Another DIA departure: Gus Taveras resigns as CTO

Exit Sign

Gus Taveras is stepping down as the Defense Intelligence Agency's chief technology officer, the third high-level departure from the Pentagon's spy agency revealed in recent weeks. Taveras, who has been CTO since December 2012, confirmed the news in an Aug. 19 email to FCW.

His last day will be Aug. 22. 

Taveras said in a note posted to his LinkedIn page that he was leaving government to work for industry, without specifying where. He reflected on the intelligence community's move toward a single, standards-based IT architecture, known as ICITE. Investments in ICITE "are the building blocks for accelerating information sharing, adoption and efficiencies – all original pillars of the [director of national intelligence's] unified vision," Taveras wrote.

Prior to serving as DIA CTO, Taveras was a technical adviser to the DOD CIO and Army G2, among other positions in a career that began in 1987 as an infantryman in the Marine Corps. 

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Aug 19, 2014 at 9:26 AM1 comments


Nicole Wong leaving OSTP

Nicole Wong, former U.S. deputy CTO

U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Nicole Wong, who worked for Twitter and Google before entering government service, is returning to California.

After more than a year at the Office of Science and Technology Policy, U.S. Deputy Chief Technology Officer Nicole Wong is leaving government.

Wong's last day is Friday Aug. 15, and she will be moving back to California, an OSTP spokesperson confirmed to FCW.

Wong played a large role in the recent White House big data initiatives, including lead authorship of the May 2014 Big Data report. She was also in charge of leading privacy and Internet policy initiatives at OSTP over the past year.

"Nicole is an incredibly talented and insightful leader, who has made major contributions to big data, privacy, and Internet policy during her time at the White House," U.S. CTO Todd Park said in a statement. "We're deeply grateful to Nicole and her family for her service, and will miss her."

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Posted by Colby Hochmuth on Aug 15, 2014 at 5:18 PM0 comments


Sylvia Burns promoted to Interior CIO

Department of the Interior Logo

Sylvia Burns, an IT executive with the Department of the Interior since 2006, has been named CIO.

Burns had served as acting CIO since March 2014. Before that, she was associate deputy CIO for policy, planning and compliance.

“As acting CIO I have had the privilege of leading a dedicated team and working collaboratively with our bureaus and offices as we modernize our systems and move our IT transformation program forward,” Burns said in a statement.

Though a large, federated department, Interior has been something of a leader in the federal IT space when it comes to consolidating enterprise IT. The department announced a move to the cloud in 2013, and in 2012 the agency chose Google Gmail as its agency-wide email client.

Department of the Interior: Sylvia Burns.

Department of the Interior
CIO Sylvia Burns.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Aug 13, 2014 at 7:34 AM0 comments


Trudeau leaves GSA, heads to AWS

Lena Trudeau_GSA 

Lena Trudeau, associate commissioner for the Office of Strategic Innovations at the General Services Administration, has decamped for the private sector, FCW has learned.

Trudeau confirmed her departure to FCW, and said she starts at Amazon Web Services on Aug. 11.

In her nearly three years in government, Trudeau quickly became the face of the Presidential Innovation Fellows program and is known in the community as a zealous advocate for government innovation.

Trudeau has also been acting as executive director of the 18F team at GSA, following the departure of David McClure, former associate administrator of the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies at GSA, who was overseeing the office. (In a recent essay for FCW, Trudeau addressed industry questions and concerns about the role of 18F.)

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Posted by Colby Hochmuth on Aug 11, 2014 at 5:28 AM0 comments


Army names new commander for cyber training center

Stephen Fogarty and LaWarren Patterson

Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty (left) is taking over the Army's Cyber Center of Excellence while Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson moves to the Installation Management Command.

Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno announced a change in command at the Army's main cybersecurity training center on Aug. 1.

Maj. Gen. Stephen Fogarty, who most recently led the Army's Intelligence and Security Command, will replace Maj. Gen. LaWarren Patterson as commanding general of the Cyber Center of Excellence at Fort Gordon, Ga. Patterson is set to be deputy commanding general for operations and chief of staff at the Army's Installation Management Command, Joint Base San Antonio.

In announcing last December that its Cyber Command would be housed at Fort Gordon, the Army described the Cyber Center of Excellence as "a focal point for cyber doctrine and capabilities development, training and innovation."

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Aug 01, 2014 at 9:38 AM0 comments


May gets nod for permanent NIST job

Image from Commerce.gov: Willie May.

Willie May is a 42-year veteran of the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Willie May, who has been running the National Institute of Standards and Technology in an acting capacity for some time now, was nominated by President Barack Obama on July 28 to be NIST director and Commerce Department undersecretary for standards and technology.

A 42-year veteran of NIST, May became acting director on June 13, when Patrick Gallagher stepped down to become chancellor of the University of Pittsburgh. Gallagher, however, had been serving as Commerce's acting deputy secretary for more than a year, with May effectively heading NIST in the interim.

If confirmed by the Senate, May would officially take over an agency responsible for establishing security standards for federal information systems, voluntary cybersecurity guidelines for the private sector, and measurement and technical standards for a range of scientific, manufacturing, industrial and technological areas.

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jul 29, 2014 at 8:11 AM0 comments


Senate confirms Creedon at NNSA

Madelyn Creedon

Madelyn Creedon previously served as deputy administrator for defense programs at the NNSA.

The Senate confirmed a new second-in-command for the agency in charge of the safety, reliability and performance of the U.S. nuclear device and materials stockpile.

Madelyn Creedon was confirmed July 23 as the Department of Energy’s principal deputy administrator for the National Nuclear Security Administration.

Nominated for the position last November, Creedon will support NNSA Administrator Frank Klotz in managing the agency and contribute on policy matters across the DOE and NNSA enterprise. NNSA was created in 1999 as a semi-autonomous agency operating under DOE.

“Madelyn Creedon’s confirmation comes at a critical point for the National Nuclear Security Administration,” Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz said in a statement following her confirmation. “She is well-prepared for her new role at the department.”

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jul 24, 2014 at 8:43 AM0 comments


Head of DHS cyber hub stepping down

Larry Zelvin

Larry Zelvin will step down in mid-August as head of the Department of Homeland Security’s hub for monitoring and responding to cyber threats, a DHS spokesman told FCW.

Zelvin, a former Navy captain, has been director of DHS’s National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center since June 2012. Before that he was director of incident management on the president’s National Security Staff, now known as the National Security Council Staff.

Zelvin has been the NCCIC’s public face, appearing at cybersecurity conferences to meet with industry experts and on Capitol Hill to testify on behalf of the Obama administration.

Last month he joined a chorus of administration officials calling on Congress to pass cybersecurity legislation, telling FCW that DHS’s statutory authority on cybersecurity needs clarifying.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jul 22, 2014 at 2:23 PM0 comments


It's all about priorities, people

John Klossner for FCW

Posted by John Klossner on Jul 21, 2014 at 12:56 PM0 comments


Vion hires former DISA official to lead cyber solutions

Image from Shutterstock.

Richard Breakiron, a 2012 Federal 100 winner and former senior official at the Defense Information Systems Agency, is headed to Vion as senior director of cyber solutions, the Herndon, Va.-based IT infrastructure firm said.

Breakiron was previously DISA's executive program director for the Joint Regional Security Stacks (JRSS) and prior to that oversaw modernization of the Army's servicewide network in its CIO office.

In his new role, Breakiron will market Vion's cloud products and services and other IT infrastructure to U.S. military branches, DISA and security agencies, the firm said.

He "is widely known in the defense community for his network modernization efforts, especially for his focus on [Multiprotocol Label Switching] and his work to consolidate and harden the JRSS program," Vion CEO Tom Frana said in a statement.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jul 18, 2014 at 9:28 AM0 comments


Call for all applicants: DIA needs a CIO

help wanted sign

Can you or someone you know affect strategic change -- or foster “creative tension” -- within an agency? Quickly ascertain "the internal and external politics that impact the work of the organization?" Oh, and carry Top Secret/SCI clearance? If so, the Defense Intelligence Agency might be interested in speaking with you as it searches for a new CIO.

The successful applicant could earn up to $181,500 a year.

DIA has cast itself as a catalyst for innovation in the intelligence community, with Director Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn urging an overhaul of how the agency cultivates ideas and technology. The CIO will undoubtedly be part of those efforts.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jul 16, 2014 at 12:37 PM3 comments


Booz Allen CEO to retire at year's end

Horacio Rozanski, BAH

Horacio Rozanski, who currently serves as president and chief operating officer, will succeed CEO Ralph Shrader on Jan. 1, 2015

The management and technology consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton on July 14 announced that CEO Ralph Shrader will retire at the end of 2014. Horacio Rozanski, who currently serves as president and chief operating officer, will succeed Shrader on Jan. 1, 2015, and has been named to the firm's board of directors effective immediately.

Shrader has been with Booz Allen Hamilton for four decades, and led the firm's initial public offering in November 2010. Rozanski joined the firm in 1992. He was elected vice president in 1999, appointed chief personnel officer in 2003, named chief strategy and talent officer in 2010, chief operating officer in 2011, and president in 2014.

Booz Allen Hamilton ranked #7 on Washington Technology's 2014 Top 100 list of federal contractors, with $3.4 billion in 2013 federal contracts for IT, systems integration, telecom, professional services and other high-tech business.

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jul 14, 2014 at 7:35 AM1 comments


ITI adds Hill veteran to government affairs team

US Capitol

The Information Technology Industry Council named long-time House Energy and Commerce Committee counsel Shannon Taylor as its director of government affairs/legislative counsel.

ITI said said in a July 11 statement that Taylor's first day on the job will be July 21, and she will be a lead government affairs liaison with members of the House.

"Shannon is a welcome addition to our government affairs team," said ITI Senior Vice President for Government Affairs Andy Halataei. "With her background providing trusted counsel and policy guidance to the House Energy and Commerce Committee on issues of importance for the tech sector, Shannon will bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to ITI's member companies."

Taylor has more than 11 years of legislative affairs experience, serving most recently for eight years as a counsel for commerce, manufacturing, and trade on the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where her work included privacy, data breach and patent policy. Before that she was a counsel on what is now the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Taylor began her Capitol Hill career working as a legislative counsel for Rep. Jim Gerlach (R-Pa.).

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jul 11, 2014 at 12:52 PM0 comments


Air Force major general tapped for No. 2 spot at Cyber Command

Major General James K.

Maj. Gen. James “Kevin” McLaughlin is a 31-year Air Force veteran.

Air Force Maj. Gen. James “Kevin” McLaughlin was nominated to be the number two commander at U.S. Cyber Command in Fort Meade, Md., the Pentagon announced July 8.

McLaughlin is currently commander of the 24th Air Force, the service’s major cyberspace component whose Air Force Space Command center is housed at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado. He is also commander of Air Forces Cyber at U.S. Cyber Command on Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland, Texas.

McLaughlin entered the Air Force in 1983, according to a Pentagon bio.

He was named director of the Air Force’s space and cyber operations in January 2012.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jul 08, 2014 at 8:45 AM0 comments


VA deputy CIO resigns

Exit Sign

Lorraine Landfried, deputy CIO for product development at the Department of Veterans Affairs, has submitted her resignation, FCW has learned.

Landfried plans to leave the agency July 19 and is launching her own business with the working title of Landfried Government Solutions. While Landfried can't officially hang out a shingle while she still works for the government, she told FCW she plans to do strategic consulting, executive coaching and advisory services that will draw on her decades-long career in government.

"I'm very excited. I've been a civil servant since I was 21, so I'm definitely ready to try something new," Landfried said.

Landried joined the VA in 2009. Previously, she had worked at the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Office for Information and Technology as executive director of enterprise data management and engineering. She started her government career as a computer programmer at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jul 07, 2014 at 2:31 PM2 comments


Veteran DOD procurement official Ginman to retire

Richard Ginman is a retired rear admiral who held multiple acquisition leadership positions in the Navy.

Director of Defense Procurement and Acquisition Policy Richard Ginman will retire after three years at that post and four decades in government and commercial contracting, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed June 25.  

No retirement date was announced for Ginman, perhaps the Defense Department’s most experienced procurement official.

News of Ginman’s retirement, first reported by Federal News Radio, came via a memo, signed by DOD Director of Defense Pricing Shay Assad, announcing a contracting officer award in Ginman’s name.

As director of DPAP, Ginman has been responsible for implementation and oversight of DOD’s main acquisition regulations. A retired rear admiral, he previously held multiple acquisition leadership positions in the Navy.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jun 25, 2014 at 7:46 AM1 comments


Report: U.S. Marshals’ email folly ruins bitcoin auction

email

The U.S. Marshals Service botched what was supposed to be an anonymous $18-million bitcoin auction by replying all to an email with bidders’ names and addresses, according to a TechCrunch report. The technical folly apparently happened when one of the bidders asked a question and the Marshals’ office copied 40 other bidders on the reply.

The auction is for some 30,000 bitcoins, valued at about $18 million, seized by the government from Silk Road, a black market for drugs shut down last year by the FBI.

Registration for the auction runs June 16-23, according to an agency announcement. The U.S. Marshals Service could not be reached for comment.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jun 19, 2014 at 9:43 AM1 comments


Do More 24: Like a code sprint for charity

Do More 24 Logo

Supporting area charities is nothing new for the federal IT community, but this week offers the chance for a focused sprint in support of the needy.

June 19 is the date of Do More 24 -- a 24-hour crowdfunding campaign organized by the United Way of the National Capital Area. Last year's Do More 24 raised $1.3 million from some 11,000 donors to support local nonprofits. Unisys Federal Systems President (and 2011 Federal 100 winner) Ted Davies, who chairs the United Way NCA board of directors, is hoping for an even stronger showing this year.

A full calendar of fund-raising events for the 19th can be found on the Do More 24 website, along with details on other ways to support the campaign.

Posted by FCW Staff on Jun 18, 2014 at 12:34 PM0 comments


Where the innovation really happens

John Klossner for FCW

Posted by John Klossner on Jun 13, 2014 at 10:41 AM0 comments


New CIO at Commerce an old government hand

revolving door

Steve Cooper, the Homeland Security Department’s first CIO, is returning to government as CIO of the Commerce Department, the Washington Business Journal reported.

Cooper, who held the same post at the Federal Aviation Administration and the Transportation Department, left government in early 2013 and, according to his LinkedIn profile, is currently a partner at the Strativest Group.

At Commerce, Cooper will succeed Simon Szykman, who announced his impending departure in February.

Posted by John Bicknell on Jun 12, 2014 at 8:15 AM0 comments


Jennifer Kerber joins GSA

Jennifer Kerber

Jennifer Kerber, a former executive for TechAmerica Foundation and the Government Transformation Group will focus on the Federal Cloud Credential Exchange.

The General Services Administration's Office of Citizens Services and Technologies has a new addition to its team: former TechAmerica Foundation president Jennifer Kerber.

In the last few months OCSIT lost two major cloud leaders, David McClure and Katie Lewin, and now Kerber will be stepping into her first federal government position as director of Federal Cloud Credential Exchange program. GSA announced early on June 9 that Kerber "will be working in partnership with our FCCX team and our agency partners," the U.S. Postal Service and the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

Since April of last year, Kerber has served as executive director of the Government Transformation Group, a non-profit coalition that works to improve the effectiveness of federal government.

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Posted by Colby Hochmuth on Jun 09, 2014 at 6:24 AM1 comments


Welcome to @CIA

Social Media Tree

The CIA’s latest intrigue is to join Twitter and Facebook. The spy agency sent out its first tweet the afternoon of June 6, which said in jest: “We can neither confirm nor deny that this is our first tweet.” The message has been re-tweeted about 98,000 times and the CIA has more than 125,000 followers as of this writing.

The social-media operation will help the agency “directly engage with the public and provide information on CIA’s mission, history and other developments,” Director John Brennan said in a statement. “We have important insights to share, and we want to make sure that unclassified information about the agency is more accessible to the American public that we serve, consistent with our national security mission.”

The Twitter and Facebook feeds will include news and career information, along with “artifacts” from the CIA’s museum, the agency said.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jun 06, 2014 at 1:44 PM0 comments


McClure: 'Definitely, I'm not done yet'

"Don’t call it a trailer." David McClure's "luxury motor coach" got star billing at a June 3 retirement reception organized by ACT-IAC. The hood ornament in the photo is McClure's 2012 Eagle award.

Today, David McClure and his wife Trish are in their motor home, embarking on a five-week road trip through New England and eastern Canada. On the evening of June 3, however, they were in the basement of Hill Country BBQ, where dozens of longtime colleagues and other leaders of the federal IT community gathered to praise and roast the just-retired head of the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

"FedRAMP would not have happened" without McClure's leadership, former Department of Homeland Security CIO Richard Spires declared. Mark Forman, the first federal administrator for e-Government and IT, said, "Dave has been the principle thought leader" for every major piece of IT legislation in the past 20 years. Karen Evans, who succeeded Forman in that post, praised McClure for guidance that she said was critical to her success -- a role that virtually everyone who took the stage said McClure had played for them as well.  

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jun 04, 2014 at 10:15 AM0 comments


Changes at the top for NGA

Letitia Long_NGA

National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency Director Letitia Long will be replaced by Deputy Director of National Intelligence Robert Cardillo when she retires later this year.

Deputy Director of National Intelligence Robert Cardillo will head the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency starting in October, the Defense Department announced June 2. Outgoing NGA Director Letitia Long will retire later this year.

Cardillo has been deputy DNI for intelligence integration since September 2010, when the position was established. He has also held top posts in the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Since Long took over at NGA in August 2010, the agency moved from “providing static products, such as maps,” to offering geospatial intelligence in varied formats to “users on all security domains,” the Pentagon said in a statement.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Jun 02, 2014 at 9:56 AM0 comments


VanRoekel, McCaul tapped for TechAmerica awards

Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel, shown here at a 2012 NIST event

Federal CIO Steve VanRoekel is being honored by TechAmerica for his work in transforming how government buys and uses technology.

The technology trade association TechAmerica named federal CIO Steve VanRoekel as its government technology executive of the year and Texas Republican Rep. Michael McCaul as its legislator of the year.

TechAmerica cited VanRoekel for his work in transforming how government buys and uses technology, including cloud computing and data center consolidation policies that have driven savings, an emphasis on cybersecurity, improving citizen services, and releasing government data for use by the private sector.

McCaul is being honored for his work as chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee in advocating improved technologies in border protection and cybersecurity, as well as his oversight of management at the Department of Homeland Security.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 30, 2014 at 9:18 AM0 comments


Vice chair promoted to top spot at FirstNet

Sue Swenson's tenure as chairwoman of FirstNet will last three years.

