The Rising Star judges

Special thanks to our judges, who took time out of their busy schedules to lend their expertise in choosing this year's Rising Star award winners.

Principal Deputy Associate AdministratorOffice of Citizen Services and Innovative TechnologiesGeneral Services Administration Business Development Manager Northrop Grumman Information Systems President and Co-founderThe Ambit Group Weatherhead Professor of Public ManagementJohn F. Kennedy School of Government Harvard University Deputy Program Executive OfficerEnterprise Information SystemsDepartment of the Army

Picking the best entries to become Rising Stars depends on judges who carefully consider the merits of each person nominated, from a position of experience, insight and expertise. Our thanks go to the men and women who chose the 12 winners for 2012.

Presenting the 2012 Rising Stars

Jonathan Benett
Program Manager
Food and Nutrition Service
Agriculture Department

Jonathan Benett has extensive experience in program and project management, strategic planning, operations, and business development. He is responsible for the portfolio of IT systems and projects that support the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which puts healthy food within reach for more than 45 million people.

Kathy P. Conrad


Kathy Conrad is a proven leader, problem-solver and strategic adviser with nearly 30 years of experience in government technology programs and policies. She currently oversees program management, policy development, oversight and implementation of operations and stakeholder outreach at the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies.

Anne-Stewart ‘Stewi’ Downer

Stewi Downer assists multiple account and capture managers in building customer and competitor relationships, finding new business opportunities, and performing other strategic market analysis and business development activities. She also serves as president of the Young AFCEA Bethesda Chapter.

Kimberley Hayes

Kimberley Hayes is a recognized industry leader in providing strategic management services, with more than 15 years of direct federal experience. In addition, she frequently speaks on procurement and policy issues facing the federal small-business community.

Steve Kelman


Steve Kelman is the author of many books and articles on the policy-making process and improving the management of government organizations. He served as administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy from 1993 through 1997.

Terry Watson


Terry Watson is responsible for program management of more than 60 Defense Department and Army acquisition programs across the business, warfighting and enterprise information environment mission areas. Her primary responsibilities are with the core enterprise services, computing infrastructure and communications systems.

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