elisse Walter by mid-March.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 12, 2013 at 4:36 PM0 comments
Two groups at the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council issued an online survey March 11 designed to help improve the acquisition process as cloud computing is widely implemented.
The responses from the ACT/IAC Cloud Acquisition Survey will help shape policy and practice for buying future government cloud products and services.
The online survey will be open until March 22. Take it here.
The project’s co-chairmen are Mark Day, director of the General Services Administration’s Office of Strategic Programs, and Michael Donovan, distinguished technologist at HP Enterprise Services Office of the CTO.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Mar 11, 2013 at 1:29 PM0 comments
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer. (Wikimedia Commons)
How did Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer come to the decision to ban telework in the company? Slacking employees were betrayed by the very technology on which they depended.
According to media reports, such as this one by Nicholas Carlson at businessinsider.com, Mayer analyzed logs for Yahoo's virtual private network, which showed when employees were logging into the company's systems to do work. What she found was that they were not doing it often enough.
Telework advocates blasted the move, but Mayer's decision to require employees to come to the office was met with widespread internal approval -- at least according to one unnamed source in Carlson's story. "There isn't massive uprising. The truth is, they've all been [angry] that people haven't been working," the source said.
But is it that simple? According to Kara Swisher, writing at allthingsd.com, the reaction to Mayer's directive has "been mixed but heated, essentially pitting employees against each other in an awkward way. But the reaction from outside the company has been decidedly negative."
What do you observe at your workplace? Are teleworking feds performing diligently, or are they taking advantage of the opportunities to loaf?
Posted by Michael Hardy on Mar 08, 2013 at 2:43 PM7 comments
No, not that 1 percent -- FCW tries to steer clear of class warfare. This 1 percent represents the best of the best among career federal executives.
On April 25, the Senior Executives Association Professional Development League will honor the 2012 Presidential Distinguished Rank Awardees -- both Senior Executive Service members and Senior Professionals -- with its annual black-tie banquet in the State Department's Diplomatic Reception Rooms.
It's an exclusive gathering, largely limited to the honorees and a select few SEA members. But there is another way: industry types hoping to be in the room -- or simply to support the gala honoring the 2012 awardees -- can contact SEA President Carol A. Bonosaro about contribution options.
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Mar 06, 2013 at 7:27 AM2 comments
Two former high-level government security officials joined forces this month to start up a cybersecurity consultancy offering strategies and guidance for business and government.
Tom Ridge, the first Homeland Security Department secretary, and Howard Schmidt, former White House cybersecurity advisor to presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, will serve as partners in Ridge Schmidt Cyber LLC.
"Cyber attacks and cyber crime have a real – not virtual – impact on operations and the bottom line. The effects are as far reaching, disruptive and consequential as physical attacks, and can make or break organizations that are not sufficiently prepared," Ridge said in the announcement of the launch.
According to the release, Ridge Schmidt will offer cybersecurity strategy and architecture design, development of policies and procedures strategic cyber reviews, "as well as provide access to some of the world’s top technical experts from civilian government, military and private sector."
"Our goal is to help leaders improve their cyber resiliency, so attacks don’t impact their systems or their market positions," Schmidt stated in the release.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Mar 06, 2013 at 1:47 PM0 comments
This photo, taken in Feb. 2010 in Dutchess County, NY, shows what the 'Snowquester' of 2013 is not. (Public-domain photo by Julian Colton via commons.wikimedia.org)
As Washington, D.C., prepared for another winter storm by cancelling scheduled events and even several congressional hearings, Dan Tangherlini, acting administrator of the General Services Administration, took a jab at the city’s reaction to the snowfall.
In a speech March 5 at the Federal Managers Conference, the Massachusetts native told attendees who were from regions other than D.C. the hottest places to hang out in the next few days they’re in town.
"You’re here just in time" to watch the city’s "preparation for this substance known as snow," he said. "I suggest you go to anyplace that sells hardware or groceries and entertain yourselves as to how the locals react to this event."
He added, "It will look an awful lot like discussions on sequestration, frankly, acted out in some form of performance art."
As of this writing, on the morning of March 6, the storm seems to be a non-event in Washington, although the suburbs to the west are getting some real accumulating snow.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Mar 06, 2013 at 8:51 AM0 comments
Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton
Federal employees facing furloughs under the sequester are getting some sympathy and support from Washington, D.C.'s non-voting congressional delegate, who has pledged to donate some of her salary in solidarity.
During a Feb. 28 luncheon organized by the National Treasury Employees Union Feb. 28 luncheon, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton said if sequestration happens – as it did the next day -- she would donate a day’s pay for each day federal employees are furloughed.
The length of furloughs varies by agency, but Norton said her donations will match the highest number of furlough days by any federal agency. Her donation will be divided between supporting the Federal Employees Education and Assistance Fund, which assists federal employees in need, and to prevent furloughs among her own congressional staff.
The salaries of members of Congress are exempt from sequestration, but their office budgets are not and will see the same sweeping cuts as federal agencies, Norton said.
“While the salaries of members of Congress enjoy the protection of the Constitution, Congress is visiting pain on its own employees, the American public and the U.S. economy alike,” she said. “The $85 billion in across-the-board spending cuts will have a devastating impact on the fragile economic recovery, government services and investments, and particularly federal employees, who have already been subject to a federal pay freeze for more than two years.”
NTEU President Colleen Kelley called Norton’s action noteworthy. “This is a remarkable gesture from a member of Congress who truly understands the value of the federal workforce and the economic pain that employees would experience from losing pay while furloughed,” she said. “It is disappointing that sequestration is imminent, and working together with Congresswoman Norton, NTEU will continue to fight to bring it to an end.”
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 01, 2013 at 2:26 PM0 comments
Rep. John Duncan, (R-Tenn.), has three cars. Two have well over 100,000 miles and one has about 98,000 miles, and he said "they're still doing real well."
He's not one to get the hottest and newest car on the market, and he thinks the government may not need the latest IT on the market either.
As he sees it though, agency officials want the hottest technology, and since it's on the government's tab, they get the most advanced IT with all "the latest bells and whistles."
At an Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on buying IT Feb. 27, he asked:
"How can we incentivize people to get more use out of the technology they have and hold onto it and use it one year longer or two years longer?"
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 28, 2013 at 8:45 AM3 comments
Do you work in an agency that has been particularly successful in workforce development and training initiatives? Now is your chance to nominate it for the 2013 W. Edwards Deming Award, which celebrates excellence in government training.
Graduate School USA’s annual W. Edwards Deming Award recognizes federal organizations that have demonstrated “transformative training excellence” and those who have pursued training and development that had a significant impact on agency performance.