Sue Swenson, a longtime telecommunications executive, was named by Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to take over leadership of the FirstNet board of directors. She replaces the agency's first chairman, Sam Ginn, who will remain on the board until his term expires in August.

FirstNet is leading an effort to build a nationwide, interoperable public safety mobile broadband communications network that can connect state, local, and federal first responders. The agency, a component of the Commerce Department’s National Telecommunications and Information Agency, is still in the process of staffing up to oversee construction of the network. Ginn, 78, came out of retirement to launch the FirstNet board in 2012. Swenson joined as vice-chairwoman last December. Her term as chairwoman will last three years.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 29, 2014 at 11:58 AM0 comments


Davie wins ACT-IAC's 2014 Franke Award

Mary Davie 2014

Mary Davie was honored by ACT-IAC for her years of championing collaboration at GSA. (Photo: Zaid Hamid) 

The General Services Administration's Mary Davie is the recipient of this year's John J. Franke Award from ACT-IAC. Davie, the assistant commissioner for the Office of Integrated Technology Services in GSA's Federal Acquisition Service, accepted the award May 19 at the Management of Change Conference in Cambridge, Md.

David McClure, associate administrator of GSA's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies and the winner of last year's Franke Award, praised Davie for her collaborative approach, commitment to staff, and willingness to take risks. "She has always championed the improvement of government for the entire American public," he said, and "her priorities have always been about helping other agencies."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on May 20, 2014 at 6:20 AM0 comments


Alexander: Big data 'is what it's all about'

Keith Alexander, DOD photo

Former NSA Director Keith Alexander fears anti-agency sentiment will drive away the young workers needed to keep the country safe..

Perhaps not surprisingly, former National Security Director Keith Alexander focuses on data that's big and secure, not open.

Speaking at ACT-IAC's Management of Change Conference on May 19, Alexander declared that, when it comes to federal IT, open data and big data are "what it's all about." But while leveraging open data is a key focus of the conference, Alexander pivoted immediately to his former agency's mandate to gather and secure information -- and to arguing NSA's case in the wake of the Edward Snowden leaks.

Alexander noted that the intelligence community only "collects what we are asked to collect," and said that "the one thing we failed on was protecting data from those ... we trusted." He suggested again that Snowden had motives others than whistleblowing ("he might have gotten lost along the way, but ... it benefits the country he is currently sitting in"), and said agencies must put more emphasis on guarding against insider threats. 

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on May 19, 2014 at 8:47 AM0 comments


AFFIRM announces Leadership Award winners

David McClure speaking

David McClure, the soon-to-retire associate administrator of the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, is among the many 2014 AFFIRM Leadership Award winners.

The Association for Federal Information Resources Management announced the recipients of its 2014 Leadership Awards, a list that includes CIOs, senators and business leaders.

Darren Ash, CIO at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, was the recipient of the Executive Leadership Award in Information Resources Management in a civilian agency. Michael Krieger, deputy CIO for the Army, was the recipient for a defense agency.

David McClure, associate administrator of the General Services Administration's Office of Citizen Services and Communications, was the Career Leadership awardee. McClure announced last month he is leaving GSA at the end of May.

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Posted by Reid Davenport on May 16, 2014 at 12:41 PM0 comments


East retiring as Treasury CIO

revolving door

Treasury Department CIO Robyn East is retiring next month after three years on the job, the latest move in what has become a CIO shuffle in the past several months.

Deputy CIO Mike Parker will take over as acting CIO, Federal News Radio reported.

East came to Treasury in April 2011 from the University of North Carolina, where she was deputy CIO for six years.

She joins a growing list of federal CIOs to leave their jobs recently, including Teri Takai at the Defense Department, Bernie Mazer at the Interior Department and Simon Szykman at the Commerce Department. Navy Department CIO Terry Halvorsen is replacing Takai on an acting basis at the Pentagon. CIOs at Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration left for other government posts in recent months.

Posted by FCW Staff on May 15, 2014 at 11:45 AM0 comments


Halvorsen named acting CIO at Pentagon

Terry Halvorsen

Navy CIO Terry Halvorsen will replace Teri Takai as Defense Department CIO on an acting basis.

Terry Halvorsen is leaving his post as Navy CIO to be acting CIO for the Defense Department, a Pentagon spokesperson confirmed May 13.

Halvorsen’s first day as DOD CIO will be May 21, said spokesperson Lt. Col. Valerie Henderson. The decision to appoint Halverson interim Pentagon CIO was handed down May 12 in an internal memo from Deputy Secretary Robert Work.

There is no indication that Halvorsen’s tenures as Navy and DOD CIO will overlap, the spokesperson said, adding that there is no timetable for naming a permanent CIO at the Pentagon.  

Halvorsen, a 2010 Federal 100 winner, takes over for Teri Takai, who left the department May 2. 

Posted on May 14, 2014 at 10:54 AM1 comments


Four join PSC's Technology Policy Council board

revolving door

The Professional Services Council has added four tech firm executives to its Technology Policy Council’s Executive Advisory Board.

Kay Kapoor, president of AT&T Government Services, Teresa Carlson, vice president of Amazon Web Services Global Public Sector, Greg Baroni, chairman and CEO of Attain LLC, and Steven Roth, chief operating officer of Preferred Systems Solutions, were named to the board, the group said in a news release.

The Technology Policy Council was launched in March in “recognition of the convergence taking place between the technology and professional services sectors and the many issues associated with that convergence," PSC President and CEO Stan Soloway said at the time.

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Posted by Jonathan Lutton on May 13, 2014 at 1:59 PM0 comments


Projects that didn't make the Fed 100 cut

Klossner Cartoon - Fed 100

Learn more about the people who did make the 2014 Federal 100, and the work they accomplished, here.

Posted by John Klossner on May 12, 2014 at 8:35 AM0 comments


Former Unisys exec joins ICE as CIO

revolving door

Immigration and Customs Enforcement's new CIO comes to the agency from the private sector.

Kevin Kern, a former senior vice president and CIO at Unisys, will be the Homeland Security Department component’s new CIO.

Kern will replace Thomas Michelli, who became the Coast Guard's deputy CIO in February. The Coast Guard's current CIO, Rear Adm. Robert Day, who also serves as commander of Coast Guard Cyber Command, has said he plans to retire this summer.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on May 06, 2014 at 12:44 PM0 comments


Balderson to lead Northrop Grumman contracting

revolving door

Defense technology giant Northrop Grumman named Diane Balderson vice president of contracts and pricing, a duty she will officially take over from incumbent Harry Q.H. Lee at year’s end.

The position oversees companywide contracts and pricing policy along with Northrop Grumman’s review of contract risk.

Balderson was most recently head of contracting for the Naval Air Systems Command, managing $30 billion in annual “contractual obligations and expenditures,” the Falls Church, Va.-based firm said, adding that she was the first civilian to lead NAVAIR’s contracting organization.

She was also contracting department head for NAVAIR Air Assault and Special Missions, and previously held top contracting posts in the Environmental Protection Agency, according to her Northrop-furnished bio.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on May 06, 2014 at 6:12 AM0 comments


Brubaker heads to AirWatch

Paul Brubaker and Elizabeth McGrath at the 2014 Federal 100 gala

Paul Brubaker, shown here with former Defense Department Deputy Chief Management Officer Elizabeth McGrath at the 2014 Federal 100 gala, will join AirWatch on May 5.

Outgoing Defense Department Director of Planning and Performance Management Paul Brubaker will be joining AirWatch, the VMware-owned mobile security and enterprise mobility management provider.

Brubaker's last day at DOD was May 2; he starts at AirWatch on May 5 as director for the federal market.

AirWatch Chairman Alan Dabbiere said his firm sees federal agencies "as an important strategic market that has incredible potential for dramatically improving its operations and outcomes through broader deployment of secure mobility. We're excited to have Paul join the AirWatch team to lead our federal government expansion."

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on May 02, 2014 at 1:57 PM0 comments


Obama taps IRS vet for OMB controller post

revolving door

President Barack Obama will nominate former IRS CIO David Arthur Mader for the post of controller at the Office of Federal Financial Management.

Mader's government service dates back to the 1970s. He worked at the IRS between 1971 and 2003, and served variously as acting deputy commissioner for modernization and CIO, and as chief for management and finance. He comes to the OMB post from Booz Allen, where he is senior vice president for strategy and organization. He has also worked in the public sector practice at Sirota Survey Intelligence.

The OMB controller post has been something of a revolving door in recent months. Danny Werfel, who held the post during Obama's first term, decamped to the IRS to take over the agency during a political crisis. Norman Dong served as acting controller before taking a senior post at the General Services Administration.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 02, 2014 at 11:05 AM0 comments


The downside of big data

Klossner cartoon for FCW

Posted by John Klossner on Apr 30, 2014 at 10:04 AM0 comments


Pentagon: IT departures won't disrupt relations with industry

Image of the Pentagon

The Pentagon does not see the resignation of CIO Teri Takai and other senior officials as disrupting its coordination with industry on IT issues, Defense Press Secretary John Kirby said April 29 in a briefing with reporters.

"I don't foresee there's going to be any drop off or degradation of our coordination and relationship with industry as a result of this," Kirby said. "Ms. Takai has done a great job in that regard and ... I think she has worked very hard to make sure that that kind of collaboration can continue and we look forward to that."

Takai revealed she was stepping down as DOD's top IT officer in an April 28 email to staff. Her deputy, Robert Carey, left DOD for the private sector in late March, while the Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer -- another important IT policy driver -- has seen three officials leave since last summer.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Apr 29, 2014 at 11:59 AM2 comments


NOAA CIO headed to Justice

revolving door

Joseph F. Klimavicz will take over the CIO slot at the Justice Department next month, filling the seat left vacant when Luke McCormack moved to the Homeland Security Department last November.

Klimavicz has been CIO for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration since 2007.

As NOAA’s CIO, Kilmavicz strengthened cyber security, expanded high performance computing and modernized many of its business systems.

“Joe has the leadership and technical skills needed to oversee the Justice Department’s information management and technology programs,” Deputy Attorney General James M. Cole said in a press release. “Joe is well positioned to lead the department’s efforts to continue to enhance our cyber security protections and our law enforcement sharing programs.”

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Apr 28, 2014 at 12:31 PM0 comments


Takai to leave DOD

Defense Department CIO Teri Takai speaking at a Feb. 20, 2014, press conference.

Defense Department CIO Teri Takai told her staff on April 28 that she will step down in May.

Defense Department CIO Teri Takai is leaving the Pentagon, a spokesperson confirmed April 28. Her last day will be May 2.

The department has no immediate plans to name a successor, the spokesperson said.

Takai became DOD's CIO in October 2010 after a drawn-out process that ended with President Barack Obama withdrawing her nomination and the Pentagon restructuring the position so that it no longer required Senate confirmation.

In her email message to staff, Takai stressed the progress made on aligning DOD's "vast IT networks and resources to move toward a Joint Information Environment," as well as her office's work on cloud and mobile-first initiatives. She also announced an all-hands meeting for April 30.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Apr 28, 2014 at 12:55 PM5 comments


Brubaker leaving DOD

Paul Brubaker and Elizabeth McGrath at the 2014 Federal 100 gala

Paul Brubaker, shown here with former Defense Department Deputy Chief Management Officer Elizabeth McGrath at the 2014 Federal 100 gala, announced to his staff on April 25 that he is leaving the DCMO office for the private sector

Paul Brubaker, the Defense Department's director of planning and performance management in the Office of the Deputy Chief Management Officer, is returning to the private sector. Brubaker shared the news with his staff the morning of April 25.

"This was not a decision that was made easily," Brubaker told his team in an email obtained by FCW. "As some of you know, almost 30 years ago I decided to dedicate my career to making government work better. ... Please know that my decision to change positions at this time remains consistent with my continued desire to play a role in positively transforming government."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Apr 25, 2014 at 7:16 AM4 comments


TASC taps ‘first federal CIO’

Mark Forman

Mark Forman, the man dubbed “the first federal CIO,” has returned to the defense systems firm TASC as vice president for IT services and cloud initiatives, the company announced April 23. Forman was administrator for e-government and IT in the Office of Management and Budget from 2001 to 2003.  

Forman "will help TASC expand the offerings we provide to civil-agency customers, especially in cloud computing and for complex IT systems," Bruce Phillips, a senior vice president at TASC, said in a statement.

Forman, co-founder and president of Government Transaction Services, was a partner at KPMG and a principal for IBM's Global eBusinesss Strategy, according to his TASC bio. He also has legislative-branch experience as a senior staffer on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee (now called the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee), and on the Joint Economic Committee.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Apr 24, 2014 at 9:30 AM0 comments


Why government social media is different

Social Media Tree

The federal government needs to do a better job of explaining its unique position in the constellation of social media users, according to Justin Herman, who leads government-wide social media programs at the General Services Administration.

Privacy law, spending restrictions, and different performance metrics separate the government's public services mission from the private sector's public relations goals, Herman wrote in an April 22 post on the GSA's DigitalGov blog.

"Social media for government is rightfully different from social media for the private sector and amid changing technologies we must better understand these differences in order for agencies, companies and citizens to share in the full opportunities and benefits," he wrote.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 23, 2014 at 9:04 AM1 comments


Borras lands at consulting firm

Rafael Borras

Rafael Borras, former undersecretary for management at the Department of Homeland Security, has joined global management consultancy A.T. Kearney as a senior adviser, according to a company statement released on April 23.

In his new role, Borras will identify commercial best practices in organizational transformation, IT, acquisition and financial management that can be applied in the public sector.

Before his departure from DHS in February, Borras had been at the agency since his 2010 appointment by President Barack Obama. From September to December 2013, Borras served as acting deputy secretary.

As DHS' designated chief management officer, he oversaw management of the department's nearly $60 billion budget, and as chief acquisition officer, he administered approximately $19 billion in annual procurements.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Apr 23, 2014 at 12:35 PM0 comments


Gen. Franz takes over INSCOM

Maj. Gen. George J. Franz III

The U.S. Army on April 17 named Maj. Gen. George J. Franz III commanding general of its Intelligence and Security Command in Ft. Belvoir, Va. INSCOM is a main Army command center for information security and has personnel in 180 locations worldwide.

Franz was previously commander of the Cyber National Mission Force at U.S. Cyber Command in Ft. Meade, where his work earned him a 2014 Federal 100 award. At U.S. Cyber Command, Franz was responsible for developing, training and structuring the nation’s cyber mission forces. He also produced the first cyber forces concept of operations.

Franz served in the Gulf War and the post-9/11 wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, according to a bio on the AFCEA website.

INSCOM did not respond to questions on the appointment by the time of publication.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Apr 18, 2014 at 8:06 AM0 comments


McClure leaving GSA

David McClure at the 2014 Federal 100 gala

David McClure, shown here at the 2014 Federal 100 gala, confirmed to FCW on April 17 that he will retire from the General Services Administration at the end of May.

Dave McClure, associate administrator of the GSA's Office of Citizen Services and Communications confirmed he is retiring from the agency.

In an April 17 email to FCW, McClure declined to discuss his future plans in detail while still on the job, but said he is leaving GSA at the end of May.

News of the April 16 internal email in which McClure announced his retirement plans was first reported by NextGov. GSA did not respond to questions about who might fill the position, but GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said McClure "has played an invaluable role in making this agency a leader in digital innovation.... He has left a strong foundation that everyone at GSA, and the entire federal government, can build on in the years to come."

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Apr 17, 2014 at 10:10 AM1 comments


In-flight Wi-Fi for Con Air

ConAir Wi-Fi

Most of the guests on flights run by the Justice Prisoner and Alien Transportation System might not care, but in-flight Wi-Fi is coming to the U.S. Marshal's airline. The Department of Justice is seeking sources to install Wi-Fi and hard-wired Internet service on two Boeing 737-400 aircraft used for prisoner transportation. The aircraft are based at JPAT's Oklahoma City headquarters.

The service, as the statement of work makes clear, is designed for the pilots and security personnel, not for the convenience of the passengers. The specs call for an air-to-ground network with broadband speeds of 2.5 to 3 megabits per second, the ability to send 10MB email attachments, secure VPN access, and remote desktop support for Apple iPad and Windows PCs. The requirements also include AC power outlets in the cockpit and the cabin for device charging, and a small format printer.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 16, 2014 at 1:33 PM0 comments


DISA's Bennett shifts to private sector

revolving door

Bruce Bennett, a former deputy chief technology officer for the Defense Information Systems Agency, is now an executive consultant at Suss Consulting, the firm announced April 15.

Bennett was also DISA's program executive officer for satellite communications and chief engineer for the Defense Information Systems Network, the agency's global telecom network.

Bennett's value as a federal IT consultant lies in his "breadth of expertise in terrestrial and satellite networks along with his depth of experience in designing, developing and implementing state-of-the-art engineering solutions," Suss Consulting President Warren Suss said in a statement.

At DISA, Bennett was in charge of the engineering and resourcing of terrestrial and commercial satellite communications, among other duties, the Suss Consulting bio said. He pushed programs toward "Everything over Internet Protocol," and called for culture change at DOD to drive technology adoption.

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Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Apr 16, 2014 at 8:00 AM1 comments


Johnson joins CAP as a senior fellow

Clay Johnson

Clay Johnson has no shortage of either fans or critics in the federal IT community -- and now both camps are likely to be hearing a lot more from him.

The Center for American Progress announced on April 15 that Johnson -- the outspoken technologist, author and former presidential innovation fellow -- will be coming aboard as a senior fellow. Johnson is also the founder and CEO of the Department of Better Technology, which focuses on developing government IT solutions. Johnson said the fellowship "has no implications" for DBT.

"A commercial social venture isn't the right home for a lot of the policy and reform work that I do with the federal government," Johnson said, according to CAP. "The Center for American Progress is."

Johnson has been critical of government IT and federal contracting in the wake of the HealthCare.gov launch, saying that the federal procurement system is broken. In his role as a 2012 presidential innovation fellow, he worked on the RFP-EZ procurement system, which continues to be used for certain acquisition efforts. In 2010, Johnson was a Federal 100 Winner for his work as director of Sunlight Labs.

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Apr 15, 2014 at 12:59 PM0 comments


Carey heading to CSC

Robert Carey

Robert Carey, who served as principal deputy CIO at the Defense Department for three-and-a-half years before stepping down last month, revealed at his April 11 retirement party that he will join CSC as vice president of public sector, cyber.

Before becoming DOD's principal deputy CIO in October 2010, Carey spent four years as CIO of the Department of the Navy.

A veteran of the Gulf and Iraq wars, Carey was also a 2013 Federal 100 winner and was named Defense Executive of the Year for 2009 by GCN, FCW's sister publication.

CSC officials declined to comment on Carey's role at the Falls Church, Va.-based firm.

