Federal 100 winners -- From K - P


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Judy Kassakatis

Deputy Chief of the Spectrum Management Resources and Technologies Division

Federal Communications Commission


Judy Kassakatis has always been ahead of her time in advancing electronic government at the Federal Communications Commission. But what sets her apart is a continuing focus on the customer, said Kimberly Hancher, the FCC’s deputy chief information officer for e-government. Kassakatis transformed the Universal Licensing System (ULS), which has been processing wireless service applications since 1998, to make it more efficient, Hancher said.

“She has the ability to take a concept, create a vision, bring that vision into reality and then continuously improve on it,” Hancher said. “You don’t just stop once you deploy a system. In the past year, ULS has had notable enhancements to make it more customer-centric and more constituent-friendly.”


Bruce Klein

Vice President of Federal Operations

Cisco Systems


As vice president of federal operations at Cisco Systems, Bruce Klein was on the front lines when Hurricane Katrina disabled 3 million telephone lines, along with cellular sites and radio stations.

Klein foresaw a need to deploy Cisco teams to restore communications for first responders as the storm ravaged the Gulf Coast, said Robert Lloyd, senior vice president of U.S. and Canada sales and marketing at Cisco.

Klein’s strength is his ability to work with various organizations, especially during crisis situations, Lloyd said. Coordinating nongovernment organizations and the National Guard, for example, requires rare fluidity in a leader. “That’s what it takes to be successful,” he said. “You need to be able to understand the various ways that these groups respond.”


Ron Kurjanowicz

Program Manager for the 2005
DARPA Grand Challenge

Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency


Ron Kurjanowicz oversaw the successful design and execution of the 2005 Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Grand Challenge race held in the Mojave Desert. The race tests the viability of unmanned ground vehicles powered by robotics and embedded computer hardware and software.

The Army expects the technologies can help it build the Future Combat Systems and comply with legislation requiring that one-third of all operational ground combat vehicles be unmanned by 2015.

Five teams successfully negotiated the 131.6- mile desert course without any drivers. “By all measures, the race was a huge success [because] Ron really managed the whole race from February, when it was announced, to October,” when the Grand Challenge was held, said Alfred Toussaint, manager of federal initiatives at Intel Americas.


Debbie Kutzleb

Information Technology Manager

Phoenix International


To assist Navy cleanup efforts after the 2005 Gulf Coast hurricanes, Deborah Kutzleb created a real-time database to catalog the thousands of wrecks and casualties along the lower Mississippi River and Gulf Coast.

Capt. James Wilkins, director of the Navy’s Supervisor of Salvage and Diving organizations, said the database identified 3,500 casualties and wrecks, their location coordinates, technical reports and fiscal documentation. As technical lead on the project, Kutzleb and her team made the database as flexible and adaptable as Navy officials needed it to be, he said.

“It was her personal work ethic and integrity — just making sure that everything was always taken care of right way,” Wilkins said. “She put in hours and hours and hours to make sure that whatever we needed we got done.”


J. Neal Latta

Biometric Identification System Program Manager

Homeland Security Department


J. Neal Latta led an initiative to expand the sharing of criminal fingerprint data across agency and international boundaries, a project with political, technical and budgetary challenges.

Von Jennings, Lockheed Martin’s chief biometrics architect, said Latta’s technical savvy and good humor were major factors that enabled the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program to deliver what law enforcement and immigration officers needed.

“Neal used his in-depth understanding of operational needs and technical complexities, combined with his indefatigable persistence and dedication, to guide and cajole the team to a successful, on-time and on-budget conclusion,” Jennings said.


Mike O. Leavitt


Department of Health and Human Services


Mike Leavitt used the bully pulpit of his office to urge the creation of a nationwide electronic health records system, and he made hurricane battered Louisiana a test bed for developing such a system.

Scott Wallace, president and chief executive officer of the National Alliance for Health Information Technology, said the fact that Leavitt has “taken a personal interest in health information technology helps define the national agenda.”

Leavitt also spearheaded federal, state and local efforts to prepare for a possible pandemic flu outbreak. He took his cues from a doctor in his hometown of Cedar City, Utah, who battled the 1918 influenza outbreak. A local newspaper described that pandemic as worse than bullets.