Previous winners shared why winning the Deming Award has been a big deal to them. Stephen Cricchi, director of integrated systems evaluation, experimentation and test department at the Naval Air Systems Command, said the award served as a stamp of approval.
“It validated our training efforts on a grander scale outside our own Navy perspective and enabled us to gain recognition within the DOD,” he said.
For the Office of Appellate Operations at the Social Security Administration, winning the Deming Award shone a light on its transformative training within the SSA and other agencies, said Patricia Jones, executive director at the office.
“We are currently working with the Canadian government’s Pension Plan Disability Program, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the North Carolina Department of Revenue,” she said. “Without the recognition received from the Deming Award, we wouldn’t have been this extensive in our reach.”
Nomination forms and other information can be found on the Graduate School USA website (Click here.) The submission deadline is March 25, 2013, 5 p.m. Eastern.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 28, 2013 at 3:34 PM0 comments
Federal CTO Todd Park speaking at the Esri Federal GIS conference. (FCW photo by Frank Konkel)
Federal CTO Todd Park wants mapmakers and geospatial developers to lead a “whole new wave of awesomeness for our country,” in which open-data innovation produces “new products, features, insights to create jobs and [still more] general awesomeness.”
Park’s enthusiastic speech, given Feb. 27 to a large audience at Esri Federal GIS conference in Washington, D.C., closed the three-day event with a mix of infectious optimism, GIS success stories, Star Wars references and a glimpse of the near future.
“As much as we’ve accomplished to date, we all think our best work is ahead of us,” said Park, citing successes like the National Broadband Map, a searchable public database of information on broadband Internet availability across the country. “I actually believe we’re on the cusp of a new open age when it comes to harnessing government data to impact our nation.”
The next efforts, Park said, focus on “liberating” existing raw data, leveraging maps, data visualization and other tools that make it easy for end users to consume the information. He promised new polices to “turbocharge this effort,” and added that the federal government’s fire hose of open data – www.data.gov – is getting “upgrades to plumbing, architectures and end-user interface.”
Yet while Park praised the tools and standards, from GitHub to GeoJSON, that fuel GIS innovation, he stressed the key to making a real difference is human collaboration. A growing number of data jams, datapaloozas and hackathons are showcasing and encouraging innovation in all sectors, he said, and making federal GIS data more widely available brings broad public benefit in the long run.
“Data by itself is useless – and it’s painful for me to say this,” Park said. “You can’t pour data on a broken bone and heal it. You can’t pour data on the street and fix it. Data is only useful if it is applied for useful public benefit.”
So Park praised the attendees for putting in the hard work to wrestle massive datasets into useful information and insights. “Thank you so much for all you’ve already done, thank you even more for what you are about to do,” Park said, before concluding, “May the Force be with you and all of us.”
Posted by Frank Konkel on Feb 27, 2013 at 3:09 PM0 comments
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel taked the oath of office, administered by Michael L. Rhodes, the Defense Department's director of administration and management, as Hagel's wife' Lilibet holds the Bible. (DOD photo)
After receiving Senate confirmation on Feb. 26, former Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel was confirmed the morning of Feb. 27 as secretary of the Defense Department. He is DOD's 24th defense secretary and the first enlisted combat veteran to lead the Pentagon.
The confirmation came after a contentious fight in the Senate, which included sharp questions from the Senate Armed Services Committee on Jan. 31 and a filibuster that delayed the vote to confirm him. In a Feb. 26 statement, Vice President Joe Biden praised Hagel and his sense of duty toward the armed services.
"Wherever he is, his talent and dedication to our country are clear. He feels a deep commitment to our men and women in uniform, and as the head of the Pentagon, I know their interests will always be close to his heart," Biden said. "Most importantly, I know the president will be able to rely on Chuck’s sound, unvarnished judgment on any issue where our troops are involved. For that and many more reasons, I’m looking forward to working with Secretary Hagel."
Hagel briefly addressed DOD employees and reporters on Feb. 27 after his swearing-in, stressing his focus on teamwork as being key to effective leadership.
"I will do everything in my power to be the kind of leader you expect and deserve. The kind of leader the country deserves," Hagel said.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 27, 2013 at 9:14 AM0 comments
Innovators in the government would be easier to spot if they had neon signs over their heads, says CTO Todd Park -- maybe one like this indicating an innovator's likely working hours. (Stock image)
U.S. CTO Todd Park knows the government has innovators. They're all over the place and can do "miraculous" things. The problem, he says, is that not everyone knows where to look.
"One thing we discovered—and I was very, very happy to learn early in my government career—the government isn't devoid of innovators," Park said Feb. 22 during a conference call with the President's Management Advisory Board. "The problem they have is that they don't have an innovator label and neon over their head."
Government innovators also have asked leaders to connect them with industry's best change agents. So for the next round of Presidential Innovation Fellowships, Park plans a "concrete, non-academic, super-tangible, hard-hitting" initiative that can also hook up government and industry innovators.
Park, never one to avoid mixing metaphors, said he was confident that it was possible to raise innovators' visibility so that actual neon signs are no longer necessary -- and that he and others are up to the task: "There's nothing that innovation likes better than a challenge. So there are fires that we started that are beginning to burn quite brightly, and we'd love to actually dive more deeply into them with you."
Because nothing is easier to spot than a flaming innovator.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 22, 2013 at 2:42 PM1 comments
Tom Marshburn is one of three astronauts who will chat with Earthbound fans via Google+. (NASA photo)
NASA, the agency that brought you the first ever tweet from space (2009) and a FourSquare check-in from Mars (2012), will host a Google+ Hangout live with the International Space Station on Feb. 22 from 10:30-11:30 a.m. Eastern time.
The Hangout is viewable on the NASA Google+ Page or NASA's YouTube channel.
During the hangout, astronauts aboard the space station -- Kevin Ford, Chris Hadfield and Tom Marshburn -- will team with astronauts on the ground to answer video questions from Google+ and Twitter users who use the hashtag #askAstro, and Facebook friends who post in a thread that will open the morning of the event.
NASA's website explains that "unique and original questions" are more likely to be selected.
In addition, NASA will ask real-time questions submitted by followers on Facebook, Twitter and Google+.
During the Hangout, astronauts will describe what life is like during their six-month stay to conduct science experiments and perform space station maintenance.
NASA is no stranger to combining social media, science and space.
Its Mars Curiosity rover - the famous mobile machine that checked into Mars on FourSquare -- has more than 1.2 million Twitter followers, and it is just one of more than 480 social media accounts NASA manages, according to the agency's deputy social media manager Jason Townsend.