CSC ranked 15th on the Federal Procurement Data System's list of the top 100 government contractors in 2013; the company earned $3.47 billion under federal contracts last year. One of the products in Carey's charge could be an offering CSC released earlier this month called AppSEC on Demand, which tests the security of software and helps clients build security into the development process.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Apr 14, 2014 at 12:11 PM2 comments


NOAA, NASA finalists in web design competition

Don't be a cog in the machine

NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration are among the five nominees for the 2014 Webby Awards for government websites. NOAA was nominated for Climate.gov, while NASA was nominated for its main site.

NOAA’s site includes news about weather trends, interactive maps and learning resources like a “Teaching Climate Literacy Webinar.

“Our goals are to promote public understanding of climate science and climate-related events, to make our data products and services easy to access and use, to provide climate-related support to the private sector and the Nation’s economy, and to serve people making climate-related decisions with tools and resources that help them answer specific questions,” its site said.

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Apr 10, 2014 at 6:40 AM0 comments


Better Government Competition seeks agency tech ideas

compass innovation

Got an idea for using technology to make government run better? It could win you $10,000 from the 2014 Better Government Competition.

The Better Government Competition is a project of the Pioneer Institute, a non-profit and non-partisan research organization focused on improving public policy in Massachusetts. Ideas and innovations from the federal level are welcome, however, particularly when focused on information-sharing, fraud detection, reducing energy costs or streamlining agencies' reporting, licensing and regulatory processes. The focus of this year's contest is "leveraging technology to transform the public sector."

The deadline is fast approaching; submissions in the form of short "idea papers" must be received by April 16. And determining what your ethics officer thinks of such a contest is up to you!

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Apr 09, 2014 at 9:44 AM0 comments


Contreras-Sweet sworn in at SBA

Maria Contreras-Sweet being sworn is as administrator of the Small Business Administration on April 7, 2014

President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden both took part in the April 7 swearing-in ceremony for Maria Contreras-Sweet as administrator of the Small Business Administration. She was nominated for the post in January and confirmed by the Senate on March 27.

"I nominated Maria because she knows firsthand the challenges that small businesses go through," Obama said at the ceremony, "and she has a proven track record of helping them succeed."

Contreras-Sweet, a first-generation Mexican-American, founder of ProAmérica Bank and a former California state official, said her mission "is to make the SBA an agency that's as innovative as the small businesses that we serve."

Posted by FCW Staff on Apr 08, 2014 at 3:32 PM0 comments


Air Force names new head of contracting

Gen. Casey Blake

Brig. Gen. Casey Blake was named on April 4 to replace Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello as the Air Force's deputy assistant secretary for contracting. Masiello has been nominated by President Barack Obama to be director of the Defense Contract Management Agency.

A 30-year Air Force veteran, Blake currently serves as commander of the Air Force Installation Contracting Agency, which is based at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. In that role, he has directed strategic sourcing efforts for the Air Force and overseen $3.9 billion in annual obligations.

Note: This article was updated on April 9 to correct the date on which Blake was named to his new post.

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Apr 04, 2014 at 2:14 PM0 comments


Masiello named to head Defense Contract Management Agency

Wendy Masiello

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced April 1 that President Barack Obama has nominated Air Force Maj. Gen. Wendy Masiello to be director of the Defense Contract Management Agency. Charlie Williams was director of DCMA until late 2013; Deputy Director James Russell has been running the agency on an acting basis since then.

If confirmed by the Senate, Masiello would also be promoted to lieutenant general. 

Masiello currently serves as the Air Force's deputy assistant secretary for contracting -- a role in which she has pushed the Air Force to be an early adopter of the General Services Administration's OASIS contracting vehicle, and warned publicly of the risks posed by agencies' shortage of experienced contracting personnel. In 2011, she won a Federal 100 award for her work as the Air Force's program executive officer for combat and mission support.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Apr 02, 2014 at 10:34 AM0 comments


Mazer steps down as Interior CIO

Interior Department CIO Bernard Mazer is retiring after more than 25 years in government. 

Federal News Radio, which first reported the news, quoted an internal agency email as saying Mazer would stay until July to assist with the transition, but would step out of his CIO role immediately. 

Mazer won a 2014 Federal 100 award for his leadership in consolidating Interior’s IT operations, and for driving the department's Foundation Cloud Hosting Services contract.

He will be replaced on an interim basis by Sylvia Burns, Interior's acting associate deputy CIO for service planning and management.

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Mar 28, 2014 at 12:50 PM2 comments


Rochford to run telecom technology lab

The National Institute of Standards and Technology has named Kent Rochford as its director of a new wireless telecommunications lab it runs with the National Telecommunications and Information Administration.

The Communication Technology Laboratory (CTL) is based at NIST's Boulder, Colo., research facilities and seeks to advance understanding of spectrum use with the goal of promoting better spectrum-sharing approaches. NIST and NTIA announced formation of the lab last year, and NIST said on March 26 that its appointment of Rochford was effective March 24.

The center will be jointly managed by Rochford and the director of NTIA's Institute for Telecommunication Sciences.

According to NIST's announcement, Rochford had been senior director of Sharp Labs of America. He is also a NIST veteran, having previously served as chief of NIST's Optoelectronics Division, director of its Electronics and Electrical Engineering Laboratory, and director of operations at the agency's Boulder Laboratories.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Mar 27, 2014 at 10:15 AM0 comments


Pentagon Deputy CIO Carey retires

Robert Carey

Robert J. Carey, principal deputy chief information officer at the Department of Defense, announced his retirement in an email to colleagues on March 26.

His last day on the job will be March 28.

Carey has been in his current position since October 2010. Before that, he was CIO of the Department of the Navy, where he succeeded Dave Wennergren in 2006.

Carey's federal career spans more than three decades. His service began with the Army at the Aberdeen Proving Ground in 1982. He switched to the Department of the Navy in 1985, where he worked in a variety of engineering and leadership positions. He joined the staff of the Navy CIO in February 2000 and was promoted to deputy CIO in December 2002.

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Posted by John Bicknell on Mar 26, 2014 at 10:19 AM0 comments


Reeder recognized for role in launching Fed 100

Franklin Reeder

FCW's 25th Federal 100 gala included one additional award that was long overdue. Frank Reeder, a 25-year Office of Management and Budget official who has also shaped federal IT from the legislative branch and various non-governmental organizations, was honored for his role in creating the Fed 100. 

Reeder, who in the late 1980s was head of the information policy branch at OMB's Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, approached FCW’s editors about finding a way to shine a light on the good things happening in government. The result -- with its community-driven nomination process, blue-ribbon judging panel, and stand-up comic instead of drawn-out speeches -- was the Federal 100 awards that continue to this day.

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Mar 25, 2014 at 12:09 PM1 comments


Chief acquisition officer leaves GSA for White House

Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

GSA Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung will move to the White House to head up the Office of Management and Budget's Office of Federal Procurement Policy, sources with  knowledge of the move told FCW.

Rung will replace Joe Jordan as administrator at OFPP. Jordan stepped down in January to accept a position as president of public sector at FedBid, a privately held company that offers a reverse-auction marketplace in which companies compete for government business by bidding down their prices

At GSA, Rung has had a dual role as chief acquisition officer and associate administrator for the Office of Governmentwide Policy.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Mar 17, 2014 at 9:33 AM1 comments


GSA's cloud computing program manager retiring

revolving door

FCW has learned that Katie Lewin, program manager for cloud computing at the General Services Administration, is retiring.

Multiple sources told FCW that Lewin accepted a position at Falls Church, Va.-based CSC, an IT services and solutions company. The company refused to comment.

Lewin is known for her role as the driving force behind the launch of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP), the government's standardized approach to cloud computing. Her efforts helped federal agencies efficiently develop cloud computing capabilities, carrying out the federal cloud initiative in four key areas: the Apps.gov website, E-mail in the Cloud, Security as a Service and Data Center Consolidation. Much of this work came at a time when cloud computing was in its infancy in government.

Well-known in the federal IT community, Lewin worked to establish collaboration among government and industry stakeholders, addressing security issues, standards and operational issues.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Mar 14, 2014 at 12:00 PM0 comments


DHS cyber framework team named

Phyllis Schneck

Phyllis Schneck will lead a new team at DHS dedicated to implementing the cybersecurity framework.

The Department of Homeland Security formally announced the leadership team in the National Protection and Programs Directorate's Office of Cybersecurity and Communications that will help implement the cybersecurity framework for critical infrastructure systems unveiled by the White House in February.

A blog post on the agency's website the evening of March 12 said the new team, drawn from top White House and DHS cybersecurity managers, will work under the direction of Deputy Undersecretary for Cybersecurity and Communications Phyllis Schneck.

According to the joint post by Schneck and NPPD Deputy Undersecretary Suzanne Spaulding, Andy Ozment will join the team as assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications. Ozment had previously been director of compliance and technology under the chief information security officer at DHS, and he returns to the department after working as senior director for cybersecurity at the White House since 2012.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Mar 13, 2014 at 12:16 PM0 comments


FEMA's new CISO comes aboard

Donna Bennett, the Federal Emergency Management Agency's new chief information security officer, started her job on March 10.

Bennett reports to FEMA CIO Adrian Gardner and will serve as the division chief for the Office of Information Assurance, according to a FEMA staff announcement.

In accordance with the Federal Information Security Management Act and subordinate regulations, Bennett is responsible for all aspects of the agency's information security program, FEMA said.

Bennett had been the National Defense University's senior information assurance officer, which gave her responsibility for NDU's information systems in Washington, D.C., and at campuses in Norfolk, Va., and Fort Bragg, N.C.

Gardner said Bennett has held several high-level positions at the Defense Department, including a stint as information assurance portfolio manager for European Command and Africa Command.

Bennett earned a bachelor's degree in computer information systems from Saint Leo University and a master of science degree in information assurance from Norwich University. She is also a graduate of the Senior Executive Service Development Seminar. While on active duty in the Navy, Bennett was named Sailor of the Year at Naval Amphibious Base, according to the FEMA announcement.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Mar 12, 2014 at 12:57 PM0 comments


Professional Services Council launches tech policy group

Anne Altman

Anne Altman, IBM's general manager for federal government and industries, will oversee the executive advisory board for the Professional Services Council's new technology policy council.

An IBM executive will chair the Professional Services Council's new technology policy council.

Anne Altman, IBM's general manager for federal government and industries, will oversee the executive advisory board for the group.

Other members of the panel are Pat Finn, senior vice president of Cisco's U.S. Public Sector Organization; Wes Anderson, vice president of Worldwide Public Sector Services at Microsoft; George Newstrom, president of Dell Services Federal Government; Randy Fuerst, president and chief operating officer of Oceus Networks; and Robin Lineberger, head of Deloitte's Aerospace and Defense Practice.

More members are expected to be named soon, and a senior executive will be named to the PSC staff to support the board's work.

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Mar 11, 2014 at 9:38 AM0 comments


Verizon exec joins TechAmerica board

Verizon's Sonya Cork

Sonya Cork, vice president of public sector markets for Verizon Enterprise Solutions, has joined the TechAmerica Public Sector Board of Directors.

Cork, a 26-year communications and IT solutions veteran in civilian and defense agencies, will provide significant insight to the board as it guides the trade association’s technology advocacy on important issues to the federal and state contracting communities.

She currently oversees business development and sales activities for defense and national security accounts for Verizon.

“Sonya brings an extensive background in the world of government contracting that will help inform the policy positions we take on behalf of our membership,” said Shawn Osborne, president and CEO of TechAmerica.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Mar 06, 2014 at 4:50 AM1 comments


ACT-IAC taps executive partners

mentor and student

The American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council announced its 32 government and private sector employees who will pair up in preparation for future roles in senior executive service and corporate executive officer positions.

The 2014 Partners Program includes 16 government employees and 16 industry counterparts who were nominated by their organizations and chosen by a panel made up of government and industry executives.

“ACT-IAC advocates for a closer alignment of the government and private sector in the federal IT community and the Partners Program embodies that mission,” Kay Ely, 2014 Partners Program government chairwoman, said in a prepared statement. “The differentiator of the program is that each government and industry participant is paired with their counterpart to engage in thoughtful dialogue and training throughout the year.”

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Mar 04, 2014 at 7:15 AM0 comments


CIO Council revives Workforce Committee

diagram of work team

The Executive Committee of the CIO Council has relaunched a panel intended to address challenges in creating and maintaining an effective federal IT workforce.

The CIO Council’s Workforce Committee will focus on areas such as recruiting, retaining and training IT staff. 

A lack of qualified personnel and setbacks that have burdened the federal workforce across the board, such as sequestration, are prominent issues for government IT. A recent online poll showed that half of the federal workforce is considering a job outside the government.

“The Executive Committee of the CIO Council has re-established the Workforce Committee to address the myriad challenges CIOs face in creating an effective and efficient workforce that enables agency mission success,” the group said in a news release. “This committee will focus CIO Council resources on creating the tools and resources necessary for CIOs to create an exemplary IT workforce.”

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Feb 28, 2014 at 9:27 AM0 comments


FedRAMP gets an OnRAMP

FedRAMP logo -- GSA image

You can now track cloud services providers' progress toward complying with the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program as easily as you track your online pizza order.

On Feb. 27, MeriTalk unveiled an initial version of its FedRAMP OnRAMP portal, a collaborative effort with the General Services Administration that provides visibility into existing commercial and government secure cloud service offerings.

The portal's release comes four months ahead of the June deadline for CSPs to achieve compliance, a deadline that has many firms chasing the dozen that have already certified a total of 14 solutions.

"They're either in the pipeline or not in the pipeline, and we're working collaboratively with GSA to update this and add new vendors as they come on board," said Steve O'Keeffe, founder of MeriTalk's Cloud Computing Exchange.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Feb 27, 2014 at 5:49 PM0 comments


Szykman to leave Commerce

revolving door

Commerce Department CIO Simon Szykman plans to leave government later this spring.  A senior Commerce official told FCW that Szykman notified his team and component-agency CIOs of his plans on Feb. 20.

Szykman gave his colleagues no firm departure date, and did not specify what his future plans involve beyond shifting to the private sector. 

Posted by FCW Staff on Feb 20, 2014 at 2:04 PM0 comments


Navy honors Cieslak, others for IT excellence

Navy logo

Randall Cieslak, CIO for U.S. Pacific Command, was among the five award winners in the federal information community announced Feb. 20 by the Navy. Cieslak was named the Navy's Cyberspace/IT Person of the Year for his consolidation of USPACOM networks.

"The strategy he proposed to collapse multiple networks into a shared infrastructure and enhance security with the implementation of Internet Protocol v6 is a model of modernization and transformation activity to be emulated by others," according to a news release from the Navy CIO.

Chris Ferguson, lead applications developer for the Navy's Assistant for Administration, was one of the two Cyberspace/IT Rising Star winners for his role in establishing a DON/AA public portal. The other was Anthony Winns, the unit's customer support lead.

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Feb 20, 2014 at 10:22 AM0 comments


New leader named at Navy Cyber Command

Jan E. Tighe, U.S. Navy Fleet Cyber Command

Rear Adm. Jan Tighe currently serves as the Navy Cyber Command's deputy commander.

With Vice Adm. Mike Rogers named to head up the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, the U.S. Fleet Cyber Command/10th Fleet received word Feb. 14 of who, if confirmed, will take his place at the helm.

Navy Rear Adm. Jan Tighe, currently serving as the Navy Cyber Command's deputy commander, was nominated by President Barack Obama to step up into the commander role. She faces Senate confirmation before formally assuming leadership.

Tighe would be the first woman to command both Fleet Cyber Command and the 10th Fleet, the latter being the numbered fleet for the Navy's cyber component.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 14, 2014 at 11:09 AM0 comments


A little help, please?

John Klossner for FCW

Posted by John Klossner on Feb 14, 2014 at 8:16 AM0 comments


Air Force headquarters transitions to enterprise email

email

The Air Force's headquarters offices, mostly based in the national capital region, has completed migration to the Defense Department's enterprise email system, according to a DOD release.

Roughly 7,800 unclassified email accounts, plus an additional 1,300 mobile devices, transitioned from Air Force-managed e-mail accounts to enterprise e-mail over the course of 60 days. DOD's enterprise-mail program is led by the Defense Information Systems Agency.

The Air Force's move follows the Army's migration to the program, which was completed in August 2013. It remains to be determined what or when other components of the Air Force will follow headquarters into enterprise e-mail, but the initial transition marks the first since DOD CIO Teri Takai issued a mandate that all of the military must move to enterprise email by the first quarter of fiscal 2015.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 06, 2014 at 2:45 PM0 comments


Former Army CIO heads to Booz Allen Hamilton

Susan Lawrence

Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, who retired in October 2013 as Army CIO, started work on Feb. 3 as a senior vice president at defense contracting giant Booz Allen Hamilton, according to the company.

Lawrence will help lead Booz Allen's Defense Market Group, where her experience with Defense Department enterprise IT efforts will be put to work in the company's initiatives in IT; cybersecurity; command, control, communications and computers; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance; and emerging defense technologies.

Prior to her role as Army CIO, Lawrence served as commanding general of the Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

At the Pentagon, Lawrence has been succeeded by the newly promoted Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, who Army officials note is the first African American to serve as CIO.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 05, 2014 at 12:19 PM5 comments


Childs retires after 45 years of government service

Robert D. Childs, who has served as the dean of faculty and chancellor of the National Defense University iCollege for more than 20 years, retired at the end of January. Under his tenure, the college grew from an institution focused on information resources management into a 21st century organization to educate the next generation of leaders in the realities of digital government.

In 2010, the Department of Education approved the college's program for a government information leader master of science degree. Childs expanded the courses to include cyber awareness and defense and the programs to include international students.

Childs is a five-time winner of the Federal 100 award and was the GCN Hall of Fame winner for 2013. CACI Vice President David Wennegren, who worked closely with Childs in several executive capacities at the Department of Defense, told GCN that "Bob was has always been a step ahead, with a new course offering, a new approach, or a new program ready to be deployed."

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Posted by Anne Armstrong on Feb 05, 2014 at 8:44 AM0 comments


Feb. 7 last day on the job for Borras

Rafael Borras

Homeland Security Undersecretary of Management Rafael Borras' last day at the department will be Feb. 7.

In an internal DHS email dated Feb. 4 obtained by FCW, DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson said Borras will depart Friday, capping four years of service in various leadership positions. Deputy Undersecretary Chris Cummiskey will serve as acting undersecretary for management beginning Feb.10, Johnson said.

Government and industry sources contacted by FCW the week of Jan. 27 said Borras would step down the week of Feb. 3 to pursue interests in the private sector.

