Snapshots of history

Nuala O'Connor Kelly's office may not be imposing or have a window, but every available surface is covered with her history. The Sept. 12, 2001, front page of the New York Times draws your eye right away. Next to it is a framed photo of O'Connor Kelly and two other people in National Institute of Standards and Technology hard hats and hip boots at a NIST facility, a memory of her time at the Commerce Department's Technology Administration. The standard government nameplates from her positions at the department sit on the bookshelf next to her desk.

Other photos with personal messages and copies of newspaper and magazine articles are prominent, but on the door, she has taped a simple printout with a response from Homeland Security Department Secretary Tom Ridge in his "Ask the White House" online chat. Instead of focusing on an explanation of the department's mission or the budget for first responders, she highlighted a very specific answer that goes back to the connection they discovered in their first meeting: "My family still loves me, my three Labrador retrievers always seem to be happy to see me, regardless of what anybody says about my picture, and life is good."

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


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    Hack the Pentagon proved to Defense Department officials that outside hackers can be assets, not adversaries.

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    Why PPD-41 is evolutionary, not revolutionary

    Government cybersecurity officials say the presidential policy directive codifies cyber incident response protocols but doesn't radically change what's been in practice in recent years.

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    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

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