John Lee

Headquarters Program Executive



John Lee used his technical knowledge and political savvy to develop a policy that will guide federal agencies’ transition to IPv6 by June 2008.

He also devised a process for applying the policy in ways that will help create a market for IPv6 products and services and make optimal use of the protocol’s capabilities.

Glenn Schlarman, information policy branch chief of information and regulatory affairs at the Office of Management and Budget, said he was impressed with Lee’s important policy contributions and his methods for accomplishing them.

“He is just a terrific guy to work with,” Schlarman said. “He knew how to solve the problem and get people to recognize that there is a problem that needed solving.”


Bruce E. Leinster




Bruce Leinster’s business cards identify him as a consultant for IBM. But he often speaks on behalf of the information technology industry as a whole.

In 2005, he focused on getting policy-makers to understand the value of time-and-materials contracting for the federal government.

“When it comes to understanding how the government can move its way into a commercial marketplace and acquire products and solutions in a commercial way, he’s about as articulate and knowledgeable as anyone out there,” said Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council.

Time-and-materials contracting is a complex topic. “It requires somebody with a detailed understanding of the regulations and also who can translate them into layman’s terms,” said Trey Hodgkins, director of defense programs at the IT Association of America.


Ray A. Letteer

Senior Information Assurance Manager

Marine Corps


Ray Letteer has been instrumental in moving the Marine Corps and Navy closer to implementing new information assurance training standards outlined by the Defense Department.

Letteer organized the purchase of a Web-based tool that will revolutionize the preparation, submission and maintenance of security certification documents throughout the Marine Corps.

He also validated the enterprise configuration and security status of applications and systems in the Marine Corps infrastructure.

“Ray has been a dynamic leader in the information assurance workforce transformation, guiding the Navy and Marine Corps to set high training standards,” said Sandra Smith, the Navy’s information management/information technology workforce manager.


David P. Lewis

Senior Policy Adviser for Information Sharing

Justice Department


When Attorney General Alberto Gonzales heard the idea to create a National Sex Offender Public Registry, which would be a federal system to link states’ public registries of sex offenders, he asked David Lewis for a working prototype in five days. Lewis delivered it in four.

Next, Gonzales wanted a publicly accessible online registry connecting 20 states to be delivered in 60 days. Sixty days later, he got 21 states, plus the District of Columbia, all for less than $1 million.

By the end of 2005, the sex offender registry had received more than 200 million hits, said Paul Wormeli, executive director of the Integrate Justice Information Systems Institute. “The system was clearly important to the people of America,” he said.


Cyrus G. “Jerry” Lohfink

Director of the National Finance Center

Agriculture Department


More than 500,000 federal workers can thank Jerry Lohfink for not letting Hurricane Katrina wipe out their paychecks.

When Katrina was barreling toward New Orleans Aug. 26, Lohfink moved the National Finance Center’s operations to Philadelphia. He worked nonstop for two days overseeing an emergency relocation plan and safely moved all his employees.

Lohfink’s quick thinking saved the center’s data and kept the government operating after the storm. Not a single paycheck was delayed. While rebuilding the center after the storm, Lohfink never forgot that his employees had lost homes and relatives, said Gil Hawk, its chief information officer.


Vicki Lord

Division Manager

Enterprise Information Technology

Security Program
Transportation Department


Vicki Lord upgraded the Transportation Department’s information technology security, taking something that was an embarrassment and making it a point of pride for the department. After that upgrade, DOT’s Federal Information Security anagement Act compliance grade went from a D-plus in 2004 to an A-minus in 2005.

Lord coordinated system testing, employee coaching and network vulnerability assessments throughout the department. Darren Ash, her supervisor before she retired last June, said Lord put together a full briefing package for other interested federal agencies.

“What was neat about it was that when we got the A-minus, we ended up getting a lot of inquiries from other agencies,” said Ash, DOT’s associate chief information officer for IT investment management.