"I want to personally thank Rafael for his incredible service to the Department. He has provided valuable leadership to DHS as both the Under Secretary for Management and as Acting Deputy Secretary," said Johnson's department-wide email.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Feb 04, 2014 at 10:03 AM0 comments


Turnover at top DOD, DHS S&T posts

revolving door

The two top Pentagon positions for policy and budget will soon have new faces as Undersecretary of Defense for Policy James Miller and longtime Defense Department Comptroller Bob Hale both step down. The news comes amid a number of other staffing changes at DOD.

Miller announced his resignation in December, and Hale's announcement comes as President Barack Obama on Jan. 30 nominated Mike McCord, principal deputy undersecretary of Defense, to succeed Hale.

McCord's nomination was announced alongside a number of other high-level positions.

Christine Wormuth has been nominated replace Miller, the latest in a recent series of women to ascend to the Pentagon's highest ranks. Christine Fox was appointed acting deputy secretary in December, the same month Deborah Lee James was confirmed as Air Force secretary. In the Jan. 30 announcement, Obama also nominated Miranda Ballentine, currently working in the private sector, to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for installations, environment and logistics.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 31, 2014 at 10:33 AM1 comments


Rockefeller blasts private-sector metadata storage plan

Jay Rockefeller

Sen. Jay Rockefeller says he'd rather see NSA bulk data remain in the government's hands than be entrusted to the private sector.

Sen. Jay Rockefeller took aim at an Obama administration proposal to move storage of bulk telephonic metadata from government systems inside the intelligence community to telecommunications companies, saying he did not “believe we can come up with a better alternative.”

"I am concerned any change of our current framework will harm both national security and privacy,” the West Virginia Democrat said at a Jan. 29 hearing of the Intelligence Committee.

Rather than ask questions of four intelligence chiefs gathered for the annual unclassified "threat assessment" hearing, Rockefeller used his time to issue a blistering broadside against the idea of reverting storage of data collected by government under the authority of Section 215 of the Patriot Act to private sector telecommunications companies. Rockefeller, who chairs the Commerce Committee, has long experience overseeing telecom regulators.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jan 29, 2014 at 1:45 PM1 comments


Werfel officially out of government

Danny Werfel

Back in December, the Internal Revenue Service gave a heads up of now-former OMB Controller Danny Werfel's intentions to leave the White House and the federal government for the private sector.

Werfel's last day of government employment was Dec. 31, the Office of Management and Budget confirmed on Jan. 27 after news reports that Werfel had left.

Werfel was tapped by the White House last May to be acting commissioner at the IRS. According to OMB, Deputy Controller Norman Dong has performed the duties of OMB's controller since Werfel took on the IRS job.

The IRS said in a Dec. 20 statement to reporters after current IRS Commissioner John Koskinen's confirmation by the Senate that Werfel would remain at the IRS through Dec. 31 to ensure a smooth transition of leadership. "Following that, Mr. Werfel intends to take some time with his family, while exploring future opportunities outside of government," said the statement.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jan 27, 2014 at 12:20 PM0 comments


Challenge.gov claims innovation honor

man with light bulb sign

The General Services Administration's Challenge.gov, which uses contests to engage with the public and spark new ideas, is the winner of the Innovations in American Government Award.

The award is presented by the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government. The award was established in 1985, and the center received more than 600 applications last year.

Since GSA launched Challenge.gov in 2010, 59 federal agencies have used the site to hold more than 300 contests that have resulted in new apps, software and designs.

"The success of Challenge.gov has really been a result of people seeing an opportunity to get outcomes that they might not have been able to realize before," said GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini. "It really revolutionizes the way we go to the marketplace and ask people to help us resolve the issues in government."

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Jan 23, 2014 at 11:28 AM0 comments


TechAmerica hires state/local VP

Russ Guarna, TechAmerica

TechAmerica has bolstered its public-sector operations, adding Russ Guarna as vice president for public sector/state and local government.

Guarna joins Mike Hettinger, senior vice president for the public sector, as recent additions to TechAmerica's public sector group.

Guarna was formerly deputy director of the statewide technology procurement division in California's Department of Technology.

In that role, Guarna led a team of procurement specialists in the acquisition of large-scale IT integrated solutions and the next generation of telecommunication and public safety communications contracts.

He has also served as deputy director of the California Technology Agency's program and policy management areas, providing oversight of the state's multibillion dollar IT project portfolio.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jan 22, 2014 at 12:54 PM0 comments


AT&T bolsters public-sector team

Michael Leff, AT&T Government Solutions

AT&T Government Solutions announced Jan. 21 that Michael Leff, formerly a managing director at Accenture, was named a vice president and will lead AGS across federal civilian departments and agencies.

Leff is the third senior executive to join AGS's public sector group in recent months. Former General Services Administration CIO Casey Coleman's first day on the job as client executive vice president was Jan. 21. Former Agriculture Department CIO Chris Smith, another onetime Accenture exec, joined AGS in November as vice president for technology.

"Joining the AT&T Government Solutions team is a tremendous opportunity," Leff said in a press release. "I'm looking forward to combining the strength of AT&T's expansive network and resources with my own experience in assisting civilian agencies to achieve and advance their missions."

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Jan 21, 2014 at 10:07 AM0 comments


Gates: NSA ‘primary weapon in this conflict’

Robert Gates

Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates, on a press tour promoting his new book, "Duty: Memoirs of a Secretary at War," spoke at a Jan. 16 Politico Playbook event in Washington. The hour-long conversation with Politico’s Mike Allen covered a lot of ground, but a few gems on intelligence leaks and cybersecurity emerged during the discussion. 

On stopping leaks: “The president and I were about the only people at the table who weren’t taking notes. At one point, when the president was really angry about leaks, I turned to him and said, ‘Mr. President, would you look around the table? Everybody’s writing! And they’re all going to go back and brief their staffs, and their staff will brief everybody else. If you want to stop leaks, tell everybody to put their damn pencils down. Say there’s one note-taker for the meeting, and he or she is from the National Security Council staff, and no one else is allowed to take notes.’ Uh, that never happened.” 

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 21, 2014 at 12:10 PM0 comments


GSA's Koses moves up

Jeff Koses_GSA

GSA's Jeff Koses

Jeff Koses, director of acquisition operations for the General Supplies and Services portfolio at the General Services Administration's Federal Acquisition Service, has been named senior procurement executive in the agency's Office of Governmentwide Policy.

Koses will start in his new position Jan. 30 and be reporting to Anne Rung, who became associate administrator of the Office of Governmentwide Policy in August. Rung had been GSA's chief acquisition officer.

Jim Ghiloni, director of the One Acquisition Solution for Integrated Services Program Management Office, will step in as acting director of acquisitions operations at FAS. Sources familiar with the moves said Ghiloni will keep his OASIS duties as well. GSA's OASIS team has said it expects to award contracts in early 2014.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jan 17, 2014 at 1:34 PM0 comments


McCormack named vice chair of CIO Council

Along with his new job as chief information officer at DHS, Luke McCormack will also serve as vice chair of the Federal CIO Council.

The DHS's newly installed CIO was appointed to the council position Jan. 8. The move comes only a few weeks after McCormack officially stepped into the DHS CIO job. That position was vacated by Richard Spires last March and held by acting CIO Margie Graves until McCormack came on board in December.

Spires had also been vice chair at the Federal CIO Council while serving as DHS CIO.

Before being tapped in October to fill the DHS CIO slot, McCormack had been CIO and deputy assistant attorney general for information resources management at the Justice Department, a post he had held since February 2012.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jan 17, 2014 at 5:11 AM0 comments


Issa, Connolly launch Cloud Caucus

US Capitol

Though they are occasionally fierce political rivals, Reps. Darrell Issa and Gerry Connolly see eye to eye on many problems in federal IT acquisitions. The California Republican and the Virginia Democrat are inviting members to join the new bipartisan Congressional Cloud Computing Caucus, "dedicated to fostering awareness and understanding of this critical IT issue."

The announcement came at the Jan 16 Cloud Computing Brainstorm sponsored by MeriTalk.

The two previously teamed up to sponsor the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), a bill to strengthen CIO authorities at agencies and encourage enterprise-wide IT buying practices. FITARA is strongly supportive of cloud transition and would require the CIO Council to establish "government-wide standards for security assessments pertaining to cloud offerings"

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jan 16, 2014 at 12:10 PM2 comments


Klossner's Predictions for 2014

Klossner on 2014

Posted by John Klossner on Jan 15, 2014 at 1:16 PM0 comments


Former DOD official to lead industrial base review

Image of the Pentagon

A recently retired Pentagon policy leader is set to head up a review of the defense industrial base that will aim to help inform budgetary decision making. 

Brett Lambert, who stepped down last August as deputy assistant secretary of Defense for manufacturing and industrial base policy, will spearhead the review for the National Defense Industrial Association, according to the Washington Post.  

NDIA Chairman Arnold Punaro said the hope is that companies will be more open with an industry-led group than they might be with the government. The analysis comes as DOD leaders seek ways to implement billions of dollars in cuts and continue with acquisition reform efforts. 

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 13, 2014 at 10:21 AM0 comments


Elizabeth McGrath joins Deloitte

Elizabeth McGrath

Longtime Defense Department official Elizabeth McGrath, who announced her retirement from DOD in November, has joined Deloitte Consulting LLP as a director in its federal practice.

McGrath, who served as the Pentagon’s first deputy chief management officer and as its performance improvement officer, finished her 25-year public sector career focusing on financial management, business operations and enterprise-wide systems efficiencies.

According to Deloitte, McGrath will now serve as an adviser to its federal government and commercial clients with an emphasis on innovation and improving business operations.

“We are delighted that Beth has joined Deloitte," said Janet Foutty, principal, Federal Practice Leader and Federal Consulting national managing director, Deloitte Consulting LLP. "Her knowledge, experience and relationships will be instrumental in helping our federal and military clients achieve their mission goals as well as strengthen Deloitte's deep capabilities in the Federal marketplace." 

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jan 09, 2014 at 9:44 AM0 comments


Changing of the guard at Army IT commands

Gen. John Morrison

The Army Network Enterprise Technology Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz., has a new man at the helm: Brig. Gen. John B. Morrison, Jr., who most recently served as commanding general of the 7th Signal Command at Fort Gordon, Ga.

Morrison, who also formerly headed up the Army's LandWarNet/Battle Command and is a 2012 FCW Federal 100 winner, replaces interim commander Brig. Gen. Peter Gallagher. Gallagher stepped in when former commander Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn was named vice director of the Defense Information Systems Agency in September.

Morrison is set to be succeeded at Fort Gordon by Brig. Gen. John Baker, currently director of the J-6 at U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base, Fla.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 09, 2014 at 4:52 AM0 comments


What Mandiant-FireEye merger means for the federal market

world map

When network security company FireEye announced Jan. 2 that it acquired cybersecurity firm Mandiant, it signaled a union of two of the biggest names in next-generation IT and network security. But it also raised a lot of questions about what the merger means for the broader cybersecurity market and for the federal government, which routinely contracts both companies to protect and respond to threats on U.S. networks.

Less than a week after the announcement, it's not entirely clear what will happen in the rapidly growing cybersecurity market, but it is a safe bet that competitors will be watching closely and customers – including executives in both the public and private sectors – will be assessing how to move forward with their own security measures.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 07, 2014 at 1:15 PM0 comments


GSA CIO heads for private sector

revolving door

General Services Administration CIO Casey Coleman is leaving her position at the agency to become a vice president at AT&T Government Solutions.

AGS, a division of AT&T Inc. that serves federal agencies, said Jan. 7 it had named Coleman as client executive vice president. Her first day at her new job will be Jan. 21.

Sonny Hashmi, GSA's deputy CIO, has agreed to serve as acting CIO when Coleman leaves, GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini said in a statement.

GSA Deputy Administrator Susan Brita will also be leaving the agency, Tangherlini said, and Denise Turner Roth will assume the role of deputy administrator on March 14.

Coleman, who has served as CIO for GSA's Federal Acquisition Service and Federal Technology Service, oversees the GSA's Office of the Chief Information Officer, and manages the agency's $600 million information technology budget.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jan 07, 2014 at 12:38 PM0 comments


New Army CIO takes over

Maj Gen Robert Ferrell

Maj. Gen. Robert Ferrell reported to duty as the Army's new CIO/G-6 on Jan. 6, after being confirmed by the Senate and promoted from the rank of major general on Dec. 20, a CIO/G-6 spokesperson confirmed.

Ferrell previously served as commanding general of the Army Communications- Electronics Command and Aberdeen Proving Ground in Aberdeen, Md. He now is working at the CIO/G-6 offices in the Pentagon.

Ferrell, a native of Anniston, Ala., has served in the Army for 36 years, including nearly two years at CECOM.

He succeeds Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence, who retired in October. At CECOM, Chief of Staff Col. Charles Gibson will serve as acting commander until a new commanding general is named, Bob DiMichele, CECOM public affairs officers, told the Baltimore Sun.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 06, 2014 at 12:35 PM0 comments


Longtime GSA IT official calls it a day

John Ray_GSA

John Ray began his federal civilian IT career during the Nixon administration. Now, after 42 years on the job -- more than 39 at the General Services Administration -- he has hung up his government hat. His last day on the job was Dec. 1.

"John's career in GSA policy has provided a model for others," said John Sullivan, data management official at the Office of Government-wide Policy, "demonstrating that one very knowledgeable person can have substantial positive impact in the government." 

Ray dealt with computer and telecommunications procurement at GSA starting in 1974, before being promoted to managing the procurement program for computer services across the government.

In 1989, Ray transferred to the Information Resources Management Service – now the Office of Government-wide Policy -- where he offered recommendations on proposed legislation, reviewed drafts of presidential memos and assessed circulars on information system, cybersecurity and acquisition topics.

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Dec 30, 2013 at 11:52 PM1 comments


The wrong way to engage

John Klossner for FCW - Employee Engagement

Posted by John Klossner on Dec 23, 2013 at 5:43 AM0 comments


DHS deputy secretary confirmed

Alejandro Mayorkas

Alejandro Mayorkas

The Senate has confirmed Alejandro Mayorkas as deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security, the No. 2 position at DHS.

The vote was 54-41 along party lines. Republicans who opposed confirmation cited an investigation of Mayorkas by the department's inspector general, part of a broader inquiry into the foreign investor program at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which Mayorkas previously led.

He is alleged to have helped obtain visas for Gulf Coast Funds Management, a firm led by Anthony Rodham, brother of former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. Mayorkas denies the allegations.

Senate Democrats said the investigation has revealed nothing improper about Mayorkas' actions. The probe is expected to continue until February.

He will step into the job just as the department gets a new secretary, former Pentagon Chief Counsel Jeh Johnson, who was confirmed earlier this week. DHS' Acting Undersecretary for Management Chris Cummiskey told attendees at a Washington, D.C., technology conference on Dec. 18 that Johnson is set to start work on Dec. 23.

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Posted by John Bicknell on Dec 20, 2013 at 10:40 AM0 comments


TechAmerica taps new head for public sector

Michael Hettinger

TechAmerica named a new head of its public sector group on Dec. 19, about a month and a half after the departure of several key employees to a competing tech association.

Mike Hettinger, who TechAmerica called a leader in the public-sector technology industry, will become the association's senior vice president for the public sector. Hettinger brings extensive experience on Capitol Hill, in the private sector and with trade associations.

TechAmerica is currently embroiled in a legal battle with rival Information Technology Industry Council over ITI's hiring of a number of TechAmerica's public-sector executives, including Hettinger's predecessor Trey Hodgkins.

Hettinger had been vice president for the Public Sector Innovation Group at the Software and Information Industry Association. Previously, he served as executive director of Grant Thornton's Global Public Sector practice, where he oversaw strategic planning and market development.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Dec 19, 2013 at 9:59 AM0 comments


Former Microsoft exec to take over HealthCare.gov 'tech surge'

Kurt DelBene

Kurt DelBene will lead repair efforts for the troubled HealthCare.gov.

Former Microsoft executive Kurt DelBene will take over from Jeff Zients as the man in charge of fixing the troubled HealthCare.gov website. Zients will move on to the post of director of the National Economic Council in February.

"Kurt will provide management expertise, operations oversight, and critical advice on additional enrollment channels, field operations, marketing and communications," Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said. "The president and I believe strongly in having one person, with strong experience and expertise in management and execution, who is thinking 24/7 about HealthCare.gov. Kurt's leadership and management of HealthCare.gov will be in consultation with [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] Administrator Marilyn Tavenner and in partnership with the project's general contractor, QSSI."

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Dec 17, 2013 at 10:54 AM2 comments


James confirmed as Air Force secretary

Deborah Lee James

The Senate on Dec. 13 confirmed Deborah Lee James as Air Force secretary on a vote of 79-6, nearly three months after her confirmation hearing. President Barack Obama nominated her to the position Aug. 1.

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) had blocked a vote on James' confirmation pending a request for further information about the Air Force's A-10 aircraft program. Ayotte lifted her hold in October.

New Senate rules make it much more difficult for lawmakers to indefinitely stall executive branch and judicial nominees, and James is the latest in a string of picks who have been ushered through since the change went into effect Nov. 21.

"On behalf of the more than 690,000 men and women of the U.S. Air Force, I want to welcome Secretary James to our Air Force family," Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said in a Dec. 13 statement. "I'm confident that she'll lead us with the same vision and passion she's shown throughout her public service and private sector leadership, building on the extraordinary accomplishments of our Acting Secretary Eric Fanning, who has magnificently led our Air Force these last few months."

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Dec 13, 2013 at 9:17 AM1 comments


How many Commerce CIOs does it take to...?

If the question is "... round out the guest list for Deltek's 2013 holiday party," the answer is five:

Commerce CIOs: Reed Phillips, Roger Baker, Simon Syzkman, Alan Balutis and Barry West at the December 2013 Deltek holiday party.

Left to right: Reed Phillips, Roger Baker, Simon Syzkman, Alan Balutis and Barry West.

(Thanks to West for sharing the photo!)

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Dec 09, 2013 at 7:25 AM0 comments


Davie: GSA saved a billion on 2013 IT buys

Mary Davie, GSA

The General Services Administration helped save its government customers more than $1 billion on IT products, services and solutions in 2013, according to a key technology acquisition executive.

GSA's Office of Integrated Technology Services met its goal of $1.35 billion in savings for federal users through innovative procurement methods, wrote Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for ITS, in a Dec. 3 post on her "Great Government Through Technology" blog.

Davie followed up on a November post by Bill Lewis, ITS' Networx program manager, in which he said the government saved an average of 35 percent off commercial prices by using Networx telecommunications contracting vehicles. Networx capitalizes on the combined buying power of federal agencies.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Dec 06, 2013 at 11:13 AM1 comments


CMS shares traffic reports for HealthCare.gov

Healthcare.gov start page

With the HealthCare.gov site rebooted after a month of repairs, officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services are being increasingly forthcoming with reporters about traffic to the site.

