The Rising Star judges

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
Principal Deputy Associate Administrator
Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies
General Services Administration

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
Business Development Manager
Northrop Grumman Information Systems

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
President and Co-founder
The Ambit Group

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
Weatherhead Professor of Public Management
John F. Kennedy School of Government
Harvard University

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
Deputy Program Executive Officer
Enterprise Information Systems
Department of the Army

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.

FCW in Print

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


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    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.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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