In fact, the Curiosity rover is close to home compared to NASA's farthest reaching social media efforts. Almost 90,000 people follow the latest happenings of NASA's Voyager 1 & 2 spacecraft. Launched in the 1970s, they are the farthest manmade objects from Earth -- close to leaving our solar system at nearly 12 billion miles away.
Follow Marshburn and Hadfield on Twitter at: @AstroMarshburn and @Cmdr_Hadfield. Follow the Voyager space probes at @NASAVoyager and @NASAVoyager2.
Posted by Frank Konkel on Feb 20, 2013 at 8:17 AM0 comments
VA CTO Peter Levin
Veterans Affairs Department CTO Peter Levin has announced he is stepping down from his post, just days after news broke that VA CIO Roger Baker is planning on leaving.
Levin told Fedscoop he plans to resign effective March 1. He was appointed senior adviser to the secretary and CTO in May 2009 and has since spearheaded veteran health and benefit service innovations. He was instrumental in launching the Blue Button initiative, which enables veterans to share and manage their personal health data.
Before stepping into his VA CTO role, Levin was a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator, a White House fellow, and an Alexander von Humboldt fellow. He has co-written more than 50 articles on topics such as global positioning, cybersecurity, and computer modeling and simulations.
Prior to joining the Obama administration, Levin was in private industry. He co-founded and led a semiconductor design software firm and was also a venture partner at Dusseldorf-based venture firm Ventizz Capital Partners. He also served as executive director of Astaro A.G.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 19, 2013 at 9:33 AM0 comments
An artist's rendering of the new Distinguished Warfare Medal which encompasses cyber warfare, among other pursuits. (DOD image)
Here's one more sign the Pentagon is serious about cybersecurity: There's now a medal for it.
Defense Secretary Leon Panetta on Feb. 13 announced the creation of the Distinguished Warfare Medal, for "extraordinary achievement, not involving acts of valor, directly impacting combat operations or other military operations." Cyberwarfare personnel and drone pilots are among those who would be eligible for the new award.
"Our military reserves its highest decorations obviously for those who display gallantry and valor in actions where their lives are on the line, and we will continue to do so," Panetta said. "But we should also have the ability to honor the extraordinary actions that make a true difference in combat operations. And the work that they do ... does contribute to the success of combat operations, particularly when they remove the enemy from the field of battle, even if those actions are physically removed from the fight."
The new award has drawn criticism, however, because it was placed higher in the hierarchy of military honors than the Bronze Star and Purple Heart. Nick McDowell, a member of the Orders and Medals Society of America, told USA Today, "the ultimate consequence is that it will diminish the prestige of the valor decorations. Nobody wants that, but that is basically what happens."
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Feb 15, 2013 at 12:33 PM0 comments
Danny Werfel (AP photo)
Has Danny Werfel, controller at the Office of Management and Budget, lost his sense of humor?
During a Feb. 13 presentation at Association of Government Accountant’s National Leadership Conference, Werfel explained to the audience why he did not have a funny anecdote, which is his usual way of kicking off an AGA keynote.
“I said to Steve [VanRoekel], ‘it’s finally happened: I’m so busy I didn’t even have time to plan for an opening joke,” Werfel said. “We’ve gotten to that point at OMB; you can imagine what’s going on behind the scenes.”
Despite the preoccupation with the future of federal IT systems and financial management, Werfel’s presentation topic, the OMB controller did not seem entirely humorless, however. When AGA Executive Director Relmond Van Daniker urged conference attendants to take home several of the leftover AGA bags, Werfel grabbed the opportunity to finally make a joke – and like a pro, tie it back into his earlier speech.
“Maybe next time, you should lower your purchasing on bags, OK? Or use strategic sourcing!” Werfel mock-scolded.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 14, 2013 at 10:19 AM0 comments
USAID's Mike Casella is moving to GSA as CFO. (USAID photo)
Michael Casella, a budget official at the U.S. Agency for International Development, will become chief financial officer at the General Services Administration, GSA's acting administrator announced Feb. 13.
Casella has been director of USAID's Office of Budget and Resource Management since 2010, when the office was created. Previously, he was acting vice president for administration and finance at the Millennium Challenge Corp.
He replaces Alison Doone, who has accepted a position as deputy CFO at the Energy Department after a six-month detail at the Partnership for Public Service. Gary Grippo has been filling in as acting CFO.
Casella’s appointment comes on the heels of Tom Sharpe being sworn in as commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service Feb. 12 and Dorothy Robyn being named commissioner of GSA’s Public Buildings Service in September 2012.
Dan Tangherlini, GSA's acting administrator, wrote on the GSA Blog that the new appointments build on the priorities the agency announced in January. "We are maintaining that momentum by bringing together a new leadership team that will help us deliver on our mission," he said.
Filling those important leadership positions shows that GSA is committed to supporting its customer agencies, Tangherlini wrote. "By having qualified, permanent individuals in place, we are making a clear statement about the importance and value of our customers, our vendors, and their needs," he added.
Agencies need to find ways to save money as the threat of sequestration looms and other budget cuts are implemented. "Other agencies are looking to us to help them find the savings and services that they need to more efficiently fulfill their responsibilities," Tangherlini wrote.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 13, 2013 at 1:35 PM0 comments
President Obama, shown here during 2012's post-SOTU event, will answer some constituent questions in a similar event Feb. 14. (White House photograph)
Much as we'd like to hope otherwise, President Obama's Feb. 12 State of the Union address is not likely to devote much time to federal IT. But FCW readers have a chance to raise those issues themselves when the president hosts his second post-State of the Union online chat using a Google Hangout.
Dubbed a "Fireside Hangout," the discussion will take place at 4:50 p.m. ET on Feb. 14. Obama will talk with a pre-selected panel of questioners, but questions from the public are also being accepted.
Questions in text or video form must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. ET on Feb. 13. So get to asking!
Submit questions at www.youtube.com/user/whitehouse/askobama.
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Feb 11, 2013 at 1:51 PM0 comments
In this picture from 1997, Defense Department officials show the Hammer Award they won for re-engineering DOD's temporary duty travel system. Pictured: Deputy Secretary of Defense John H. Hamre; Karen Alderman, director of DOD's travel re-engineering; and Bob Stone, project director of the National Performance Review. (DOD photo)
In the hunt for cost-savings across government, go to the people who handle the money—federal employees—and then offer incentives for smart decisions.
Employees, given the inspiration of the incentive, "are more than willing to do something," John Kamensky, senior fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government, told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Feb. 5.