Details of the site's poor performance at its Oct. 1 launch were revealed by officials in often-contentious congressional hearings and in documents requested from contractors under the threat of subpoena. With the site now on firmer footing, CMS is more than happy to volunteer the substantial uptick in traffic, with numbers being offered in near-real time on daily press calls.

More than 950,000 users visited HealthCare.gov on Dec 3, according to CMS spokesperson Julie Bataille. Between midnight and 1 p.m. on Dec. 4, the site had 310,000 visits. These new usage levels represent an 80 percent increase from a week earlier. A new comparison-shopping feature that allows users to compare plans and benefits in detail before logging in or creating an account has drawn 790,000 users since the evening of Dec. 1, making it the third-most popular page on the site.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Dec 05, 2013 at 10:49 AM0 comments


New ITIC lobbyist says FITARA needs more work

Elijah Cummings and Darrell Issa together

The Information Technology Industry Council generally supports the legislation being pushed by Reps. Darrel Issa (R-Ca.) and Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), but ITI's Erica McCann says FITARA should be part of a "broader dialogue on IT acquisition reform."

The Information Technology Industry Council's new Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector supports legislation to reform federal acquisition rules, but one of the group’s newest lobbyists cautioned that more work needs to be done before the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act is ready for prime time.

In a Dec. 3 post, ITAPS Manager of Federal Procurement Erica McCann said that while FITARA would provide needed changes in the federal procurement process, some of the acquisition provisions “need more discussion and should be part of a broader dialogue on IT acquisition reform that is now getting underway within the Defense Department and among policymakers on Capitol Hill."

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Dec 04, 2013 at 10:06 AM0 comments


Obama appoints acting deputy Defense secretary

Christine Fox

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Dec. 3 that President Barack Obama accepted his recommendation to appoint Christine Fox as acting deputy Defense secretary, effective Dec. 5.

Fox will serve on an interim basis in place of Ashton Carter, who steps down as the Pentagon's second in command Dec. 4, while the search for Carter's permanent replacement continues.

Fox spent nearly four years serving as DOD's director of cost assessment and program evaluation before stepping down in spring 2013. She reportedly returned in September as an unpaid consultant to Carter. Fox also helped lead Hagel's sweeping review of the Pentagon budget.

"As a key leader of the Strategic Choices and Management Review, she helped identify the challenges, choices and opportunities for reform facing the department during this period of unprecedented budget uncertainty," Hagel said in a news release. "She will be able to help me shape our priorities from day one because she knows the intricacies of the department's budget, programs and global operations better than anyone."

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Dec 03, 2013 at 9:06 AM0 comments


Federal 100 nominations close Dec. 23

Fed 100 logo

For a quarter-century, FCW’s Federal 100 awards have honored the women and men who go far beyond their assigned duties to make federal IT better. And if you know individuals who you believe should be among the 2014 Federal 100, it’s time to visit FCW.com/fed100 and get moving on their nominations!

I could make an argument about the importance of celebrating the good amid all the criticism of government; I even have the perfect news hook in the form of this past weekend's deadline for HealthCare.gov fixes. Or I could point out, as I have before, that budget pressures and poisoned politics make the great work being done in federal IT all the more impressive.

But no one who reads FCW needs to be reminded of those realities. You know how hard it is to drive real change, and you know people who rise to the challenge every day. So make sure the rest of our community knows about them, too.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Dec 02, 2013 at 5:37 AM0 comments


Senate panel approves DHS secretary nominee

Jeh Johnson

Secretary of Homeland Security nominee Jeh Johnson

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee OK'd former Pentagon General Counsel Jeh Johnson's nomination to become the next secretary of Homeland Security by voice vote on Nov. 20.

Johnson now faces a vote in the full Senate, where Arizona Republican John McCain has said he will hold up confirmation until Johnson provides more details about his plans to beef up border security.

But initial objections by a handful of Senate Republicans over Johnson's role as a fundraiser for President Barack Obama have died down, and his eventual confirmation appears all but certain.

Committee Chairman Tom Carper said Johnson's nomination comes at a critical time for DHS, which is still working to fill a host of senior management slots.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Nov 21, 2013 at 7:31 AM0 comments


A new gig for former White House cyber adviser

Melissa Hathaway

Former White House adviser and high-profile cybersecurity expert Melissa Hathaway is joining the Centre for International Governance Innovation as a distinguished fellow.

Hathaway served as a cybersecurity adviser to Presidents George W. Bush and Barack Obama, and is the former acting senior director for cyberspace at the National Security Council and former adviser to the Director of National Intelligence. She is now president of Hathaway Global Strategies, a consulting firm, and a senior adviser to Project Minerva, a cybersecurity project jointly managed by the Department of Defense, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University.

"The Internet is at the very core of every aspect of life. There is nothing more important than ensuring that we engage in an international discussion about the priorities required to strengthen the services and infrastructures that are dependent upon the Internet," Hathaway said in a written statement. "There are many entangled economic, technical, regulatory, and policy issues that are part of every negotiation and discussion about the Internet and its future. I look forward to working with the CIGI team to bring more clarity to the international discussion and encourage governments to take actions and reduce risks."

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Nov 15, 2013 at 1:21 PM0 comments


Hagel announces DOD appointments

diagram of work team

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has appointed new officials to positions handling Pentagon intelligence, fiscal improvement and acquisition, technology and logistics.

Marcel Lettre was appointed to the Senior Executive Service as principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for intelligence, based at the Pentagon. He replaces Thomas Ferguson as the principal staff assistant and advisor to the undersecretary of Defense for intelligence and oversees related planning, policy and strategy. Lettre, who most recently served as special assistant to the Defense secretary, also will represent USDI to the intelligence community.

After being confirmed by the Senate in October, Alan Estevez has been assigned as principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, serving under Frank Kendall, undersecretary of defense for AT&L, at the Pentagon. Estevez previously served as assistant secretary of Defense for logistics and materiel readiness. He has been working for DOD in various capacities since 1981.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Nov 13, 2013 at 7:07 AM0 comments


Upgrading HealthCare.gov

placing blame for healthcare.gov

Posted by John Klossner on Nov 12, 2013 at 6:58 AM3 comments


A GovCon pat on the back

applause

A kind of restrained rambunctious enthusiasm rippled through the 1,000 or so federal contractors gathered the night of Nov. 7 at the annual GovCon contracting industry awards in Tyson's Corner, Va. The enthusiasm, however, was tempered by the memory of recent government cutbacks and shutdowns and foreboding for those that may be still to come.

As the 11th Annual Greater Washington Government Contractor Awards were handed out, presenters had to repeatedly shush the crowd to be heard above the laughter and loud conversations. The din came from contractors who have been working amid one of the toughest federal acquisition environments in years and the relief/trepidation in the throng was hard to hide -- relief from having made it through so far, but unease about another shutdown and continuing tight budgets.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Nov 08, 2013 at 8:04 AM1 comments


Former USDA CIO joins AT&T

Chris Smith Fed 100

Former Agriculture Department CIO Chris Smith has joined AT&T Government Solutions as vice president of technology. He will lead the company's 175-member technology specialist team in developing and deploying systems for the federal market.

Smith earned a Federal 100 award in 2011 for his leadership in testing the Einstein 3 technology to help detect and respond to cyberattacks. He also led the transfer of email for 120,000 USDA employees to the cloud in 2011, earning a second Fed 100 award the next year for that project.

Smith retired from USDA in 2012 and joined Accenture under Kay Kapoor, then Accenture's managing director and chief executive of the federal business. She now heads AT&T Government Solutions, making this the second time she has hired Smith.

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Posted by Michael Hardy on Nov 06, 2013 at 1:33 PM0 comments


Elizabeth McGrath to retire from DOD

Elizabeth McGrath

Elizabeth McGrath is about to retire from a 25-year DOD career, insiders say.

Veteran Defense Department official Elizabeth McGrath will be stepping down from her position as deputy chief management officer, according to Pentagon sources.

A spokesman said he could not confirm or deny that McGrath is retiring, but sources speaking on background said that she informed colleagues of her impending departure in a Nov. 4 staff meeting.

When asked in a September interview with FCW about her future plans, McGrath left the door open to potential a career change.

"I have no definitive plans to leave the office ... but I've been at DOD for 25 years. At some point I'll have to leave," she said.

McGrath is the Pentagon's first DCMO. She was sworn in July 1, 2010, and since then has focused on reforming DOD financial management, business operations and enterprise-wide systems efficiencies. Prior to her current role, she served as deputy director for systems integration at the Defense Finance and Accounting Service.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Nov 04, 2013 at 9:07 AM4 comments


Why agency jobs may be right up millennials' alley

Bill McDermott (Photo: SAP AG)

SAP AG Co-CEO Bill McDermott (Photo: SAP AG)

Bill McDermott, the 51-year-old co-CEO of SAP AG, shared an interesting stat with attendees at the Northern Virginia Technology Council's Oct. 30 Tech Celebration banquet.

Characterizing millennials -- workers in their 20s and early 30s -- as narcissistic and not career-oriented is unfair, he argued. What they are is "mobile, social and purpose driven," he said. "Eighty-four percent would rather work for a company with a purpose, that does something that matters," than get personal recognition like "a raise or a promotion."

Greater purpose, rare raises and nearly non-existent public praise? Young people, has government got a job for you!

Kidding aside, McDermott's remarks echoed something federal CIO Steven VanRoekel said Oct. 29 at ACT-IAC's recent Executive Leadership Conference. "Impact at scale," VanRoekel said, is the number one reason to give young people asking why they should work in government.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Nov 01, 2013 at 9:33 AM0 comments


Air Force gets new acquisition chief

William LaPlante

William LaPlante Jr. is President Barack Obama's pick to be assistant secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, according to an announcement from the White House on Oct. 30.

LaPlante currently serves as the principal deputy for the assistant secretary for acquisition, a job he began earlier this year. His duties include providing advice and guidance on Air Force acquisition and overseeing research, development, testing, production and modernization for a $40 billion annual portfolio, according to his bio.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Oct 31, 2013 at 2:01 PM1 comments


Wheeler confirmed as FCC chairman

Stylized radio tower

Thomas Wheeler, a former head of two telecommunications trade associations and an early supporter of Barack Obama's presidential campaign, was confirmed as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission by the Senate on Oct. 29.

Wheeler's nomination had been on hold because Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) expressed concerns that Wheeler was interested in imposing tougher disclosure requirements on political advertising. Currently, the FCC maintains an online collection of political advertising purchases as part of the public files of licensed broadcast stations. Cruz was concerned that the FCC might flex its muscles to get more information abut donors to nonprofits that buy ads on behalf of candidates and causes.

Cruz relented after Wheeler assured him that expanding the FCC's role in campaign finance was not a priority.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Oct 30, 2013 at 8:20 AM0 comments


House panel takes on DOD procurement reform

Mac Thornberry

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) will spearhead an initiative to overhaul DOD's acquisition process.

Members of the House Armed Services Committee are set to launch a long-term reform effort aimed at the Defense Department, including an emphasis on overhauling the acquisition process.

At an Oct. 29 hearing, Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) announced that Vice Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) would spearhead the initiative, with assistance from ranking Democrat Adam Smith of Washington.

"We cannot afford a costly and ineffective acquisition system, particularly when faced with devastating impacts of repeated budget cuts and sequestration," McKeon said in an opening statement at the hearing. "The Congress, together with the Department of Defense and industry, must be willing to do the hard work to find root causes, look past band-aid fixes and parochial interests, and have the courage to implement meaningful, lasting reform."

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Oct 29, 2013 at 1:38 PM5 comments


The challenge to collaboration

collaboration cartoon

Posted by John Klossner on Oct 28, 2013 at 12:32 PM0 comments


USPS names Cochrane as CIO

Jim Cochrane

The U.S. Postal Service selected its new CIO, and didn’t have to look far to find him.

USPS selected 39-year postal veteran James Cochrane for the role, according to an Oct. 25 memo from Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

Cochrane has served as acting CIO since former CIO Ellis Burgoyne retired Oct. 1.

Like Burgoyne before him, Cochrane has spent his entire career at USPS, including 25 years in operations in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan and northern Virginia areas.

Prior to stepping into the C-suite, Cochrane served as vice president of product information for USPS, where he oversaw IT innovations in tracking systems, including the Intelligence Mail barcode and Intelligent Mail package barcode. Cochrane’s tenure as vice president of product information coincided with “record high service levels” in those areas, according to Donahoe.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Oct 25, 2013 at 1:06 PM1 comments


McCormack to be next DHS CIO

DHS logo

The White House on Oct. 24 tapped Luke McCormack, a former IT executive at the Department of Homeland Security’s immigration and border protection agencies, to become DHS's top CIO.

McCormack has been rumored for weeks to be the leading candidate to fill the DHS CIO position last held by Richard Spires. Margie Graves has been acting CIO since March 15, when Spires went on leave from the position after four years of service. Spires resigned in May after two months leave that remain largely unexplained.

McCormack is currently the CIO and deputy assistant attorney general for information resources management at the Justice Department, a post he has held since February 2012.

The DHS nomination chips away at the nagging number of top-level management vacancies that have beleaguered the department in recent months. DHS still has more than a dozen such positions left unfilled -- and the Internal Revenue Service announced on Oct. 24 that it was hiring away DHS CFO Peggy Sherry, effective Nov. 4 -- but the last month has seen efforts to fill some of those vacancies either permanently or temporarily.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Oct 25, 2013 at 6:46 AM0 comments


Homeland Security CFO heads to IRS

revolving door

The Internal Revenue Service has tapped the Homeland Security Department’s chief financial officer to become its new deputy commissioner for operations support.

On Nov. 4, Peggy Sherry will move to the IRS to oversee the 11,500 employees in that agency’s IT operations, as well as its Human Capital Office, procurement, real estate, physical security, employee assistance and operations that watch over sensitive taxpayer information.

Sherry will replace Beth Tucker, who is retiring.

DHS confirmed that its budget director, Chip Fulghum, will become interim CFO there on Nov. 4.

Sherry was named DHS CFO in April 2012, after serving as acting and deputy CFO from 2008 to 2012. She also formerly served as deputy CFO and financial reports supervisor for the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum and as an assistant director at the Government Accountability Office.

Posted by Mark Rockwell on Oct 24, 2013 at 9:22 AM0 comments


Alexander to leave NSA, cyber posts

Keith Alexander, DOD photo

Gen. Keith Alexander, head of the National Security Agency and U.S. Cyber Command, is expected to retire by April 2014, according to U.S. officials cited in a Reuters report. Alexander's deputy John "Chris" Inglis is also expected to leave by the end of this year.

The news comes amid a continuing drumbeat of stories about electronic spying and data collection programs carried out by the NSA, with the cooperation from leading Internet and telecommunications companies, as revealed in documents leaked by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden.

Alexander continues to defend NSA data collection, including bulk collection of metadata on domestic phone calls. "It's in the nation's best interest to put the phone data into a repository that the American public knows what we're doing with," Alexander said at a recent cybersecurity event covered by FCW. "I'm open for transparency. I'm open for where we put the data. ... How do we ensure that the American people know what we're doing is exactly right without letting the terrorists know how to circumvent it? That's the real issue."

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Oct 16, 2013 at 1:23 PM3 comments


GCN Gala moved to Nov. 19

GCN Awards logo

The continued partial government shutdown has prompted GCN to delay its 26th annual awards gala until Nov. 19.  

The event, which honors federal, state and local government teams for their extraordinary IT accomplishments, had been scheduled for Oct. 16. This year's federal winners include teams from the departments of Agriculture, Defense, Homeland Security and Treasury, and from NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Archives and Records Administration and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

GCN and FCW are both owned by 1105 Media.

Posted by FCW Staff on Oct 10, 2013 at 5:34 AM0 comments


DOD's No. 2 stepping down

Ashton Carter

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter is leaving his post for unexplained reasons.

Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter will step down as of Dec. 4, according to an Oct. 10 release from the Defense Department.

In the release, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel "reluctantly accepted his decision" and praised Carter's loyalty and effectiveness. Carter, 59, gave no reason for his departure.

Prior to becoming deputy defense secretary, Carter served as undersecretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics under former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. In that role he headed up DOD's Better Buying Power acquisition reform plan, among other initiatives.

As deputy secretary Carter took the lead on numerous initiatives, including planning amid budget cuts across the department as well as plans to "pivot" the focus of U.S. military strategy toward Asia.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Oct 10, 2013 at 2:11 PM0 comments


Geospatial conference postponed

James Clapper

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper was to speak at the GEOINT Symposium later this month.

The U.S. Geospatial Intelligence Foundation announced late on Oct. 8 that the partial government shutdown has forced the postponement of its flagship GEOINT Symposium.

The geospatial intelligence conference, scheduled to feature speakers including Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, was to be held Oct. 14-16 in Tampa, Fla.

USGIF previously had acknowledged the shutdown would affect the conference, but that it still planned to hold the event.

Ironically, it was ' enactment last week of legislation authorizing Defense Department personnel to be paid and ending much of DOD's furlough that forced a change in plans.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Oct 09, 2013 at 9:26 AM0 comments


Feds' personal tweets give insight to #ShutdownLife

Justin Herman's 'shutdown beard'

Justin Herman and his 'shutdown beard,' which he's been documenting on Twitter since the shutdown began. (Image from Herman's Instagram.)

FCW posted its top seven feds to follow on Twitter on Day One of the government shutdown. At first glance that might seem counterintuitive -- many agencies tweeted that they would be unable to update their accounts during the shutdown. But some feds are keeping the Twitterverse illuminated with their shutdown stories and opinions via their personal accounts.

Justin Herman, social media guru for the General Services Administration, is providing updates on his #shutdownbeard. A day before the shutdown, Herman tweeted "I've taken 3 oaths of office in 10 years: military officer; Congressional aide; Fed executive. Public service demands an Iron Price sometimes".

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Oct 07, 2013 at 1:57 PM1 comments


Top 5 tech worries

federal list cartoon

Posted by John Klossner on Oct 04, 2013 at 7:51 AM0 comments


Postal Service picks acting CIO

Jim Cochrane

James Cochrane, a 39-year postal service veteran, will take over as CIO on an acting basis.

The U.S. Postal Service has tapped an acting CIO to replace Ellis Burgoyne, who retired Oct. 1.

James Cochrane, formerly vice president of USPS's product information department, will temporarily replace Burgoyne, according to an announcement from Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe.

Like his predecessor, the Postal Service's only CIO to emerge internally, Cochrane has already had a lengthy career at USPS.