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Sam Maccherola


Tenix Datagate


Sam Maccherola led Tenix Datagate to the highest government security rating possible for the company’s Interactive Link technology. That achievement is doubly impressive because Tenix Datagate’s parent company is Australian, said Art Money, a former assistant secretary at the Defense Department.

Maccherola created a ripple effect in earning an Evaluation Assurance Level 7 under the Common Criteria for its data link technology. Combat troops in Afghanistan and Iraq can use it to disseminate critical battlefield support information.

The technology lets civilian agencies gain secure access to data on classified and unclassified networks from a single workstation.


Katie Malague

Program Manager for Agency Partnerships

Partnership for Public Service


Katie Malague can add Ms. Fix It to her résumé.

Last year, she managed the Extreme Hiring Makeover for the Partnership for Public Service, a nonprofit organization that promotes public service employment through partnerships with government agencies.

Malague successfully coordinated the 10-month hiring experiment that proved it is possible to hire a qualified federal employee in 22 days. For the makeover, three federal agencies used commercial software to streamline bureaucratic hiring procedures.

The project required coordinating the hiring activities of the agencies and a large number of human resources companies. “Katie is a Power- Point and spreadsheet guru, and she used these technical skills to great advantage to track, organize and communicate effectively through the entire process,” said John Palguta, the organization’s vice president of policy.


Janet Marchibroda

Chief Executive Officer

eHealth Initiative and Foundation


Janet Marchibroda helped to create KatrinaHealth.org, an online service that provides prescription information for people displaced by Hurricane Katrina.

Marchibroda had Louisiana on her mind before Hurricane Katrina made it the focus of national attention. Marchibroda had been talking to Louisiana officials, encouraging them to use health information technology. She regularly advocates health IT as chief executive officer of the nonprofit eHealth Initiative and Foundation.

“She has a remarkable ability to come into a room and get everyone engaged and involved,” said John Tooker, president of the foundation’s board.

But Marchibroda’s exhortations took on new significance following the Katrina disaster in which evacuees, dispersed to various parts of the country, needed to gain access to their medical records.


Col.  Earl D. Matthews

Director of Communications and Information

Air Mobility Command

Air Force


When Earl Matthews became director of communications and chief information officer at the Air Mobility Command in 2004, the Global Decision Support System II was six months behind schedule.

He took control of the program, and by early 2005, the Air Force was ready to introduce the system.

The military now has a reliable decisionsupport system for coordinating transport aircraft, which help move 600,000 tons of cargo and 1.4 million service members.

“His personal drive and leadership led to the implementation of the most complex command and control effort in a decade,” said Lt. Gen. Christopher Kelly, vice commander of the Air Mobility Command.


Peter J. McCabe

Deputy Project Manager

Program Executive Office
for Enterprise Information Systems

Department of the Army


Peter McCabe viewed revamping the Pentagon’s information technology infrastructure as not only an IT challenge but also a cultural one.

His success at modernizing that infrastructure significantly improved the decision-making of the Defense Department’s senior leaders, the Joint Staff and the military services.

The project’s results are a testament to his organizational and people skills and his technical expertise.

“Pete has been the glue in all of this,” said Sajeel Ahmed, director of IT for the Pentagon Renovation Program.


David F. McQueeney

Chief Technology Officer



David McQueeney helped employees working on the Defense Integrated Military Human Resources System program get online in less than a week after hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the Gulf Coast. That feat included moving 280 people, their files and their PCs, plus more than $3 million in equipment.

McQueeny also helped design and establish service-oriented and open architecture initiatives for the Air Force and the Navy.

McQueeney understands that technology is a means to an end. “He is committed and willing to take risks to deliver on the vision of technology improving our lives and government delivery,” said Joi Grieg, strategy manager for the Software Group at IBM.


Peter Mell

Computer Scientist

National Institute of Standards and Technology


Peter Mell created a National Vulnerability Database of all known cyber vulnerabilities.

Compiled for publicly available sources, the Web-accessible database integrated four separate cyber vulnerability databases and added new services and additional cybersecurity information. In 2005, he analyzed about 5,000 vulnerabilities. Then he designed and coded the database and released it two months ahead of schedule.