Kamensky, who worked for eight years as deputy director of the National Partnership for Reinventing Government, reminded the committee members of then-Vice President Al Gore's Hammer Award. The award was given to teams of employees that went the extra mile in the areas of cost-savings, customer service, or cutting red tape. The teams received a $6 hammer, a ribbon, and a note from Gore, all in an aluminum frame.
The inexpensive display was meant to ridicule the Pentagon's infamous $400 hammer.
"I actually had the opportunity to deliver some of these awards in ceremonies across the country and there were people in tears, saying, 'I've worked 30 or 40 years for the federal government and no one has ever told me thank you,'" he said.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 07, 2013 at 8:56 AM0 comments
Is the sequester a certainty? Legislators and agency leaders alike are now saying the March 1 cuts will likely take effect. But former Government Accountability Office executive Paul Posner told the Federal Times this week that "the full sequester is only one of 20 potential scenarios."
Posner, who was GAO's director of Federal Budget and Intergovernmental Relations and now heads George Mason University's Master's in Public Administration program, told FCW on Feb. 5 that a "short sequester" seems probable, but there is still "considerable uncertainty surrounding the outcome."
The March 1 cuts are relatively small compared to past sequesters, Posner said, noting that cuts of 25 percent were threatened in a 1990 sequester that prompted a bipartisan grand bargain. And this time, he said, is appears that most everyone "dislikes the alternatives to sequester even more than they dislike the sequester."
However, a budget deal to extend the continuing resolution that expires March 27 could roll back some or all of the sequester, Posner said. And there could be legislation that preserves the overall cuts, but gives agencies more flexibility in how to apply them.
Those hoping for an expert prediction, however, are out of luck: "I would not bet on any outcome at this point," Posner said.
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Feb 06, 2013 at 8:18 AM3 comments
Sen. Harry Reid did not make a surprise appearance at a House committee hearing, but his voice did -- in a way.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) paid a surprise visit to a Feb. 5 House oversight hearing -- or at least that's what it sounded like.
The witness was actually John Kamensky, senior fellow at the IBM Center for The Business of Government. But as Kamensky discussed ridding waste from the government before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) stopped him.
"Has anyone ever told you, if you close your eyes, you sound exactly like Harry Reid?" the congressman asked. He added quickly, with a glance toward committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.): "And that's a compliment from this side of the aisle."
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 05, 2013 at 4:25 PM0 comments
A Defense Information System Agency collaboration platform is up for honors as a top example of government management and IT.
Defense Connect Online, a Defense Department-wide tool used for both classified and unclassified information sharing, is one of five contenders to be recognized for excellence in intergovernmental collaboration. The awards program is facilitated by the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC).
"ACT-IAC is once again honored to provide a premiere forum for recognizing the exceptional work being done and the value being delivered through government programs," Dale Luddeke, IAC chair, said in a released statement from ACT-IAC. "In each instance, the finalists have inspired us all to seek new, innovative, and collaborative ways to approach the most challenging areas of mission and business needs and to achieve ever greater levels of service and efficiency."
In total, there are 25 finalists across five categories for the awards.
According to DISA, DCO "is a free service provided to all DOD partners, allowing users to communicate and share information in a secure forum through the use of instant messaging, low-bandwidth text chat and audio/video Web conferencing."
Winners will be announced at an awards luncheon, to be held March 5 in Washington.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 31, 2013 at 1:49 PM0 comments
Melissa Starinsky, a member of the senior executive service, is the new chancellor of the Veterans Affairs Department's Acquisition Academy, the department announced Jan. 28.
Starinsky previously was deputy director of the Office of Acquisition and Grants Management for the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She oversaw more than $8 billion annually in discretionary contract, grant, and interagency spending.
Prior to that, Starinsky was the first vice chancellor of the VAAA’s Acquisition Internship School, a program aimed at accelerating the learning curve of VA acquisition interns and strengthening the VA acquisition workforce.
In her new role, she presides over five schools, including the Acquisition Internship School, the Program Management School, the Contracting Professional School, the Facilities Management School, and the Supply Chain Management School.
As chancellor, Starinsky sets the VAAA's executive direction and reinforces its commitment to building up the VA acquisition workforce.
"She brings a wealth of experience in acquisition, contracting, strategic workforce planning, organizational development, resource allocation, and talent and performance management," said Jan Frye, VA's deputy assistant secretary for acquisition and logistics. "Her passion for developing employees into highly trained and skilled professionals makes her well-suited for this position."
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 29, 2013 at 7:29 AM0 comments
Rep. Buck McKeon, chairman of the Armed Services Committee
The House Armed Services Committee leadership on Jan. 29 announced the chairs and members of their subcommittees. They include:
- Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), Intelligence, Emerging Threats and Capabilities;
- Rep. Joe Wilson (R-S.C.), Military Personnel;
- Rep. Rob Wittman (R-Va.), Readiness;
- Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), Seapower and Projection Forces;
- Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), Strategic Forces;
- Rep. Mike Turner (R-Ohio), Tactical Air and Land Forces, and;
- Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.), Oversight and Investigations.
Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.), is the committee chairman, and Rep. Adam Smith (D-Wash.) is the ranking member.
For the full list of subcommittee members, click here.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 29, 2013 at 2:30 PM0 comments
'Telework' is no longer a big enough word to describe working on the go. (Stock image)
The Telework Exchange has changed its name to Mobile Work Exchange, part of public-private partnership’s rebranding efforts to expand its mission to increase focus on telework and lead mobile IT discussions in the federal government.
According to a Jan. 28 announcement, the Mobile Work Exchange will continue to provide best practices in telework, performance management, effective communication, recruitment and retention and other workforce-related topics, but will begin to key in on prime issues in mobile IT, such as cybersecurity, privacy, bring-your-own-device policies, mobile device management, virtualization and cloud. In making the shift, the organization has added a new resource center on mobile IT, and refreshed its monthly publication, now called The Mobile Worker.
The organizational change comes following the growth in government telework adoption as well as a new focus on encouraging mobility in the federal workforce.
"We’ve spent the last eight years supporting the awareness and adoption of telework," said Cindy Auten, general manager of Mobile Work Exchange. "Now that the federal government is moving telework in the fast lane, the conversation is changing. And so are we. As telework drives the mobile IT discussion forward, we will expand our role to cover both telework and mobile IT topics."
Mobile Work Exchange plans to continue its annual Telework Week, which starts this year on March 4.
For more information, visit www.mobileworkexchange.com.
Posted by Frank Konkel on Jan 28, 2013 at 1:20 PM0 comments
Is John Berry, the head of the Office of Personnel Management, looking at the Interior Department as his next gig? Possibly.