Over the past 39 years, Cochrane has held leadership roles in several departments, including ground shipping, marketing and strategy for expedited package services. He also served as associate vice president of sales for the former Northeast Region, where he was responsible for commercial sales of $12 billion annually.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Oct 03, 2013 at 12:23 PM3 comments


Army CIO steps down

Susan Lawrence

Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence retires with 41 years of Army experience.

Lt. Gen. Susan Lawrence is retiring after 41 years of Army service, including more than two years as the service’s chief information officer.

"When I stepped into the CIO/G-6 position, I knew I would be in for one of the most challenging jobs I'd ever had. What I didn't know is that it would also be one of the most rewarding," Lawrence wrote in a farewell blog post on the CIO/G-6 website. "Together, we have created what I sincerely hope will be irreversible momentum in modernizing our Army and leveraging technology to keep us the most capable force in the world."

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Oct 02, 2013 at 9:35 AM0 comments


DISA gets new vice director

Alan Lynn

Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn most recently served as commanding general of the Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has a familiar face in place as its new vice director: Maj. Gen. Alan Lynn, who most recently served as commanding general of the Army's Network Enterprise Technology Command at Fort Huachuca, Ariz.

Lynn assumed the role as of Sept. 30, marking a return to DISA after leaving as chief of staff in 2008. Prior to his NETCOM assignment, Lynn commanded the Army Signal Center of Intelligence.

Lynn succeeds Rear Adm. David Simpson, who in a Sept. 30 DISA release reflected on his experience at the agency, where he had served as vice director since July 2011.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Sep 30, 2013 at 3:30 PM0 comments


Borras named DHS acting deputy secretary

Rafael Borras

Rafael Borras will become acting DHS secretary.

The White House has tapped Rafael Borras to become acting deputy secretary at the Department of Homeland Security. Borras has been undersecretary for management at the agency since 2011. Chris Cummiskey, DHS's deputy undersecretary for management, will step into Borras' old job in an acting capacity. DHS officials confirmed both appointments.

The two appointments come as DHS has more than a dozen top-level managers' slots that are either vacant or filled by acting officers.

Borras replaces Rand Beers, who had stepped in for acting deputy secretary Jane Holl Lute after she left DHS in May. Lute is now president and CEO of the Council on CyberSecurity, a nonprofit organization launched in mid-August.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Sep 27, 2013 at 9:06 AM0 comments


Rand Paul wants to move feds into Obamacare

Rand Paul

Sen. Rand Paul wants a constitutional amendment to apply Obamacare to everyone, including federal employees and Supreme Court justices.

Federal employees found out that their health insurance premiums were going up an average of 3.4 percent for fiscal year 2014. That may seem like bad news, but if one lawmaker has his way, annual single-digit premium increases under the Federal Employees Health Benefits Plan might be fondly remembered as the good old days.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) announced plans to propose a constitutional amendment that would, among other things, require federal employees to purchase health insurance on exchanges created by the 2010 health care law. Details of the proposal were not available, but it appears that it would eliminate a raft of benefits enjoyed by feds, including the subsidy that helps pay about 72 percent of federal employees' insurance premiums.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Sep 25, 2013 at 11:06 AM4 comments


NASA, NOAA chastised over testimony

Paul Broun

Rep. Paul Broun said NASA and NOAA were 'inconsiderate' for not providing testimony in advance.

Officials from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and NASA felt the wrath of Georgia Republican Rep. Paul Broun during a Sept. 19 hearing on efforts to launch new satellites critical to the nation's weather forecasting.

Broun chastised both agencies, calling the failure to provide prepared testimony to lawmakers in advance "inconsiderate," especially given the magnitude of the issues at hand.

Neither agency provided written testimony 48 hours in advance to members of the Science, Space and Technology subcommittees on Environment and Oversight, as is the usual practice. Broun chairs the oversight subcommittee.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Sep 19, 2013 at 8:02 AM2 comments


GSA's Bajinder Paul to change agencies

revolving door

The Federal Trade Commission has found its new chief information officer.

FTC officials confirmed Bajinder Paul, deputy associate administrator of citizen services and innovative technologies at the General Services Administration, will replace former FTC CIO Jeff Huskey, who left the agency in March.

Paul has a lengthy resume in IT management, the last three years of which have been spent at GSA. Previously, he served nearly four years as CIO at the Treasury Department's Office of the Comptroller of Currency, a combined three years as acting CIO and deputy CIO at the Department of Housing and Urban Development and four years at various positions at the Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Sep 18, 2013 at 2:28 PM1 comments


Is cyber-offense the answer?

gloved hands

Private-sector companies spend billions of dollars each year on cybersecurity to keep the bad guys out of their systems, but their efforts are often exercises in futility as the tools and capabilities of cyber threats continue to increase.

Verizon's 2013 Data Breach Investigations Report (DBIR) puts the increased threat in perspective, containing data on 47,000 cyber-security incidents and 621 confirmed data breaches reported by 19 worldwide partners, including the U.S. Secret Service. Twenty percent of reported private-sector breaches – 70 percent of breaches are discovered by third parties, by the way – were perpetrated by state-affiliated actors such as China, according to DBIR, and most often driven by financial motives.

And as Steven Chabinsky, senior vice president of legal affairs and chief risk officer of Crowdstrike told an audience at an FCW cybersecurity briefing Sept. 12 in Washington, D.C., the bigger that companies and federal agencies build their walls, the taller ladders these adversaries come up with to scale them.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Sep 17, 2013 at 7:23 PM0 comments


Former NASA CTO steps aside at his OpenStack-focused startup

Chris Kemp

Chris Kemp will bring in a new CEO at his company, Nebula.

As government exits go, Chris Kemp's 2011 decision to leave NASA and launch a company to build OpenStack cloud services was particularly ambitious. But the former CTO's firm, Nebula, is two years old and growing, and on Sept. 13 Kemp announced that he is stepping aside as CEO to bring in industry veteran Gordon Stitt.

Kemp, a 2010 Federal 100 winner, is now Nebula's chief strategy officer. He remains on the board and will continue as a member of the executive team, according to the company's announcement.

OpenStack is an open-source cloud computing platform for public and private clouds that has its roots in NASA's Nebula Cloud Computing Platform. NASA joined forces with Rackspace, which has developed a similar project, to create OpenStack in 2010.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Sep 13, 2013 at 10:14 AM0 comments


Could ICITE have stopped Snowden?

James Clapper

DNI James Clapper argues that a new IT initiative might have prevented the leaks of classified information that exposed details about NSA operations. (File photo)

A new IT strategy being implemented by the intelligence community might have sniffed out National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden as he was downloading classified material from agency systems to leak to reporters, says the nation's top intelligence officer.

The original motivation for the new Intelligence Community Information Technology Enterprise (ICITE), designed to unify systems across 17 intelligence agencies, was cost savings, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper said in a speech at the Intelligence and National Security Alliance IC Summit event Sept. 12.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Sep 12, 2013 at 3:00 PM1 comments


Obama nominates deputies for VA, Navy

Jo Ann Rooney

Jo Ann Rooney is the president's nominee for Navy undersecretary.

President Barack Obama on Sept. 10 announced nominations for high-level positions in the departments of Veterans Affairs and Navy, potentially filling roles that have been vacant since spring.

At the Defense Department, Obama nominated Jo Ann Rooney as Navy undersecretary. Rooney serves managing director at the Huron Consulting Group in Chicago, a position she has held since 2012.

In 2011 and 2012, Rooney was the principal deputy undersecretary of Defense for personnel and readiness, where she oversaw military readiness and acted as the deputy senior policy advisor to the Defense Secretary on recruitment, career development, pay and benefits for roughly 3.5 million military and civilian personnel. She also has a background in academia and the private sector, with a doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania and law degrees from Boston University and Suffolk University, according to her DOD bio.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Sep 11, 2013 at 5:55 AM3 comments


The appropriations game

2014 approrpriations cartoon

Posted by John Klossner on Sep 10, 2013 at 6:35 AM0 comments


Army swears in new cyber command leader

Edward Cardon

Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon has taken the helm at Army Cyber Command. In this 2009 photo, Cardon, left, while serving as acting commandant of the Command and General Staff College, congratulates class president Lt. Col. Richard Malish during the Intermediate Level Education graduation ceremony. (Army photo)

In a ceremony held Sept. 3 at Fort Belvoir, Va., Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno swore in Lt. Gen. Edward Cardon as commander of Army Cyber Command.

Cardon previously served as commanding general of the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea. Prior to that, he was deputy commanding general for support for U.S. Forces-Iraq. That appointment was the last of Cardon’s several commanding positions in and deployments to Iraq.

According to his bio, Cardon was born in Texas and raised in California, and has received roughly a dozen decorations for his service since being commissioned as an engineer officer from the U.S. Military Academy in 1982.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Sep 03, 2013 at 3:16 PM3 comments


GPO picks second-in-command

James Bradley

James C. "Jim" Bradley, a longtime leader at the Government Printing Office, has been named deputy public printer.

Bradley has served as assistant public printer for operations and as head of the Official Journals of Government unit, which helps produce the Congressional Record, the Federal Register and other key GPO products. In his new post, Bradley will lead marketing operations at GPO, overseeing printing plants, sales, and products including the Congressional Record, passports and other federal identification credentials.

Davita Vance-Cooks, public printer and head of the GPO, said, "Jim's experience in federal printing and information policy issues is unrivaled. He is a natural leader with a proven record of success in managing GPO's operations to meet the critical needs of Congress and federal agencies. He is especially well-qualified to pursue the changes necessitated by the recent recommendations of the National Academy of Public Administration and he will keep GPO moving forward in this digital era."

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Sep 03, 2013 at 1:05 PM0 comments


Encouraging telework

klossner

Posted by John Klossner on Aug 30, 2013 at 10:07 AM0 comments


Former IP czar to head software lobby group

Victorial Espinel (nonstandard size)

Victoria Espinel, who led intellectual property enforcement for the federal government, will take over as president and CEO of BSA | The Software Alliance, a trade group that represents software companies.

Espinel was the first U.S. intellectual property enforcement coordinator in the Office of Management and Budget. The post was designed to align the work of law enforcement organizations, federal agencies, private companies and foreign governments in preventing and prosecuting intellectual property theft and infringement. Often likened to a "copyright czar," the job was established by Congress in 2008 and first staffed under the Obama administration.

BSA supports intellectual property protection and the advancement of cloud computing on behalf of commercial firms, including Adobe, Intel, IBM, Apple, Microsoft, Oracle and many others.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Aug 28, 2013 at 11:36 AM1 comments


Making the case to attend SXSW

Elon Musk at SXSW Interactive - Photo courtesy of SXSW

The South by Southwest conference attracts top-tier speakers like Tesla founder Elon Musk, while also digging into the details of technology's impact. (Photo courtesy of SXSW Inc.)

Given tight budgets and travel restrictions, most feds likely would be hard-pressed to secure permission to attend South by Southwest. But for those who can find a way -- or simply decide to make a personal trek to the Austin, Texas, festival next March -- Gadi Ben-Yehuda of the IBM Center for the Business of Government has a list of especially relevant proposed panels.

In a post on GovLoop, Ben-Yehuda offered this list of provocative topics, and urged government techies to vote for the ones they like best:

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Aug 26, 2013 at 11:11 AM1 comments


More encrypted data storage ahead for feds?

Castle Muiderslot, Holland

Castle Muiderslot in Muiden, Holland, and its moat. (Stock image)

It takes more than a moat to protect a castle, especially if it's made of data.

That's according to Mark Day, acting deputy assistant commissioner of Integrated Technology Services at GSA, who voiced a few interesting sound bites at an Aug. 22 IT procurement forum.

Day, fielding a question about cyber-security at the Lowering the Cost of Government with IT Summit in Washington, D.C., said current cyber efforts are not enough to protect sensitive data across the government.  He suggested all such data be encrypted unless it is in use.

Day referenced Army Pvt. Manning, recently sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking classified documents to Wikileaks, and Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor who divulged classified surveillance secrets to the Guardian and Washington Post newspapers. Both, he noted, were insiders – people against whom the large "moat" of on-premise cyber-security does little to defend.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Aug 23, 2013 at 11:36 AM0 comments


Intelligence Community turns to Tumblr for transparency

James Clapper

DNI James Clapper introduces "IC on the Record" on Tumblr. (File photo)

The National Security Agency may have misled the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act court, and Director of National Intelligence James Clapper has acknowledged answering Congress in the "least untruthful manner" possible, but on the Tumblr blogging service, the Intelligence Community is all about opening up to the public.  Or so it says.

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence on Aug. 21 launched IC on the Record, a new blog devoted to providing "immediate, ongoing and direct access to factual information related to the lawful foreign surveillance activities carried out by the U.S. Intelligence Community."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Aug 22, 2013 at 9:01 AM0 comments


IBM's Prieto named to DOD cyber post

Daniel Prieto

Daniel Pietro is now director of cybersecurity and technology at DOD's CIO office. (LinkedIn profile picture)

Daniel Prieto will join the Defense Department as a top cybersecurity official.

Prieto, who recently served as vice president of IBM's public sector global business services, was appointed to the Senior Executive Service and named director of cybersecurity and technology at DOD's CIO office in Washington. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced his appointment on Aug. 20.

The new director is no stranger to cybersecurity policy: He also has been a senior associate in the Center for Strategic and International Studies' homeland security and counterterrorism program since 2010. Prior to that, Prieto was research director at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government's Homeland Security Partnership Initiative.  He also served as a professional staff member on the House's select committee on homeland security, according to his LinkedIn bio.

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Posted on Aug 21, 2013 at 12:56 PM0 comments


Personnel shuffles at GSA

revolving door

The deputy assistant commissioner of the General Services Administration's Integrated Technology Services has been named to a new position.

GSA confirmed that Kevin Youel Page, who had been ITS deputy assistant commissioner, is now acting assistant commissioner of the Integrated Award Environment.

The Federal Acquisition Service's Office of Integrated Technology Services is headed by Assistant Commissioner Mary Davie. According to the GSA's website, Mark Day, director of the Office of Strategic Programs, is now acting deputy assistant commissioner, taking over Page's duties. Day's own LinkedIn profile also reflected the change, noting: "Interesting role to be a deputy. That is one role in long career that I have always avoided, but when asked to serve....!"

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Aug 19, 2013 at 3:00 PM0 comments


A careful biometrics strategy

biometrics

Posted by John Klossner on Aug 16, 2013 at 8:06 AM0 comments


What kind of video goes viral?

gagnam

Korean rapper Psy's "Gangnam Style" is a recent example of wildly successful viral video.

What kind of content goes viral, and why should feds take notice?

The answers to those questions and loads of additional social media insights are catalogued in a storified aggregation of tweets taken during a July 30 SocialGov Summit.

Justin Herman, new media manager at the General Services Administration’s Center for Excellence in Digital Government, documented the commentary and uploaded it to GSA’s new media website Aug. 13.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Aug 14, 2013 at 5:46 AM0 comments


Wennergren reveals retirement plans

Dave Wennergren

David Wennergren didn't spend much time enjoying a leisurely retirement. Barely more than a week after retiring from the Defense Department on Aug. 2, Wennergren has become a vice president at CACI International.

He starts his new job Sept. 3 as the vice president of opportunity management and customer delivery practices in the company's enterprise technologies and services business group.

"This will be the longest break I've had in over 30 years," he said.

Wennergren looks back at his career and the leadership lessons he learned.

Most recently, he served as the assistant deputy chief management officer in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, and was DOD's deputy CIO. He's also been the Navy's CIO. He spent 33 years working in the Navy and Defense Department.

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Posted by Nick Wakeman on Aug 13, 2013 at 4:16 PM2 comments


McAfee's Phyllis Schneck reportedly heading to DHS

revolving door

Phyllis Schneck, McAfee's chief technology officer and vice president of the security software company's global sector, will be named undersecretary of cybersecurity at the Department of Homeland Security, say sources familiar with DHS cybersecurity operations.

Although DHS and McAfee wouldn't confirm the move, industry sources have said Schneck will be named undersecretary after Acting Undersecretary Bruce McConnell departs. McConnell said in July that he planned to leave in August to return to the private sector.

With her deep background in high-performance computing and cryptography, Schneck emerged as strong candidate for the job in July, as the department searched for a permanent replacement after McConnell's departure. She serves as chairman of the board of directors of the National Cyberforensics and Training Alliance, a partnership among government, law enforcement and the private sector that provides information analytics that have been used to prosecute cyber criminals worldwide.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Aug 06, 2013 at 12:58 PM0 comments


NASA's deputy administrator leaving space agency

Lori Garver

Lori Garver is taking a position with the Airline Pilots Association.

NASA Deputy Administrator Lori Garver announced Aug. 6 via Twitter that she is leaving the space agency for a position with the Airline Pilots Association.

Garver, who held NASA's number-two position since July 2009, will work for NASA through Sept. 6, according to an agency spokesperson.

"I have had the pleasure and honor of working side by side with Lori for the past four years, as we sought to position the agency for 21st century spaceflight, scientific discovery and deep space exploration," NASA Administrator Charles Bolden said in a statement. "She has been an indispensable partner in our efforts to keep NASA on a trajectory of progress and innovation. In a time of great change and challenge, she has been a remarkable leader who has consistently shown great vision and commitment to NASA and the aerospace industry. "

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Aug 06, 2013 at 11:53 AM0 comments


Will Coburn lift Archuleta hold?

US Capitol

The Obama administration’s signal late last week that the federal government would continue to offer contributions to the health care premiums of congressional staffers appears to clear the way for Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) to lift a hold on the nomination of Katherine Archuleta to head the Office of Personnel Management.

Coburn announced at a July 31 Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee meeting his intention to block a quick floor vote on Archuleta’s nomination until the administration made clear its position on health insurance benefits for congressional employees who are being forced out of the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program and into insurance exchanges created by a provision of the 2010 health care overhaul.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Aug 05, 2013 at 3:26 PM0 comments


Senate confirms historic GPO nominee

Davita Vance-Cooks

Davita Vance-Cooks is the first African-American and first woman to hold the title of public printer.

The Senate has confirmed Davita Vance-Cooks as head of the Government Printing Office, making her both the first African-American and first woman to hold the title of public printer.

Vance-Cooks has been the acting public printer since January 2012 and has more than 30 years of public- and private-sector experience. She has been at GPO since 2004, holding positions including chief of staff, managing director of publications and deputy managing director of customer services.

 Vance-Cooks' confirmation comes amid GPO budget cuts and the agency's move towards increased digitization.

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Aug 02, 2013 at 11:32 AM0 comments


Republican tapped for open FCC slot

revolving door

President Obama nominated legislative aide Michael O’Rielly to the Federal Communications Commission post vacated by Republican Commissioner Robert McDowell.