“Peter is a man of action determined to get the job done regardless of even daunting obstacles,” said Tim Grance, manager of the systems and network security group at the National Institute of Standards and Technology.

“This project would normally take several years and involve a team of at least six personnel,” Grance said. “Peter did it in eight months.”


Capt. Fred Mingo

Commanding Officer

Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center–New Orleans



Capt. Fred Mingo kept paychecks coming for Navy employees servicewide, despite the devastation that Hurricane Katrina left behind in the Gulf region.

Two days before the hurricane hit, Mingo activated the center’s continuity of operations plan, transferring activities to a secondary data center in Fort Worth, Texas. Support employees at the temporary site handled 14,000 service requests, fielded 4,500 phone calls and sent more than 2,500 faxes. Navy employees continued to receive their pay and benefits on time, and the service didn’t lose any of its data.

“Capt. Mingo has shown exemplary leadership and commitment to people and mission in the preparation [for] and superb response to Hurricane Katrina,” said David Wennergren, the Navy’s chief information officer.


Robert A. Mocny

Deputy Director of US-VISIT

Homeland Security Department


Robert Mocny rolled out multiple phases of the Homeland Security Department’s U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology (US VISIT) program on time and on budget.

He created a new interoperability plan for the Homeland Security, State and Justice departments’ fingerprint systems. He also led the development of a 21st-century immigration and border management plan. His leadership inspired Great Britain, the European Union and Japan to create systems similar to US-VISIT.

Mocny knew what he wanted out of the program from the start and was the first to understand that international cooperation would be crucial to its success, said Frank Paul, director of large-scale information technology systems for the European Commission’s Directorate-General for Justice, Freedom and Security.


Samuel T. Mok

Chief Financial Officer

Labor Department


Samuel Mok spent last year lecturing the federal government on how interoperable information technology systems are the foundation of effective financial management.

His statements have credibility because the Labor Department, where he is the chief financial officer, consistently attains green scores for financial management, one of five measures of good management highlighted in the President’s Management Agenda.

Mok is one of Deloitte’s most challenging clients because he raises the bar, said Ira Goldstein, federal marketplace director at Deloitte.

Mok doesn’t worry that he is a challenging customer. “He seems to view that as part of his public service responsibility,” Goldstein said.


Lt. Joe Morgan

Internet Web Services Project Officer

West Virginia Operations System Center

Coast Guard


Lt. Joe Morgan used case management software to help save many victims in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

In 24 hours, he set up a missing persons database within an existing Coast Guard Web portal. Anyone who wanted to check on stranded hurricane evacuees could submit an online missing/stranded persons report. The Coast Guard eventually rescued 33,545 people.

“They monitored the system as people were entering it to make sure it could keep up with demands, [and then] they exported the information to the Red Cross’ database,” said Lt. Cmdr. Ron Riedinger, assistant division chief of Operations IV at the center.


Lora H. Muchmore

Deputy Director of Business Transformation

Defense Department


Lora Muchmore made the Defense Department’s new Business Enterprise Architecture 3.0 simple and succinct.

BEA 3.0 explains how DOD will now modernize its business processes and systems so that they produce clean audits and better support for warfighters.

As the deputy director of business transformation at the Office of the Deputy Undersecretary of Defense for Installations and Environment, Muchmore created DOD’s first enterprise architecture that focuses on specific business outcomes.

“She gave the team confidence that the project could in fact be accomplished, which in many cases reversed their beliefs,” said Dana Smith, the office’s chief architect.



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Doug Naquin

Director of the National Intelligence Open

Source Center

Office of the Director of National Intelligence


When his position was established last November, Doug Naquin declared that all media will soon be digital, so “let’s digitize everything.”

That approach sharply cut the cost of operating a primary and historic source of open information, the Foreign Broadcast Information Service, established in 1941.

Naquin established a global wide-area network to collect foreign radio and TV broadcasts and shipped them to translators who required only an Internet connection to do their jobs. The network eliminated the cost of posting translators and analysts abroad.

The center’s internal Web site offers access to blogs worldwide. Naquin views those as valuable resources, particularly because blog buzz can be days or weeks ahead of traditional media.