The rumor isn't new. The Washington Post reported last September on the possibility of Berry as "a leading contender" for the role as cabinet secretary at Interior. Then on Jan. 16, The Post’s Lisa Rein wrote Berry is the likely replacement for Ken Salazar, who is resigning in March.
As the government’s chief people person, Berry is tasked with recruiting, hiring and setting benefits policies for nearly 2 million federal civilian workers. He was appointed by President Barack Obama in 2009. Berry himself has kept mum about a possible move from OPM. Asked by Federal Times whether he was planning on taking the reins at Interior, Berry replied: "No comment. At this point, I stand ready to serve the president in any capacity he desires."
A transition to Interior would be no stretch for Berry. He previously served as director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and the National Zoo, where a lion cub was named after him.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 28, 2013 at 11:40 AM1 comments
A former congressional staffer is heading to TechAmerica to work on issues related to the Defense Department and the intelligence community.
Scott Bousum, who previously supported the House Armed Services Committee, has joined the technology trade association’s global public sector team. His prior work includes supporting the Tactical Air and Land Forces Subcommittee, which has oversight of Army and Air Force acquisition programs, as well as all Navy and Marine Corps aviation programs and a number of National Guard and Reserve matters. Before joining the committee staff, Bousum worked for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.).
“Scott’s expertise and experience has immediately benefitted our members and will be an asset in representing our interests before Congress and the administration as well as providing in-depth analysis of the most important national security-related topics,” said Trey Hodgkins, senior vice president of TechAmerica's global public sector team.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 25, 2013 at 11:56 AM0 comments
An optimist cheers the smallest boons, even ones camouflaged in absurdly old IT systems.
At Jan. 22 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on IT reform, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.) asked whether the government should devote more of their limited budgets to securing older computer systems.
Some systems, however, are so dated that they are in no way threatened by hackers. Some internal systems can only be run locally and are unable to connect to the Web. And some run on such obsolete machines and operating systems that it is useless for hackers to even attempt to infiltrate them.
Systems written in Common Business-Oriented Language, or COBOL, are “pretty much hack-proof,” said Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the committee. “It’s so bad that hackers can’t even bother,” he said, adding that most hackers are not even old enough to understand the language.
“Be grateful for small favors,” Holmes Norton said.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 23, 2013 at 2:33 PM0 comments
GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini (pictured) announced the appointment of Treasury's Tom Sharpe to lead FAS.
Tom Sharpe is the General Services Administration’s new Federal Acquisition Service commissioner, the agency announced Jan. 22.
Sharpe will oversee the acquisition and provision of more than $55 billion in products, services, and solutions to federal agencies.
Sharpe has 30 years of experience in both the private sector and government. He has served most recently as the Treasury Department’s senior procurement executive. He was responsible for Treasury-wide procurement policy, procurement career management, and oversight and continuous improvement of bureau procurement operations.
Before Treasury, Sharpe was as a consulting principal with IBM Business Consulting Services. He was responsible for the marketing, sales and delivery of procurement transformation engagements with IBM’s commercial and government customers.
GSA Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini said his agency has worked to refocus itself in the last year after a blowup in April 2012 over lavish conference spending. He said Sharpe as the new FAS commissioner is one more example of change.
“Over the past year, GSA has made significant progress toward refocusing on our mission and giving the American people the kind of efficient and effective service they deserve,” Tangherlini said.
Tangherlini complimented Sharpe’s experience as an acquisition leader and his work representing for many years Treasury, a key GSA customer.
That experience makes him “uniquely qualified to help GSA better serve all of our partners,” he said.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 22, 2013 at 3:07 PM0 comments
Mike Locatis is leaving DHS after nine months, according to reports.
Mike Locatis, the assistant secretary for the Office of Cybersecurity and Communications at the Homeland Security Department, is leaving the position after just nine months, Federal News Radio reports.
Citing an e-mail from Rand Beers, the DHS undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, Jason Miller reports that Loactis is returning to his Colorado home. Bobbie Stempfley, who held the position before Locatis came from the Energy Department, will return to it. Stempfley is currently deputy assistant secretary in the same office.
Posted by FCW Staff on Jan 17, 2013 at 12:13 PM0 comments
President Barack Obama talks with Interior Secretary Ken Salazar in this photo from 2011. (White House photo)
Interior Department Secretary Ken Salazar has announced he plans to leave his post in March, ending his nearly four-year stint at the agency.
The Denver Post first reported in December that Salazar was expected to make an official announcement about his departure in the coming months. The Associated Press reported Salazar’s resignation on Jan. 16, citing a senior administration official.
Salazar, a former Colorado senator, spearheaded renewable energy efforts at the department and worked to overhaul offshore oil and gas development oversight. Following the 2010 BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, Salazar held a key role in implementing a six-month deepwater offshore drilling moratorium.
Salazar becomes the latest top official to leave the administration as Obama’s new term begins. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner and Labor Secretary Hilda Solis have also announced their exits. Meanwhile, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack have announced their intent to stay on.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 16, 2013 at 10:46 AM0 comments
Janet Napolitano and Tom Vilsack
Two more agency leaders are being added to the roster of senior officials who announced they are staying on for President Barack Obama’s second term.
Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack will continue their service, according to news reports.
“As we look ahead to a promising future in our small towns and rural communities, I am pleased to continue working alongside President Obama to grow more opportunity in rural America,” Vilsack said in a Jan. 14 statement.
Napolitano, former governor of Arizona, and Vilsack, former governor of Iowa, have each been in their current roles since 2009. Napolitano leads counterterrorism efforts and oversees the nation's immigration enforcement agencies, while Vilsack works to boost the U.S. agricultural economy.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 15, 2013 at 10:00 AM0 comments
Joe Caggiano, a 23-year veteran of the federal contracting marketplace, died Jan. 14 at his home in Bethesda, Md., according to a friend and former co-worker.
He died from a massive heart attack, said Larry Allen, president of Allen Federal Business Partners. Caggiano and Allen worked together at The Washington Management Group before it was purchased by Deltek.
Caggiano, 48, was a principal at Reznick Government, a business advisory firm. He is perhaps best known for turning around FedSources, where he was chief operating officer. He left FedSources when it was purchased by Deltek in April 2011.
He joined Reznick Government in October 2011. His aim was expanding the firm into the federal market. He had extensive experience in knowledge management, business performance consulting and customer relations within the federal market, according to colleagues at Reznick.
Reznick did not return calls for comment.
Before joining the private sector, Caggiano served in the U.S. Navy for eight years.