The nomination paves the way for the Senate to hold a vote on the confirmation of Tom Wheeler as the new FCC chairman. Wheeler’s nomination was approved by the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on July 30, but Senate Republicans wanted to wait for a Republican nominee before proceeding with a confirmation vote.

O’Rielly is a policy advisor to Senate Republican Whip John Cornyn of Texas and has long experience working on technology and telecommuncations issues. He has worked in the whip’s office since 2012, spent time on the Republican Policy Committee in the Senate, and worked as a staffer on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. If confirmed by the Senate, he would serve out the remainder of McDowell’s five-year term, which ends June 30, 2014.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Aug 02, 2013 at 11:06 AM0 comments


Accenture acquisition means new role for Traficant

Jim Traficant

Jim Traficant will head ASM Research, a new acquisition for Accenture.

Federal 100 winner and Accenture Federal Services executive Jim Traficant will soon have a new job:  president of ASM Research, the health care IT and human capital management firm which Accenture just acquired.

Traficant, who won his Fed 100 award in 2011 for his work at Harris Health Solutions on Federal Health Architecture for the Health and Human Services Department, is currently an AFS managing director.  He leads Accenture's military health projects with the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs, and will continue in his AFS role while running ASM Research as a subsidiary company.

Traficant spoke with Washington Technology on July 31 about the acquisition and what it means for federal health IT.   The addition of ASM "provides unique access points into the market," he said, calling the acquisition and resulting business prospects a "once in a generation opportunity."

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Aug 01, 2013 at 3:24 PM0 comments


Top Energy Department official stepping down

Gil Vega

Gil Vega will take an unspecified financial-services position.

Gil Vega, the Energy Department's assistant CIO for cybersecurity and chief information security officer, is leaving his post for a private sector position.

Vega is heading to the New York City area, closer to his New Jersey roots, sometime in mid-August for an undisclosed job in the financial services industry, he told FCW on July 30.

Vega has been at DOE for two years. Prior to that, he was the chief information security officer for Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the Homeland Security Department. He also has held cybersecurity leadership roles in the Defense Department and intelligence community.

Paul Cunningham, deputy associate CIO for cybersecurity at DOE, will take over on an interim basis until a permanent replacement is found, Vega said.

Posted by Amber Corrin on Jul 30, 2013 at 2:48 PM1 comments


Friends, former colleagues praise Spires at event

Richard Spires

Former DHS CIO Richard Spires addresses a crowd gathered in his honor. (FCW photo by Frank Konkel)

Standing before a large crowd of friends and former colleagues gathered to recognize him on July 29, Richard Spires turned visibly emotional.

Spires, former Department of Homeland Security CIO, was clearly proud of an eight-year federal legacy that – at least on this night – seemed untainted by the strange circumstances under which he left government employment,  yet also humbled to be appreciated by so many who came out in his honor.

Spires took the stage following a lengthy ramp-up in which person after person spoke highly of his integrity, character and work ethic.  AFCEA Bethesda, GITEC, TechAmerica and AFFIRM sponsored the event, held at the National Press Club in Washington.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jul 30, 2013 at 6:16 AM1 comments


Dickover leaves State for Institute of Peace

Noel Dickover, State Dept.

Fed 100 winner Noel Dickover has joined the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Noel Dickover, the State Department's Office of eDiplomacy guru for the past three years and one of the coordinators largely responsible for its successful TechCamps program, left last week to begin a new position with the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP). He started in the new position on July 29.

Dickover announced the move on Twitter, saying he had a "terrific 3 years" at State and that he was looking forward to working on USIP's Peace-Tech Lab. He started at the State Department on July 1, 2010.

Dickover told FCW his work at USIP will focus on using low-cost technology like crowdsourcing to build peace and help stabilize social culture, particularly in developing countries.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jul 29, 2013 at 1:30 PM0 comments


OMB streamlines SAVE Awards

applause

Will fewer ideas submitted for the SAVE Awards lead to more applause-worthy offerings?

The government is streamlining its annual search for money-saving ideas from federal workers in the hope that gathering fewer ideas will yield better ideas.

Agencies are being given more time to evaluate proposals, according to a July 26 memo from acting deputy director for management and CIO Steven VanRoekel. Deadlines for agencies to nominate SAVE Award (Securing Americans Value and Efficiency) candidates is being pushed back to Sept. 20, and agencies are being asked to identify just the top three to five money-saving ideas – down from five to 10 in years past. Additionally, agencies are being asked to package their SAVE Award ideas with their fiscal year 2015 budget submissions.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jul 29, 2013 at 3:40 PM0 comments


BYOD: Bring Your Own Disaster?

hammer

The government's tool for re-securing a compromised iPhone.

Q: What's the government process for wiping an iPhone after a security leak?

A: Pound it with a hammer.

Managing mobile devices and their risks, instituting security measures on par with more traditional desktops and laptops, determining what tool to use when things go wrong – these are all commonly cited hurdles to BYOD in federal agencies. But there are so many others that accompany those concerns that it sometimes becomes difficult to imagine it's actually going to happen.

Of course, it's happening already, on a certain level. There are pilot programs. There are options, such as bolting $200 Common Access Card "sleds" onto the device for authentication purposes so Defense Department employees can take their smart phones to work.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Jul 26, 2013 at 1:28 PM0 comments


GSA slammed for setting a bad example

David McClure

GSA's Dave McClure felt some heat at a hearing on IT leadership. (File photo)

Dave McClure of the General Services Administration felt some heat during a House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations hearing on July 25.

Subcommittee Chairman John Mica (R-Fla.) and Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.) pummeled  McClure for setting a poor example in IT decision-making for other agencies to follow.

GSA, Mica said, has only closed one data center in three years, despite having identified 115 non-core data centers ripe for closing or consolidation.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jul 25, 2013 at 2:45 PM1 comments


Wennergren to retire

Dave Wennergren

David Wennergren, DOD's assistant deputy CMO and a three-time Fed 100 winner, wraps up a 32-year federal career.

The Defense Department's assistant deputy chief management officer is retiring from government service. David Wennergren, whose 32-year federal career has centered on change management and IT for DOD and the Department of the Navy, told FCW that his final day on the job will be Aug. 2.

"I remember when I went to work for the Department of the Navy in 1980, and they told me, 'In 2012, when you turn 55.... you'd be eligible for retirement,' Wennergren said. "And that just seemed like forever. And the next thing you know, the decades have flown by."

"For me it was fairly simple," he explained. "It's been a great ride, I've had jobs that I'd never even dreamed I would've had, and have had some amazing adventures. But, you know, I've sorta climbed the mountains that there were for me to climb here, and I became eligible for retirement. So then it was just a question of timing."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jul 23, 2013 at 8:27 AM1 comments


Congress gets new nominees for Labor IG, DOD personnel posts

Jessica Wright

Jessica Wright, nominated to lead DOD personnel and readiness, spent 35 years in the National Guard.

The Senate's deal to avoid filibusters on nominations may or may not hold, but the White House continues to fill up the pipeline with new appointees.

President Barack Obama on July 19 announced eight more individuals that he intends to nominate to agency or diplomatic posts. Among them are Scott S. Dahl, whom Obama tapped to be the Labor Department's inspector general, and Jessica Garfola Wright, who would become the Defense Department's under secretary for personnel and readiness.

Wright, who spend 35 years in the National Guard and retired as a major general, has been filling the under secretary position in an acting capacity since Jan. 1. Dahl is currently the IG for the Smithsonian Institution. His nomination would fill an important major-agency IG vacancy, but also creates yet another IG opening for the administration to address.

Posted by FCW Staff on Jul 19, 2013 at 8:47 AM0 comments


Sisk becomes FAS head

Bill Sisk

Bill Sisk, the new FAS deputy commissioner, has held the position in an acting capacity since last year. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee photo)

Bill Sisk, GSA’s acting federal acquisition service deputy commissioner, has been named the service’s deputy commissioner, the agency confirmed on July 16.

Sisk became acting deputy commissioner in November 2012, taking the position after the previous deputy commissioner, Jon Jordan, retired. Sisk had previously served as the assistant commissioner for FAS’ Office of General Supplies and Services.

Sisk has been at the agency for 23 years, beginning as an intern, working his way up to become the FAS Southeast Sunbelt Region commissioner and the acting Public Buildings Service Southeast Sunbelt Region Commissioner, according to the agency.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on Jul 16, 2013 at 3:00 PM0 comments


AFCEA to honor Spires

Richard Spires at HOGRC on 022713

Richard Spires resigned in May as DHS CIO. (File photo)

AFCEA's Bethesda Chapter has organized an appreciation event for former Department of Homeland Security CIO Richard Spires, who resigned on May 7, for his years of leadership and government service.

The event, which Spires will attend, is scheduled for Monday, July 29, from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. (Click here to register.)

Spires, who won FCW's Eagle Award this spring, was on leave for two months prior to submitting his resignation, and news of a well-respected federal official in apparent turmoil caused considerable confusion in the federal IT community and led to lots of speculation about the cause.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jul 15, 2013 at 2:05 PM0 comments


Napolitano to leave DHS

Janet Napolitano

DHS secretary Janet Napolitano is about to take the helm at the University of California system. (File photo)

Janet Napolitano announced on July 12 that she is resigning the top spot at the Department of Homeland Security to take of the post of president of the University of California system.

Napolitano, who has served as governor of Arizona and a U.S. Attorney, will be the first woman ever to lead the University of California system. The University of California search was led by former movie industry executive Sherry Lansing. In a statement, Lansing said, "While some may consider her to be an unconventional choice, Secretary Napolitano is without a doubt the right person at the right time to lead this incredible university."

President Obama released a statement thanking Napolitano for her service at DHS. "Janet’s portfolio has included some of the toughest challenges facing our country. She’s worked around the clock to respond to natural disasters, from the Joplin tornado to Hurricane Sandy, helping Americans recover and rebuild. Since day one, Janet has led my administration’s effort to secure our borders, deploying a historic number of resources, while also taking steps to make our immigration system fairer and more consistent with our values," Obama said.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jul 12, 2013 at 8:49 AM0 comments


A great job in government -- so long as you're not in government

help wanted sign

Hey, agency cybersecurity experts -- do you have a proven track record for "directing IT modernization efforts, formulating short and long-range strategic direction, and developing technology policies?" Would you like to be the Internal Revenue Service's next director of cybersecurity operations, earn as much as the vice president, and deliver world-class security for critical IRS systems?

Too bad. Federal employees are not eligible to apply.

The IRS has designated this a "streamlined critical pay position" -- a special category that the agency may apply to up to 40 positions at any one time, in order to fill posts that "require expertise of an extremely high level" and "are critical to the Internal Revenue Service’s successful accomplishment of an important mission."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jul 11, 2013 at 1:38 PM0 comments


White House announces new director of presidential personnel

Jonathan McBride

Jonathan McBride, shown here during a 2012 appearance on C-SPAN, will take over as Director of Presidential Personnel.

The White House announced on July 9 that Director of Presidential Personnel Nancy Hogan will be leaving by the end of the month, and will be replaced by Jonathan McBride. McBride currently serves as the Office of Presidential Personnel's deputy director, and is a deputy assistant to the president. A Wharton Business School graduate and former chief strategy for the "employer branding" firm Universum, McBride has been with the administration since 2009.

The Office of Presidential Personnel plays a critical role for agency hiring: Its staff must review and approve all "Schedule C" hires -- political appointments that involve shaping policy or working very closely with key political officials. There are roughly 1,400 such jobs scattered across the executive branch.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jul 09, 2013 at 12:28 PM0 comments


Schambach to leave CSC

Pat Schambach

Pat Schambach, who served more than three decades in the government, is retiring from CSC.

Pat Schambach, the longtime agency CIO who is now a vice president and general manager for federal IT contractor CSC, told colleagues on July 2 that he is leaving the firm. Schambach's retirement will become official at the end of August.

"People have often asked me if I missed working for the government," Schambach wrote in an email that was shared with FCW, "and my standard answer has been that all I really miss are the people! Now I'll be saying the same thing about what I miss about CSC."

Schambach, who won FCW's Eagle Award in 2003, spent more than three decades in government service before moving to the private sector; he was the Transportation Security Administration's first CIO, and served in that same capacity for the Secret Service and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. After leaving government in 2004, Schambach spent four years with Nortel Government Solutions. He has been with CSC since 2008.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jul 03, 2013 at 8:58 AM0 comments


Know any rising stars? Nominate them today!

Rising Star

The deadline is fast approaching for 2013 Rising Star nominations. The best up-and-comers in the federal IT community deserve to be recognized, but all nominations must be in by midnight on Monday, July 15.

Much like the Federal 100 awards, FCW's Rising Star awards recognizes individuals who go above and beyond their official job descriptions. By focusing on those in the first 10 years of their federal IT careers, however, the judges look for nominees who not only make a real impact, but also have clear potential to grow into positions of greater responsibility in their organizations and in the community at large.

Curious to see who's made the grade in the past? Check out the profiles of last year's winners -- and then be sure to nominate your organization's rising stars while there is still time!

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jul 01, 2013 at 10:53 AM0 comments


The problem in the middle

cartoon

Posted by John Klossner on Jun 28, 2013 at 5:53 AM0 comments


CIA docs find a home on Amazon

concept art for cloud services

Amazon’s contract to build a private cloud for the CIA is on hold while the agency sorts through the ramifications of a successful bid protest from IBM, which said it could build the cloud for less.

But Amazon is already storing CIA documents -- just not necessarily those the agency would like.

For instance, the New York Times reported on June 26 that four CIA agents were embedded in the New York Police Department in the decade following 9/11, and that one such agent may have spied on U.S. citizens. The article is based on a recently declassified executive summary of a CIA Inspector General’s report from December 2011, which the Times helpfully posted online.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jun 27, 2013 at 2:47 PM1 comments


A graphic look at federal hiring

Vacancies and staff turnover are seemingly a fact of life for today's agency IT executives. And for senior positions, the hiring hoops can take many forms.

backstory graphic

Posted by FCW Staff on Jun 26, 2013 at 7:55 AM0 comments


Cureton's successor picked at NASA

Larry Sweet

Larry Sweet, NASA's new CIO, takes office as the agency is under IG pressure to improve its IT management.

Larry Sweet, a NASA veteran who began his career at the space agency in 1987, will officially take the reins as the agency's CIO on June 30.

Sweet replaces Linda Cureton, who retired in April. NASA's associate deputy administrator Richard Keegan has been acting CIO since Cureton's departure. Sweet has served as the Johnson Space Center's CIO and information resources director since 2007.

Sweet will be responsible for ensuring NASA's information assets are in line with federal policies, procedures and legislation, and he'll also manage several major IT efforts. The most important of those efforts is likely the IT Infrastructure Integration Program (I3P), which will consolidate and integrate NASA's IT contracts to increase collaboration and reduce costs at the agency.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jun 25, 2013 at 2:00 PM0 comments


Berry to say 'g'day' to Australia

John Berry

President Obama has nominated former OPM leader John Berry to be ambassador to the land down under. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee photo).

President Obama announced the nomination of John Berry for the post of ambassador to Australia on June 21.

Berry headed the Office of Personnel Management from April 2009 to April 2013. At OPM, Berry will be remembered for working to extend health benefits to the domestic partners of lesbian and gay federal employees where allowable by law, advocating raises for federal employees, pioneering telework and working to reduce the backlog of processing retirement claims while speeding hiring times for federal employees.

Before joining OPM, Berry was the director of the National Zoo in Washington, D.C., from 2005 to 2009, and was executive director of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation before that. He also served as a legislative aide to Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Jun 21, 2013 at 3:24 PM0 comments


Deloitte picks new federal consulting leader

Janet Foutty

Janet Foutty, formerly managing director of technology at Deloitte Consulting, is taking over as federal consulting leader. (Photo courtesy of Deloitte)

Deloitte Consulting LLP has appointed Janet Foutty as its new federal consulting leader.

Foutty, who previously served as Deloitte’s managing director of technology, will succeed John Gibbons. Gibbons will serve as a strategic advisor during the transition.

Under Foutty’s two-decade tenure with Deloitte, she successfully launched three businesses in its technology service area: Application Management Services, Customer Solutions and Deloitte Digital. She also helped oversee Deloitte’s acquisition of mobile agency Ubermind in 2012.

"Janet has a tremendous track record of helping improve client results in technology services and financial services,” said Robin Lineberger, CEO of Deloitte Federal Government Services, in a written statement.

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Posted by Natalie Lauri on Jun 20, 2013 at 2:35 PM0 comments


A graphic look at GWACs

GWAC backstory

Posted by FCW Staff on Jun 18, 2013 at 8:59 AM1 comments


EPA CIO heads for private sector

revolving door

Editor's note: This item was modified after its publication to add text from Jackson's email to colleagues and to update other information.

The man behind the Environmental Protection Agency's move to cloud-based email and centralized IT hardware procurement is heading back to the private sector.

EPA Chief Information Officer and Assistant Administrator in the Office of Environmental Information Malcolm Jackson is leaving the agency after three years of service for a job with an unnamed company, an EPA spokesperson confirmed.

Jackson was appointed by President Barack Obama and confirmed by the Senate in 2010. His last day will be July 7, according to an email Jackson sent to colleagues.

"I have enjoyed every moment at EPA immensely and have been so impressed by the passion that you have for your jobs and the agency’s mission," Jackson wrote in that email message. "We have made some great changes together to strengthen OEI and the technology direction of EPA. I hope that you will keep the momentum going and fill the technology gap while ensuring security and quality." 

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jun 18, 2013 at 1:27 PM1 comments


The truth of digital strategies

cartoon private sector

Posted by John Klossner on Jun 17, 2013 at 5:58 AM0 comments


Author: NSA snooping is example of 'present shock'

Douglas Rushkoff

Douglas Rushkoff says that 'present shock' is caused by the interconnectivity of social media and other technology. (Photo by New America Foundation)

There are privacy and national-security considerations in the debate over the National Security Agency's digital surveillance. But according to author and digital literacy advocate Douglas Rushkoff, the NSA flap is also case of an agency biting off more than it can chew.

Speaking June 11 at the New America Foundation, Rushkoff said, "In terms of total surveillance control and all that, it's dark. I mean, I think what happened to government now is government's in 'present shock.' Government says 'look, Facebook has all this big data, they can predict when someone's going to get pregnant.'... So they end up employing the technology automatically. "

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Posted by Reid Davenport on Jun 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


Successor found for Kathleen Turco at GSA

Anne Rung - photo courtesy of Commerce Department

GSA Chief Acquisition Officer Anne Rung will replace Kathleen Turco as head of Office of Governmentwide Policy.

