2007 Rising Star: Karen Richey

: Government Accountability Office: Senior cost analyst: Richey has been in her current job for six years and in the government informationtechnology community for 11 years.You could say that Karen Richey and her job as a senior cost analyst at the Government Accountability Office are a match made in heaven. “I loved math and statistics all throughout school,” said Richey, who earned a bachelor’s degree in those subjects at the University of South Carolina. “I like the numbers, I like the analysis and I like the objectivity of it all.” At GAO, the investigative arm of Congress, Richey gets to apply her analytical skills at the Center for Technology and Engineering, where she supports audit teams on a variety of government programs, including defense systems, information technology development and modernization, and management systems and methods. To do this, she examines cost estimates and data on risk and earned value management. But the job isn’t just about numbers. Richey travels to government and contractor sites to interview staff members about how they are using best practices. She collects data for audits and makes recommendations for improvements. Lawmakers rely on those findings to assess whether taxpayer dollars are being spent prudently. “At GAO, we get the best of both worlds,” Richey said. “We get to use the numbers as a way to be objective with the findings, but then we also go deeper to get the story behind the numbers.” Her biggest project in her eight years at the agency was the first document of its kind, GAO’s “Cost Assessment Guide: Best Practices for Estimating and Managing Program Costs.” A draft version was released for comment in July. For the guide, she led a two-year effort to compile government and industry best practices in one sourcebook and create a standardized approach for analyzing program costs. She poured herself into the project, working long hours to complete the project with two other GAO analysts, Jennifer Echard and Carol Cha. “I went to my husband and said, ‘Look, I’ve got to get this done. It will make life easier once it’s done, but I’ve got to work nights and weekends.’ He was very good about it,” she said. In compiling the 350-page guide, Richey sought the advice of experts in government, industry and higher education. Larry Reagan, vice president of government solutions at Price Systems, said Richey’s ability to reach across traditionally separate lines of business to achieve a consensus on the guide was remarkable. “The effort required to get this diverse team...to agree on a set of best practices for all future government programs is a reflection on Karen’s dedication, professionalism and respect,” he said. “Her leadership, including a willingness to listen and understand the needs of many, has resulted in a solid foundation for the future.” Richey’s work at GAO has proved to be her calling. She joined the agency in 1998 but left in 2000 to return to the Navy Department, where she had started her government career. She then realized that GAO was where she was meant to be. About a year later, she was back. “As soon as I left, I thought, ‘I need to get back’ ” to GAO, she said. “I realized that there is more opportunity and ability to have an impact at GAO.”
Job
Position

Career in brief


Why Richey is a Rising Star


























NEXT STORY: 2007 Rising Star: Mark Goodge

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.