He is survived by his wife, five children, and his father, Paul Caggiano, who has served as president of the Washington Management Group and the Coalition for Government Procurement.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 14, 2013 at 3:41 PM5 comments
Brook Colangelo, seen here testifying before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, resigned his White House position in December 2012. (Photo: Office of Rep. Darrell Issa/Flickr)
A former White House IT official – and 2011 Federal 100 winner – has a new gig in the private sector.
Brook Colangelo, who served as CIO at the Executive Office of the President from 2009 through 2012, is joining Houghton Mifflin Harcourt to lead IT strategy and technology infrastructure development.
Colangelo will be based in the Boston-located global headquarters of the publishing house. His responsibilities will include core IT operations and infrastructure services across HMH's global office network.
Colangeo resigned from the White House in December. Before that position, he held several senior IT leadership roles, including within the Democratic National Convention Committee, The American Red Cross' Hurricane Recovery Program and QRS Newmedia.
In addition to being recognized for his IT leadership as a Fed 100 winner, Colangelo made Computerworld’s 2012 Premier 100 IT Leaders and InformationWeek's The Government CIO 50 lists.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 10, 2013 at 9:50 AM0 comments
Issa: 'VA is not yet positioned to move beyond this abuse.'
A second official from the Veterans Affairs Department has resigned after a conference spending scandal erupted in 2012, according to a news report.
Alice Muellerweiss, dean of the VA Learning University, has left her position, the Washington Examiner reported Jan. 8.
According to a VA inspector general report, Muellerweiss had oversight of the planning and execution of the two human resources conferences in 2011. Before Muellerweiss, John Sepulveda, VA’s assistant secretary for human resources and administration, resigned a day prior to the IG report’s release Oct. 1, 2012.
In a statement, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said the department is in a leadership crisis.
“The parade of VA officials slowly stepping down over several months without accepting responsibility is a troubling sign that the VA is not yet positioned to move beyond this abuse,” he said.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 08, 2013 at 1:37 PM1 comments
John Brennan, deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, is President Obama's choice to lead the CIA. (White House photo)
President Barack Obama has nominated his chief counterterrorism adviser, John Brennan, as the new director of the Central Intelligence Agency, reports CNN.
Brennan, whose official title is deputy national security adviser for homeland security and counterterrorism, has served at the spy agency for 25 years. If the Senate confirms the nominee, Brennan will replace Gen. David Petraeus, who stepped down Nov. 9, 2012 after admitting an extramarital affair with his biographer Paula Broadwell.
After joining the CIA in 1980, Brennan held various roles at the agency, including Near East and South Asia analyst, chief of staff and first director of the National Counterterrorism Center. He also served as intelligence briefer for President Bill Clinton. In 2009, Brennan was named assistant to the president for counterterrorism and homeland security.
In 2005, Brennan left government and spent three years in private industry, serving as president and CEO of The Analysis Corporation, now named Sotera Defense, a security technology company. He also chaired the Intelligence and National Security Alliance.
Along with news of Brennan’s new role, Politico reported Jan. 7 that Obama will also announce his nomination of former Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-Neb.) as the next defense secretary, replacing Leon Panetta who took office July 1, 2011.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 07, 2013 at 4:15 PM0 comments
Interns at NASA's Johnson Space Center produced a parody of the popular 'Gangnam Style' video. The parody has drawn more than 2.7 million views on YouTube.
Sick of Korean rapper PSY's "Gangnam Style" video yet? If so, you might want to click away now -- but NASA's parody version appears to be paying PR dividends for the space agency.
The video produced by Johnson Space Center Pathway interns, called “NASA Johnson Style (Gangnam Style Parody),” was shot at several JSC facilities and features astronauts as well as interns. Posted to NASA's YouTube channel on Dec. 14, it has drawn nearly 2.7 million views, and mentions in the Los Angeles Times, the popular BoingBoing blog and elsewhere.
NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said the video serves a valuable educational purpose, but he acknowledged that not everyone in the NASA community gets it.
“I get a lot of notes from my friends from the Apollo era who say we're lost, we don't know what we're doing,” the Los Angeles Times quoted Bolden as saying at a Dec. 20 event. “And after one of them saw this YouTube video, they were completely convinced we are really messed up.”
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Dec 21, 2012 at 8:10 AM3 comments
Donald Adcock joined the Energy Department in April 2012.
The Energy Department has settled on a new deputy CIO, FCW has learned.
Donald Adcock, who has been serving as associate CIO for energy IT services, is expected to assume his new duties as DOE’s deputy CIO on Dec. 30, according to inside sources speaking on background. He will succeed Robert F. Brese, who moved up to the agency CIO position in July 2012.
In his most recent role, Adcock has been responsible for leading and delivering mission-critical IT services for DOE, according to his bio on the agency’s website.
“Mr. Adcock provides strategic leadership and operational oversight of the department’s primary IT infrastructure and is responsible for implementing the Office of the CIO’s services transformation activities and for providing secure, national-level decision making capabilities for the Secretary of Energy, his advisors and the principal leadership of the department,” his bio states.
Prior to coming to DOE in April 2012, Adcock served as the executive director of the Army IT Agency, where he was based at the Pentagon.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Dec 21, 2012 at 8:09 AM2 comments
Arun Majumdar, former director of the Energy Department's advanced research effort, will lead energy initiatives at Google. (Energy Department photo
Google has tapped a former federal executive to further its energy initiatives and advise on a broader energy strategy.
Arun Majumdar joins Google after serving as director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy from October 2009 to June 2012. ARPA-E is the only agency devoted to transformational energy research and development, according to its website. In a blog post, Google did not announce his job title.
Before joining ARPA-E, Majumdar held academic and research positions at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley. His research career focused on the science and engineering of energy conversion, transport, and storage ranging from molecular and nanoscale-level to large energy systems, according to Energy.gov. In 2005, Majumdar was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Posted by Emily Cole on Dec 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM0 comments
Brig. Gen. Sheila Zuehlke, nominated for promotion and assigned as mobilization assistant to the commander of U.S. Cyber Command. (Air Force photo)
The Air Force has announced three new personnel appointments in the Washington metro region.
Brig. Gen. Sheila Zuehlke was nominated for appointment to the rank of major general and assigned as mobilization assistant to the commander of U.S. Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency and chief of the Central Security Service. Zuehlke will work at Ft. George G. Meade, Md.
Brig. Gen. Jocelyn Seng was nominated for appointment to the rank of major general and for assignment as military deputy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for Acquisition. Seng will be based at the Pentagon.
