Greg Woods, 59, dies

Greg Woods, formerly in charge of the Education Department's Federal Student Aid office, died last week from pancreatic cancer. He was 59.

Woods resigned from his education post, effective Sept. 30, to undergo medical treatment.

"I really am saddened to hear the news," said Alan Balutis, executive director of the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils. "Greg was someone who brought real energy and vision and perspective to the government IT community, from his work with Al Gore's reinventing government task force [to] some of the innovative procurements at the FSA," including its groundbreaking share-in-savings contract with Accenture.

"Greg started working on e-government before that phrase existed," said Steve Kelman, professor of public management at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.

Woods was appointed chief operating officer in December 1998, shortly after FSA was designated as the government's first performance-based organization. He helped transform the office's programs by improving customer service, reducing costs and adding Web-based applications and an 800 number for lending institutions to call to solve problems.

"Two things I always remember about Greg that we shared: our dislike of bureaucracy and our belief that serving your country should be fun," said Bob Woods, president of education services at Affiliated Computer Services Inc. and a close friend of Woods. "He did those things. He didn't die wondering. And that's the way you should do it."

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