The Circuit

Good to Know Ya

Federal chief information officers tend to stay in their jobs relatively briefly, but Ed Levine at the Environmental Protection Agency may set a record for the briefest stint. Levine, who officially became CIO via a President Clinton recess appointment on Dec. 18, stepped aside Jan. 20 when George W. Bush was sworn in as president. Levine joined EPA in April as deputy assistant administrator and interim CIO. He said he plans to take a few weeks off before looking for another job in Washington, D.C. "I would love to be CIO somewhere else," he said. "Next week I'll have my Web site up and people can download my resume."

Movable Pandas

Time for us to shamelessly pander.

Haven't gotten a chance to see the new giant pandas at the National Zoo in Washington, D.C.? Beat the crowds and check them out online via the new PandaCams at pandas. The zoo is using 20 motion- sensitive Web video cameras to track the musings of Tian Tian and Mei Xiang day and night. The site offers live streaming video and still images that are updated every 20 seconds. Eat your heart out, JenniCam.

A Net Full of Cash

For the fellows who ran Sen. John McCain's unsuccessful presidential campaign last year, the idea of raising money on the Internet apparently was just an afterthought. As McCain communication director Dan Schnur tells it, the campaign's Web site designer wondered aloud whether he ought to create a fund-raising page. At first, Schnur said, "the smart guys" scoffed. But after thinking it over, they said, "What the heck?" There was nothing to lose and "maybe we can make back the cost of the Web site," about $15,000.

So a feature was added to the McCain site asking for online donations. In all, the McCain campaign raised about $6 million in small donations over the Internet. Now that's an afterthought.

Change of Chairs

Some federal workers not affected by the political aspects of the presidential transition are playing their own game of musical chairs. The Interagency Management Council, a group of representatives from cabinet agencies that advises the General Services Administration on telecommunications issues, officially placed Thomas Wiesner, director of the Office of Corporate Systems Management at the Treasury Department, at the head of its table for the upcoming year. Wiesner replaces Robert Bubniak, acting CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Later this year, Wiesner will try on another hat. As part of reorganizing Treasury's CIO office, Wiesner will become director of security—which means he'll tackle not only information security but also physical and personnel, security.

A Year After

Four officials who led Pentagon efforts to survive the Year 2000 rollover are now working for IT companies. Gary Ambrose, the brigadier general who led the Air Force's Year 2000 readiness initiative, now works as IBM Corp.'s DOD client director. The Marine Corps' Col. Kevin McHale is now assistant director of Marine Corps programs at Mitre Corp. The Navy's Capt. Clifford Szafran now serves as a program manager at Electronic Data Systems Corp. And the Air Force's Lt. Gen. William Donahue now heads the Computer Sciences Corp. business unit that deals with aerospace programs, range operations and Air Force support business.

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