Col. Wade Smith was nominated for appointment to the rank of brigadier general and for assignment as mobilization assistant to the director of the Defense Contract Management Agency in Alexandria, Va.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Dec 10, 2012 at 2:49 PM0 comments
About $100,000 in jewelry was stolen from Rep. Darrell Issa's California home, according to police.
Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, had an estimated $100,000 worth of jewelry stolen from his home in Vista, Calif., on Nov. 29, according to San Diego County authorities.
Police records indicate more than 50 pieces of jewelry, including rings, bracelets and watches, were taken in the burglary, and authorities have thus far not made any arrests.
Issa is one of the wealthiest members of Congress, having made much of his fortune as the CEO of a company that manufactures automobile security products. A spokesman for Issa said the stolen items were family heirlooms.
Posted by Frank Konkel on Dec 07, 2012 at 8:09 AM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Dec 07, 2012 at 11:27 AM0 comments
Editor's Note: This story was modified after its original publication to correct Wright's title.
Pamela Wright has been chosen as the National Archives’ first-ever chief innovation officer, effective Dec. 2.
Archivist of the United State David S. Ferriero made the announcement in a Nov. 30 statement.
“This new office is charged with fostering a culture of innovation at the National Archives, and I am pleased that Pamela Wright has been selected to lead it,” he said. ”With her extensive experience, proven leadership, and innovative spirit, she is well suited to lead this effort."
Wright’s tasks will include finding innovative ways to share the archives’ extensive holdings with the public. Her plan is to create an “Innovation Hub” to develop and launch collaborative projects, raise public challenges, and partner with the archival community, private sector and academia.
Wright has been at the National Archives since 2001. Her past seven years were spent promoting digital access and strategy. Wright previously served as the agency’s first chief digital access strategist and launched many of the National Archives’ social media platforms.
Her “Citizen Archivist Dashboard” initiative is intended to make National Archives records more accessible online by using crowdsourcing to tag, transcribe, and edit articles, as well as to upload and share scans or images of records.
Wright also represents the National Archives on the White House Open Government Working Group. Her efforts include several internal working groups and teams aimed at fostering the open government.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Dec 07, 2012 at 3:22 PM0 comments
Brook Colangelo, seen here testifying before the House Committee on Government Oversight and Reform, has resigned his White House position. (Photo: Rep. Darrell Issa/Flickr)
The White House Office of Administration in the Executive Office of the President is losing its CIO this week.
Brook Colangelo submitted his resignation this week, according to a Dec. 5 report by FedScoop.
Colangelo joined the office in 2009, after having served CIO of the Democratic National Convention Committee. He led a green-technology effort to cut the committee’s carbon footprint, and served as the IT project manager for the American Red Cross’ Hurricane Recovery Program.
Before that role, Colangelo was director of technology for QRS Newmedia Inc, a Washington, D.C.-based communications and consulting company.
Colangelo was recognized in 2011 for a Federal 100 award for his work in ensuring the White House technology infrastructure was resilient enough and allowed 60 percent of White House employees do to mission-critical work during the February 2010 blizzards.
There’s no word yet on who will replace Colangelo. Attempts to contact him and his office were unsuccessful.
Posted by Camille Tuutti on Dec 06, 2012 at 3:40 PM0 comments
Anne Altman and husband Xavier Alire
Anne Altman is now a Lifetime Achievement Heroine, thanks to the 12th Annual 2012 Heroines in Technology Awards, presented by the March of Dimes and the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association.
Presented Nov. 9, the awards honor women in the technology community including government, nonprofit and commercial organizations for their outstanding commitment to community service. The event raised more than $180,000 to support the March of Dimes.
Altman has been the General Manager for IBM’s Global Public Sector since August 2009, and serves as the most senior executive for the strategy, direction and development of solutions for public sector clients worldwide. She has worked with IBM since 1981.
Posted by Emily Cole on Dec 05, 2012 at 1:27 PM0 comments
Jack Brooks, an early pioneer in the laws of federal IT procurement, passed away in Texas.
Editor's Note: This item was first published at FCW.com's sister site, WashingtonTechnology.com.
The man considered to be the father of modern IT procurement died Dec. 4, at the age of 89, in a hospital in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas.
Jack Brooks was a Democrat from Texas who served in the U.S. Congress for 42 years. Among his accomplishments is the 1965 Brooks Act, legislation that opened government IT procurement to competition.
The act, which was not signed into law until 1972, mandated procurement competition, lowest price bidding and centralized management of IT. The law has been credited with helping to build the IT industry and for spurring innovation at government agencies.
In 2002, he was recognized by GCN as the top civilian executive of the last 20 years.
“I wanted the government to be on the leading edge of technology, and it is,” he said at the time.
While in Congress, he chaired the House Government Operations Committee and the Judiciary Committee. He introduced the Government Paperwork Reduction Act, and the legislation that created the Office of Federal Procurement Policy and independent inspector generals at major government agencies.
A life-long Democrat, Brooks was a protégé of fellow Texan, and long-time House Speaker, Sam Rayburn.
Brooks was in the motorcade in Dallas in 1963, when President Kennedy was assassinated, according to his obituary in the Dallas Morning News.
While serving on the House Judiciary Committee, Brooks drafted the articles of impeachment against Richard Nixon. Nixon later called him the executioner.
He was reelected to Congress 20 times, but was voted out of office in 1994 as Republicans took control of the House.
He was born Dec. 18, 1922, in Acadia Parish, La., and moved to Beaumont, Texas, in 1927. He lived there the rest of his life.
He and his wife had three children and two grandchildren.
Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 05, 2012 at 1:45 PM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Nov 26, 2012 at 12:53 PM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Nov 20, 2012 at 6:56 AM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Nov 19, 2012 at 6:13 AM0 comments
The Defense Department on Nov. 15 announced personnel movements in its naval cyber and intelligence operations.
Navy Rear Adm. Samuel Cox will be assigned as director of the National Maritime Intelligence Center in Washington and as commander of the Office of Naval Intelligence at Ft. Meade, Md. Previously, Cox served as director of intelligence/J2 at U.S. Cyber Command, also based at Ft. Meade.
Joining Cyber Command will be Capt. Robert Hoppa, who has been selected for promotion to rear admiral (lower half) and for assignment as deputy director of operations/J3, Cyber Command, at Ft. Meade, Md. Hoppa currently serves as director of the National Maritime Intelligence Center, Washington, D.C.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Nov 15, 2012 at 2:54 PM0 comments
Interested in being Federal Acquisition Service commissioner, but haven’t gotten around to polishing that resume? The General Services Administration just extended the deadline, but the window is closing fast.
