The 1998 Federal 100 Judges
Each year's selection of the Federal 100 is different from that of previous years because the process reflects the concerns and the personalities of the particular panel of judges as well as the environment in which the selections are made. For example, five years ago there was little, if any, mention of the Year 2000, and online did not mean the World Wide Web. The winners reflect the times.
This year the judges met in FCW's offices on Saturday, Jan. 10. The judges followed the precedent set by previous panels and removed themselves from consideration. Also taken off the table were all past Eagle Award winners. The judges believe that Eagle Awards grant an individual a sort of emeritus status. Once you are selected as an Eagle winner, you do not go back into the pool of potential Federal 100 winners.
Another guideline was that awards would not be given to individuals who were selected last year for essentially the same activity; continuing good work is admirable, but the judges believed the achievement had already been recognized.
Some guidelines have remained constant over the years, endorsed by succeeding panels of judges:
* The award is for work done in 1997.
* This is an all-star team, not a hall-of-fame award.
* It is what the person did that counts, not the position occupied.
* Awards go to individuals, not to departments or teams.
* Some selections may be controversial. This is not a popularity contest. Individuals who had a major effect on the community may not be uniformly liked. Effects can be negative and still be significant.
* Some of the awards may be symbolic, representing other deserving people who may have done similar, but unrecognized, work.
Each year, themes emerge from the work of the winners. Major themes this year included the Year 2000, electronic commerce, encryption and security issues, information sharing and innovative techniques for thriving in the new procurement environment. Certainly one of the changes was the emphasis on partnerships between government and industry; a number of industry executives were recognized for developing new ways of working with the government as a customer.
We are presenting the winners in a slightly different format this year. The new layout permits us to use many more pictures.
As we read through these accomplishments, we are reminded once again that it is people who make change happen.
We thank the judges for their time, their support and their conscientious performance of their duties. We salute the 1998 Federal 100.
Assistant Deputy Commissioner for Systems
Social Security Administration
If the federal government's computers fail on Jan. 1, 2000, no one will be able to blame Adams. She arguably has been the government's most active and visible proponent of fixing the code in federal computer systems to prevent potential catastrophe at the turn of the century.
Not content to merely gauge the Year 2000 reliability of computers within her own agency, Adams embarked on a governmentwide crusade to warn her fellow IT managers of the perils of the problem and advise them on how to test and repair their systems. Her activities have given her a broad perspective on how the federal government as a whole is addressing this urgent problem.
A former Eagle Award winner, Adams serves as chairwoman of the Year 2000 subcommittee of the CIO Council.
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Chairman, Chief Executive Officer
Gioia specializes in helping executives manage risks— whether it's General Motors unveiling a new car or a government agency trying to design a system that can be built and delivered in manageable pieces. A realistic assessment of what a manager can expect by following different courses of action is often one of the most difficult— but one of the most important— pieces of information to collect.
Gioia brings to the judging a knowledge of the risk-takers. From his long association with the Washington Chapter of the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association, he adds the inside awareness of those who are making change happen within the military community.
Gioia was last year's Eagle Award winner and is a two-time winner of the Federal 100 Award.
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Weatherhead Professor of Public Management
Kennedy School of Government
Kelman's name is synonymous with procurement reform. He was the primary champion for it when he was the administrator of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy at the Office of Management and Budget. Although he left the administration in September to return to Harvard, he now watches, advises, consults and teaches about the brave new world he helped to create.
A classic example of one who sees the world "from both sides now," he brings to the panel the analytic eye of an academic tempered by business experience that was gained sitting on the boards of Government Technology Services Inc. and Federal Sources Inc. and by his active consulting practice in the federal market.
Kelman brings to the selection of this year's winners the enthusiasm and candor that has been his hallmark.
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Chief of Information Policy and Technology
Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs
Office of Management and Budget
McConnell is a forceful behind-the-scenes presence on the federal IT scene. Name just about any pressing IT issue facing federal agencies today, and chances are that he is working the problem.
At OIRA, McConnell helps agencies face the Year 2000 problem, respond to the Clinger-Cohen Act, install standardized architectures and promote capital planning. His office also works such policy issues as the dissemination of government information, electronic data interchange and e-mail.
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National Finance Center
Department of Agriculture
A Louisiana native who runs a data center for the Department of Agriculture in the Big Easy, Ortego spent more than 20 years at federal jobs in Washington, D.C., and Austin, Texas, before returning to his home state. During that period, he established himself as someone who knows his way around a data center through his work at the Department of Veterans Affairs and the General Services Administration.
But he also has demonstrated savvy in dealing with policy and procurement issues. During the late 1970s, he worked for Rep. Jack Brooks, who at the time was taking the first real stab at a coherent federal IT management policy.
Ortego brings an outside-the-Beltway perspective to the panel— a result of his 12 years in federal jobs in Louisiana and Texas.
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Anne Thomson Reed
Chief Information Officer
Department of Agriculture
Reed is one of a new breed of CIOs. She has the responsibility of tying together agency bureaus that are long used to going their own ways. Congress continues to propose that she be given budget authority over IT purchases in the agency. If the legislation succeeds this year, it would make her one of the first CIOs with control of the purse strings.
Reed understands the challenges faced by her colleagues throughout the government. Before taking the job at the USDA, she spent 12 years working at the Department of the Navy in a series of positions that ended with a stint at the Comptroller Office of the Naval Sea Systems Command. The budget training she received then still serves her well today as she balances technical demands with available resources.
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Anthony M. Valletta
Deputy Assistant Secretary for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence Acquisitions
Department of Defense
Valletta has been holding the fort at the Defense C3I shop. As the new secretary of Defense reorganized and restaffed for the second Clinton term, Valletta was the senior civilian official at DOD who understood and cared about IT issues. He knows firsthand who in DOD has been successful at managing budgets, security and the demands of new legislation.
Valletta recently announced he will retire from government service in the spring, capping a career that includes service in the Army Signal Corps, in addition to serving as the program executive officer for the Standard Army Management Information Systems contract and as the Army's vice director of information systems for command, control, communications and computers.
Valletta is a two-time Federal 100 Award winner, and he served as a judge in 1993.
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John P. (Pat) Ways
Group Vice President, Business Development, Systems Group
Computer Sciences Corp.
Ways' position as a "capture man" gives him an intense, high-level view of the federal marketplace. He knows who is doing a good job in industry because he competes against many of them. He also works with many of the same people in government and industry as part of his extensive volunteer work, particularly for the Industry Advisory Council.
Ways learned the federal IT business from the ground up, starting as a programmer 33 years ago at IBM Corp., where he supported NASA's Gemini program. After 27 years at IBM Federal Systems, he moved on to CSC in 1992. He took his present job a year later.
Ways brings to the judging not only his years of experience at IBM and CSC but also a new view of the federal IT market and an overwhelming enthusiasm for it.