Rising Star Vanessa Leigh Manchester

Vanessa ManchesterName: Vanessa Leigh Manchester

Age: 37

Organization: Iris Partners, contractor for the Connect Program at the Office of the National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, Health and Human Services Department

Title: Program manager

Nominated for: Coordinating the efforts of more than 20 federal agencies as they link their existing health IT systems to the emerging Nationwide Health Information Network via the Connect gateway. Hailed as a magician of sorts for guiding the Connect program from planning through product development into limited production in less than a year.

First IT mentor: There have been many co-workers in my life who have helped me grow as a professional. They taught me a critical lesson — that technology is never the hardest part of a project. In fact, it’s usually the easiest. The real challenge is working with a team and figuring out ways to make them work toward one common goal.

Latest accomplishment: Managing the Connect program from planning through product development into limited production in less than one year. The Connect team recently held the 1st Annual Connect Training Seminar; more than 1,400 registrants signed up.

Career highlight: I’m fortunate to be right in the midst of my most rewarding project yet: being part of the development of Connect. The Connect solution supports the nation's ability to achieve electronic health records for all citizens by 2014, as called for by President Obama.

Favorite bookmark: ConnectOpenSource.org

Dream non-IT-related job: To host my own HGTV home renovation show. The theme would be renovating on a budget using real wood and salvaged materials, complemented by high-end materials.


The annual Rising Star awards are presented by the 1105 Government Information Group, publisher of Federal Computer Week, GCN and Washington Technology,  to public and private sector employees in the federal IT community who have gone above and beyond their job descriptions to make a lasting impact in their organization.  See all the 2009 Rising Star award winners.

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