GSA officials tweeted on Nov. 14 that applications are now being accepted until Nov. 16 on the USAJobs site. The agency has been advertising the open position since September.
The FAS commissioner is the senior executive responsible for the procurement side of GSA, and the primary advisor to the administrator and the deputy administrator on all FAS matters. The commissioner guides nearly $95 billion in government spending annually while driving FAS to find greater savings through high-value contracts.
Steve Kempf was the most recent commissioner, but he left the position in July for medical reasons. Mary Davie, assistant FAS commissioner for the Integrated Technology Services, has been standing in as acting commissioner since then.
Or do you want another job in the second Obama administration? Here’s some information on how to apply.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Nov 14, 2012 at 2:34 PM0 comments
Posted by John Klossner on Nov 13, 2012 at 7:45 PM0 comments
Arthur Money (left) and Peter Marino have joined the advisory board at Thinklogical.
Former Pentagon CIO Arthur Money is a founding member of a newly formed advisory board for Thinklogical, a provider of fiber optic-based peripheral routing systems.
Money was named Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence in 1999 and served simultaneously as DOD’s CIO, according to Thinklogical’s announcement. Having held other positions in DOD and in industry, he now serves as the chairman of the Outside Advisory Board for the National Security Agency and the FBI.
Money’s fellow founding advisory board member is Peter Marino, a longtime CIA official who is now chairman of the board of directors for TASC Group.
“We are honored to welcome Art and Peter as founding members of the newly established Thinklogical Federal Advisory Board," said Joe Pajer, president and CEO of Thinklogical. "We are growing very fast as a company, spearheaded by our tremendous success in the military, intelligence and homeland security sectors of the U.S. federal government.”
Posted by Michael Hardy on Nov 13, 2012 at 1:28 PM0 comments
The woman who developed the State Department’s systems for measuring the effectiveness of public diplomacy efforts has joined a contractor that specializes in analytics and database systems for intelligence and national security projects.
Cherreka Montgomery spent five years at State, where she was director of evaluation and measurement in the Office of the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs. Since 2011, she had been with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, serving as the principal media spokeswoman for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency.
In October Montgomery joined SAP National Security Services as national vice president for corporate development. In that role, SAP NS2 announced, Montgomery will “work with the intelligence community, Department of Defense, and systems integrators.”
While at State, Montgomery developed an integrated performance management plan to “measure and assess” the public diplomacy efforts that Karen Hughes began in the Bush administration, and that current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her team have continued and expanded. Before, Montgomery said, diplomats could point to anecdotal evidence of public diplomacy payoffs, but ultimately “you have to demonstrate return on the public’s investment… So I looked for ways to synthesize the strategy and performance.”
In an interview with FCW, Montgomery said that after years in government, the chance to develop public-private partnerships from the other side was too appealing to pass up. And based on her State Department performance-management projects, which relied on SAP software, “I’m a believer in the [these] solutions,” she said.
As someone who was only recently wrestling with budget limitations on the federal agency side, Montgomery said she is acutely aware of the effect sequestration could have on her new responsibilities. “We definitely want to avoid it,” she said, but “shrinking budgets are a reality. We have to be agile and be flexible.”
And agencies must do the same, she said – not just for fiscal reasons, but also to reflect today’s national security realities. “We face multifaceted threats,” Montgomery explained, “and we have to modernize our I.T. to identify and defend against those threats.”
Note: When originally published, this article incorrectly stated that Montgomery had worked at ODNI prior to the State Department, not after.
Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Nov 07, 2012 at 2:51 PM0 comments
Mark Drapeau, accompanied by a couple of friends, displays his Movember mustache in a picture he posted to Facebook.
Many men have grown mustaches for "Movember," an annual charity event that benefits organizations dedicated to men's health issues, testicular and prostate cancer in particular.
Some men who want to take part but can't or prefer not to grow a mustache come up with creative solutions. Microsoft's director of innovative solutions, Mark Drapeau posted his effort on Facebook, commenting, "I may not be growing a Movember mustache in real life, but at least I can pretend to have one on Facebook."
(Drapeau tells us this picture is actually from a gala in 2011.)
Posted by Michael Hardy on Nov 02, 2012 at 3:22 PM0 comments
Capt. Carrie Hasbrouck, the new commander of DISA's Special Operations Command's field office. (Photo: DISA)
The Defense Information Systems Agency has a new commander in place in its Special Operations Command field office. Navy Capt. Carrie Hasbrouck assumed command on Oct. 19, DISA officials posted on the agency’s Facebook page on Nov. 2. While DISA did not immediately confirm where Hasbrouck is based, the DISA SOCOM field office is headquartered at MacDill Air Force Base, Fla. No further details on Hasbrouck or the assignment have been released thus far, according to a DISA spokesperson.
Back at the Pentagon, the Defense Department on Nov. 1 announced that Charles Beames has been appointed to the Senior Executive Service and assigned as principal director of space and intelligence in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition, Technology and Logistics). Beams, who previously served in the same office as strategic advisor for space and intelligence, will be based in Washington, according to the DOD release.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Nov 02, 2012 at 3:45 PM0 comments
David J. Wineland adjusts an ultraviolet laser, which he uses to manipulate ions as part of a research project. (Photo: NIST)
The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has awarded the 2012 Nobel Prize in Physics to David J. Wineland. Wineland is a physicist at the Department of Commerce’s National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), and receives the award “for ground-breaking experimental methods that enable measuring and manipulation of individual quantum systems,” according to an Oct. 9 press release. This is NIST’s fourth Nobel Prize in Physics in the past 15 years.
Wineland, who said he learned of the award when Academy officials called his Colorado home at 3:30 a.m., shortly before making the official Oct. 9 announcement, shares the honor with French native and longtime friend Serge Haroche of the Collège de France and Ecole Normale Supérieure in Paris. Wineland holds a Ph.D. from Harvard University and is currently based in Boulder, Colo., as a NIST Fellow.
Posted by Emily Cole on Oct 09, 2012 at 3:22 PM0 comments
David Bennett has been named DISA CIO. (DISA photo)
The Defense Information Systems Agency has made changes in two posts key to the agency’s IT operations.
David Bennett has been named the new CIO of DISA, according to an Oct. 2 announcement from the Defense Department. Bennett previously served as the agency’s vice component acquisition executive.
Bennett was preceded as CIO by Henry Sienkiewicz, who served in the position since May 2010. Sienkiewicz has been named as DISA’s vice chief information assurance executive.
Posted by Amber Corrin on Oct 02, 2012 at 3:22 PM0 comments