The General Services Administration has a new leader for its Office of Governmentwide Policy. GSA acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini announced in an all-staff email that Anne Rung would replace Kathleen Turco. Effective June 16, Turco will become the Veterans Health Administration's chief financial officer.

Rung, who won a Federal 100 award for her accomplishments at the Commerce Department, had been GSA's chief acquisition officer since April 2012. Federal News Radio first reported Tangherlini's announcement about her new role, which will be in addition to her duties as CAO for the agency.

Posted by FCW Staff on Jun 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


You too can store data like the NSA

concept cybersecurity art

The stories keep coming about the National Security Agency gathering digital metadata on a massive scale, focusing most Americans on the balancing act between privacy and national security. Agency IT leaders, however, could be forgiven for also asking, "How do they organize all that data?"

As luck would have it, NSA Technical Director Neal Ziring went into some detail on that very question in a recent webinar.

In a May 30 presentation produced by 1105 Government Events (which is owned by the same parent company as FCW), Ziring outlined the NSA's approach to data security. "We are well past the model where you say 'everyone who can log on on this computer can gain access to all the data, all the information that's stored on that computer or on that cloud or in that data center,'" he said. "We need to think about controlling that more tightly."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jun 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Forget privacy. What about design principles?

NSA slides

NSA's slides leave a lot to be desired, according to at least one designer. (FCW graphic)

According to one presentation deck making the rounds, the National Security Agency's biggest transgression is not its massive data-gathering efforts. It's the painful aesthetics of its PowerPoint slides describing the Prism program.

In a presentation posted to Slideshare, Paris-based designer Emiland De Cubber wrote: "Dear NSA, you can do whatever you want with my data. But not with my eyes. Those slides are hideous."

De Cubber goes on to recreate several of the now-famous slides with significantly more polish. Check out the full presentation below:

The IBM Center for the Business of Government on June 10 released a how-to guide for agencies seeking to better visualize data. Perhaps the NSA staffers can read and then revise.

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jun 12, 2013 at 8:58 PM0 comments


Petitioners rally around Guardian source

Edward Snowden

Edward Snowden, the contractor employee who exposed the National Security Administration's PRISM program. (Photo by The Guardian newspaper.)

Edward Snowden is not yet charged with a crime, but petitioners are already clamoring for his pardon. A June 9 petition for the White House to "Pardon Edward Snowden" -- the 29-year-old Booz Allen Hamilton contractor who has revealed himself as the source of leaked National Security Agency information -- had already received more than 27,000 signatures by late afternoon on June 10. Filed through the White House's "We the People" system, it needs to receive 100,000 signatures by July 9 to merit an official White House response.

The petition reads:

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jun 10, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Wanted: A rockstar developer for Data.gov

help wanted sign

Agencies often have a hard time competing with private-sector employers for top-notch IT talent, but this job might hold special appeal for the open-data crowd: The Data.gov team is hiring its own developer.

This GS-14 "IT specialist (applications software)" will join the small crew of dataphiles in the General Services Administration's Office of Citizens Services and Innovative Technologies, where he or she will serve as an in-house software engineer, collaborate with outside developers, and serve as web architect for Data.gov.

The technical underpinnings of Data.gov, which launched in May 2009, have been largely built by contractors, but GSA has now decided to bring some coding capacity onto the permanent staff.

"We get a lot of really great ideas from a lot of different places," Data.gov Program Director Marion A. Royal told FCW. "We need a technologist on board to help us prioritize... which should we seek immediately, and which should we invest in for the future."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jun 07, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


How to spot a young data scientist

Data Scientist

Posted by John Klossner on Jun 03, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Pahlka on the power of code

A certain slice of the tech community was abuzz on May 30 when Code for America founder Jennifer Pahlka announced she was coming to Washington to work with U.S. CTO Todd Park as Deputy CTO for Government Innovation. For many agency IT professionals, however, Pahlka -- whose non-profit is based in San Francisco and focused on local, not federal, government -- is a little-known commodity.

For anyone wondering what makes Pahlka tick, her 2012 TED talk on "coding a better government" is a good place to start:

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Jun 03, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Turco leaving GSA for CFO post at Veterans Health Administration

revolving door

General Services Administration official Kathleen Turco is leaving her post to become the CFO at the Veterans Health Administration at Veterans Affairs.

Before becoming the associate administrator of the Office of Governmentwide Policy for GSA in 2010, Turco served for nearly a decade as the agency's CFO.

"It was a difficult decision but I wanted to move back in to CFO work and this position allows me that opportunity plus serving our veterans," Turco said in an email to OGP staff that was shared with FCW.

Turco’s resume also includes stints at the Internal Revenue Service and the Office of Management and Budget. She will start her new post on June 16, according to her email.

Posted by Reid Davenport on May 31, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


Metzenbaum to lead government trust initiative

Shelley Metzenbaum

Shelley Metzenbaum will head the Volcker Alliance, a new think-tank aimed at rebuilding the public trust. (File photo)

Former Federal Reserve Chairman Paul Volcker appointed Shelley Metzenbaum, a former official at the Office of Management and Budget, to lead his newly formed nonpartisan think-tank that takes aim at restoring public trust in the government. Metzenbaum, who stepped down from OMB in April, won an FCW Federal 100 award in 2011 for her lead role on the Obama administration's performance management agenda.

Metzenbaum "brings a unique set of qualifications and experiences to this large and important task," said Volker, who served under presidents Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan. "Rebuilding public trust in our state, local and federal institutions begins with improving the administration of our policies."

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Posted by Reid Davenport on May 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Pahlka named deputy federal CTO

Jennifer Pahlka

Jennifer Pahlka, shown here in 2010, will run the Presidential Innovation Fellows program in her new role as deputy federal CTO. (Flickr/Wikimedia Commons photo by Kevin Shockey)

Jennifer Pahlka, the founder of Code for America, will take up the role of deputy federal chief technology officer and run the Presidential Innovation Fellows program.

Code for America is a non-profit that gives year-long fellowships to developers, technologists and others who want to work on applying a high-tech, streamlined approach to government services. In a May 30 blog post, Pahlka said she's thinking of the appointment as a fellowship of her own, taking the post at the Office of Science and Technology Policy for a year, before returning to run Code for America.

She'll report to federal chief technology officer Todd Park in her new job. "Todd has proven without a doubt that the federal government can operate on lean startup principles and timeframes, that data creates value, and that there is a network of amazing people already changing the culture of government," she wrote in her blog post.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


EPA's Lisa Jackson joins Apple

Lisa Jackson

Lisa Jackson will head Apple's environmental efforts. (File photo)

Former Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa Jackson is joining Apple.

Apple CEO Tim Cook said on May 28 that Jackson, who stepped down from the EPA in February after four years with the Obama Administration, will be heading the Cupertino, Calif.-based technology company's environmental efforts. Cook made the announcement at the D11 Conference during an on-stage interview with technology journalists Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher. "She’s going to be coordinating a lot of this activity across the company," Cook said of Jackson.

Jackson waged several high-profile regulatory battles while at EPA, and also drew congressional attention for her use of "alias" e-mail accounts to conduct government business.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on May 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


CyberCom chief receives TechAmerica's top honors

Keith Alexander, DOD photo

Gen. Keith Alexander has been named government technology executive of the year by the TechAmerica Foundation. (File photo)

The TechAmerica Foundation is recognizing Gen. Keith Alexander, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and National Security Agency director, as its Government Technology Executive of the Year, and will honor him at next month at an awards dinner.

"Gen. Alexander's distinguished career has been dedicated to protecting our nation, and it only seems fitting that he is spearheading our defense in the newest realm of security," Shawn Osborne, TechAmerica chairman, said in the release. "He has contributed a great deal to advancing the United States' national security by prioritizing protecting cyber space and it is an honor to be able to recognize his commitment to modernizing the way our government responds to security threats but more importantly, his service to our country."

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Posted by Amber Corrin on May 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Obama names picks to head Census, NOAA

revolving door

President Obama on May 23 announced nominations for the heads of two of the more data-intensive agencies in the federal government, the Commerce Department's Census Bureau and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Dr. John H. Thompson, Obama's pick to lead the Census, is a longtime veteran of the bureau going back to 1975. He has held various senior posts, including associate director for the decennial census and chief of the decennial management division. Currently, Thompson is president and CEO of the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. The bureau is under pressure to lower the cost of its next decennial count of the American population, which cost $14 billion in 2010.

Environmental scientist Dr. Mark Schaefer, meanwhile, has been nominated to lead NOAA. His prior government service includes a stint in the Interior Department and in the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, both under President Clinton. Schaefer currently works as deputy executive director for environmental conflict resolution at the Morris K. Udall and Stewart L. Udall Foundation.

Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Obama taps former political director to lead OPM

Katherine Archuleta

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.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


ACT-IAC honors GSA's McClure with Franke Award

David McClure

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.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on May 21, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Moniz confirmed as Energy Secretary

Moniz

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 12:10 PM0 comments


A new approach to oversight

Klossner oversight

Posted by John Klossner on May 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


AFFIRM announces 2013 Leadership Award winners

applause

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.

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Posted by Mark Rockwell on May 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


OMB nominee sails through questioning

Brian Deese

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.)

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on May 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


TechAmerica's Kerber joins Government Transformation Initiative

Jennifer Kerber

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."

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Posted by Michael Hardy on May 08, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Tech pros among Service to America award finalists

applause

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.

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Posted by FCW Staff on May 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Furloughed feds can take to the fairway

Brambleton Golf Course

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."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on May 03, 2013 at 12:10 PM3 comments


Dawn Meyerriecks takes tech job at CIA

Dawn Meyerriecks

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.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on May 01, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Tom Wheeler named to head FCC

revolving door

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.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 30, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Air Force Secretary Donley to retire

Michael Donley

Michael Donley

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."

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Apr 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


Metzenbaum leaving OMB

Shelley Metzenbaum

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Government Operations subcommittee plans a field trip

empty DC warehouse

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.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 24, 2013 at 12:10 PM2 comments


FCC chief’s swan song: in-flight broadband

In-flight Broadband

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.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


Sometimes it's hard to share...

Cartoon about spectrum

Posted by John Klossner on Apr 18, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


OMB reasserts its gatekeeper role between agencies and Congress

Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients

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."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Apr 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


So much for the cyber medal...

distinguished warfare medal

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.

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Posted by FCW Staff on Apr 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


CIO wanted at FEMA

sign now hiring

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.

FEMA job posting

Posted by Frank Konkel on Apr 11, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Mobility over the wall

Cartoon about budget

Posted by John Klossner on Apr 05, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Acquisition mythbusting gets the spotlight

government industry talking

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Apr 04, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Hanging up on robocalls

robot on the phone

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.

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Posted by Adam Mazmanian on Apr 02, 2013 at 12:10 PM2 comments


USGIF CEO Stu Shea steps down

Stu Shea

Stu Shea

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.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Mar 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Partnership for Public Service adds former fed to its board

revolving door

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


John Klossner on the Fed 100

klossner on fed100

Posted by John Klossner on Mar 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


GSA's WillowWood facility to close

GSA WillowWood

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."

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Mar 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


GSA's Davie 'happy to be back'

Mary Davie, GSA

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Mar 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


State Department's innovation advisor leaves agency

Alec Ross

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."

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Posted on Mar 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


SEC nominee makes tech a priority

abstract image of money

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 12, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Got opinions on cloud?

Cloud computing icon

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Yahoo's telework clampdown: Why it happened

Marissa Mayer

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.

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Posted by Michael Hardy on Mar 08, 2013 at 12:10 PM7 comments


Honoring the 1 percent

applause

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 12:10 PM2 comments


Ridge, Schmidt form consulting firm

concept cybersecurity art

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.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Mar 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Snowquester: an accurate description after all?

2010 snowstorm Dutchess County NY

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."

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Mar 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


D.C. delegate supports furloughed feds

Eleanor Holmes Norton

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Mar 01, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Feds: Keep your computers longer, Rep says

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 12:10 PM3 comments


Honoring excellence in workforce development, training

rubber stamp

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Hagel sworn in to lead DOD

Chuck Hagel takes oath

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.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


The totally awesome future of GIS

Federal CTO Todd Park at the 2013 ESRI Federal GIS Conference - photo by Frank Konkel/FCW

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.”

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Feb 27, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Sequester's impact to be felt beyond the Beltway

The Scream

Looming furloughs at other sequester-sparked disruptions have been discussed for months now, but White House warnings got a bit more specific over the weekend.

Administration officials held a Feb. 24 conference call with reporters, and said the Office of Management and Budget is working with agencies to get to "the degree of specificity" about sequester cuts that the Pentagon has shared. In the meantime, they released fact sheets detailing the impact in each state:

Alabama | Alaska | Arizona | Arkansas | California | Colorado | Connecticut | Delaware | District of Columbia | Florida | Georgia | Hawaii | Idaho | Illinois | Indiana | Iowa | Kansas | Kentucky | Louisiana | Maine | Maryland | Massachusetts | Michigan | Minnesota | Mississippi | Missouri | Montana | Nebraska | Nevada | New Hampshire | New Jersey | New Mexico | New York | North Carolina | North Dakota | Ohio | Oklahoma | Oregon | Pennsylvania | Rhode Island | South Carolina | South Dakota | Tennessee | Texas | Utah | Vermont | Virginia | Washington | West Virginia | Wisconsin | Wyoming | Puerto Rico

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Feb 25, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


Neon signs and dives into fire

neon open sign

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


Astronauts to host Google+ 'hangout'

Tom Marshburn, astronaut

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.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Feb 20, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Peter Levin to leave VA

Peter Levin

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 19, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


A physical award for cyberwarriors

distinguished warfare medal

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."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Feb 15, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Is Werfel humorless about the budget?

Danny Werfel

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Feb 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


GSA gains a CFO

Mike Casella

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 13, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Obama to host second 'fireside hangout' after speech

Obama video chat

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Hammering home the point

hammer award recpients

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Feb 07, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Pick your sequester scenario

tea leaves

Can you read the tea leaves on sequestration? (Photo by Cyron via Flickr under Creative Commons license.)

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."

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Feb 06, 2013 at 12:10 PM3 comments


Does IBM's Kamensky have a future in impressions?

Harry Reid

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 12:10 PM0 comments


DISA program among finalists for Excellence.gov award

Excellence.gov Logo

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."

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 31, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


VA academy gets new leader

Melissa Starinsky

Melissa Starinsky

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Armed Services Committee assigns subcommittee leaders

Buck McKeon

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.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Jan 29, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Berry to leave OPM for Interior?

John Berry of OPM

John Berry

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


A new name for the Telework Exchange

teleworker at laundromat

'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.

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Posted by Frank Konkel on Jan 28, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


TechAmerica gains former Hill staffer

Scott Bousum

Scott Bousum

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 12:10 PM0 comments


The bright side of obsolescence

Cobol code

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 23, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Federal Acquisition Service gets a new leader

Dan Tangherlini GSA image

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 22, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Locatis leaving DHS cybersecurity role

Mike Locatis

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Interior secretary to step down

Obama and Salazar

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 16, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


DHS, Agriculture to keep secretaries in second term

Napolitano and Vilsack

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Obituary: Joe Caggiano

Joe Caggiano

Joe Caggiano

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 14, 2013 at 12:10 PM5 comments


Former White House CIO jumps into publishing

Brook Colangelo

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 10, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Second VA official resigns in scandal

Rep. Darrell Issa

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jan 08, 2013 at 12:10 PM1 comments


Obama picks counterterrorism adviser to head CIA

John Brennan

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Jan 07, 2013 at 12:10 PM0 comments


NASA's Gangnam video delights some, baffles others

nasa video

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.

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Dec 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM3 comments


Energy picks deputy CIO

Donald Adcock, DOE

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.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Dec 21, 2012 at 12:10 PM2 comments


Former ARPA-E director joins Google

Arun Majumdar

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Air Force assigns general to new Cyber Command role

Sheila Zuelhlke official photo

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.

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Posted by Amber Corrin on Dec 10, 2012 at 12:10 PM0 comments


National Archives picks first 'chief innovation officer'

Pamela Wright

Pamela Wright

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Dec 07, 2012 at 12:10 PM0 comments


The BYOD solution

The byod solution

Posted by John Klossner on Dec 07, 2012 at 9:03 AM0 comments


Issa's home robbed

Rep. Darrell Issa

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 12:10 PM0 comments


White House CIO resigns

Brook Colangelo

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.

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Posted by Camille Tuutti on Dec 06, 2012 at 12:10 PM0 comments


IBM's Altman wins Heroes in Technology Award

Anne Altman and Xavier Alire

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Jack Brooks, father of modern procurement, dies at 89

Jack Brooks

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.

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Posted by Nick Wakeman on Dec 05, 2012 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Klossner: What comes after big data?

Klossner small data

Posted by John Klossner on Nov 26, 2012 at 9:03 AM0 comments


Klossner on the CIO

Klossner on the CIO

Posted by John Klossner on Nov 20, 2012 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Navy makes intell, cyber personnel moves

Navy logo

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Want to be FAS Comissioner? Better hurry!

GSA logo

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.

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Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Nov 14, 2012 at 9:03 AM0 comments


Former Pentagon CIO joins company advisory board

Arthur Money and Peter Marino

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Performance management pro moves from ODNI to private sector

Cherreka Montgomery

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.” 

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Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Nov 07, 2012 at 12:10 PM0 comments


Hasbrouck takes over DISA field office command

Capt. Carrie Hasbrouck, USN

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 12:10 PM0 comments


Mark Drapeau's Movember mustache move

Mark Drapeau stache

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 12:10 PM0 comments


NIST fellow wins Nobel

David J. Wineland

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 12:10 PM0 comments


David Bennett

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 12:10 PM0 comments


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  • revolving door

    Balderson to lead Northrop Grumman contracting

    Diane Balderson was most recently head of contracting for the Naval Air Systems Command. Read More

  • Paul Brubaker and Elizabeth McGrath at the 2014 Federal 100 awards gala

    Brubaker heads to AirWatch

    Pentagon's director of planning and performance management will focus on federal business for the mobile security and enterprise mobility management provider. Read More

  • revolving door

    Obama taps IRS vet for OMB controller post

    Arthur Mader is currently senior vice president for strategy and organization at Booz Allen. Read More

  • John Klossner self portrait

    The downside of big data

    Big data is all well and good, FCW's cartoonist notes, but eventually it has to go somewhere. Read More

  • Image of the Pentagon

    Pentagon: IT departures won't disrupt relations with industry

    A DOD spokesman said there was no timetable for replacing outgoing CIO Teri Takai. Read More

  • Defense Department CIO Teri Takai speaking at a Feb. 20, 2014, press conference.

    Takai to leave DOD

    CIO's May departure will add to the Pentagon's growing list of senior IT and management vacancies. Read More