James G. Neighbors

Technical Director

Scott Air Force Base

Department of the Air Force


James Neighbors established the Air Force’s lead office for Coalition and Secure Networking Integration, which was necessary to focus on developing policies and solutions for sharing data among U.S. and international forces.

It was not an easy assignment, but Neighbors had the office ready in just three months. He also led the development of the Air Force NetOps domain architecture, a critical enabler of the service’s enterprise network.

“It’s a very complex task, and we didn’t even have the notion of trying to put this together until he came along,” said Col. Robert Steele, commander of the Air Force Communications Agency. “He was the catalyst.”


Kimberly P. Nelson

Senior Policy Analyst

Office of Management and Budget


Kimberly Nelson went on an archeological dig to draft the Office of Management and Budget’s new search policy, “Improving Public Access to and Dissemination of Government Information.” It outlines how agencies can use search technologies to improve information dissemination and interagency data sharing. It was implemented in December 2005.

Nelson had to do much searching to write the policy. “Some people think OMB has all the answers,” said Glenn Schlarman, her supervisor and chief of OMB’s Information Policy and Technology Branch. Answers are not lying on the table, he said. “You have to dig for them and base them upon sound, enduring principles,” as Nelson did.



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Jim Orris

Federal Sales Manager



When the General Services Administration needed a new search engine for its FirstGov Web portal, it selected Vivísimo and Microsoft’s MSN Search.

“Jim [Orris] was persistent in showing GSA how Vivísimo’s vision for government search portals would fit within GSA’s unique circumstances, vision and budget constraints,” said Raul Valdes-Perez, the company’s chief executive officer and co-founder.

FirstGov now clusters search results into groups of related hits rather than displaying a list of random links. “The first launch of FirstGov was just that — phase one,” Valdes-Perez said. “Check out FirstGov in a month and a half.”



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Robert J. Pate

Director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team’s Strategic Operations

Homeland Security Department


Robert Pate has worked tirelessly behind the scenes to help federal agencies wage war against cyberthreats.

He led efforts to develop metrics that allow agencies to compare their incident response capabilities with the best response teams. He also created the GFirst program to help first responders share best practices.

Pate initiated a secure configuration project to enable agencies to find and fix security holes in commercial software. Now he leads a governmentwide deployment of a patented National Security Agency technology, which is designed to discover rogue computers the moment they connect to agency networks.

“Rob is emblematic of federal executives who make important advances in information security management without seeking the limelight,” said Alan Paller, research director at the SANS Institute.


Michael P. Pflueger

Deputy Director for Information Management and Chief Information Officer

Defense Intelligence Agency

Defense Department


Michael Pflueger’s foresight has put the Defense Intelligence Agency ahead of most other government agencies in its ability to share information.

The data-sharing problem captured everyone’s attention after the 2001 terrorist attacks, said Edward Hammersla, chief operating officer at Trusted Computer Solutions. Pflueger had solved the problem well before that event with the DOD Intelligence Information System Trusted Workstation program.

“He first discovered the technology and applied it for the Defense Department’s Pacific Command,” Hammersla said. Pflueger has the ability to separate the possible from the merely theoretical, then he marries executive and leadership skills to get things done, he added.


William C. Piatt

Vice President of Operations

Science Applications International Corp.


William Piatt took charge of restructuring the Industry Advisory Council’s Shared Interest Groups in 2005. After meeting with key stakeholders, he formed an executive advisory panel to address concerns about some of the groups’ relevance.

In 2005, Piatt was vice chairman of the SIGs. He has since become IAC’s executive vice chairman. Piatt created three new SIGs and restructured three others, devoting time and effort beyond that expected by most volunteer organizations, said Ellen Glover, IAC’s chairwoman.

Piatt has balanced views, which makes him an effective IAC leader, said Marty Wagner, acting commissioner of the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service.

“Bill’s got an advantage in that he’s worked for the federal government in several capacities.”


Mark S. Pincus

Chief of the Practitioner Data Banks Branch

Department of Health and Human Services


Mark Pincus needed to figure out how to sell adverse information about health practitioners to the health care industry. When Pincus took over as leader of the fee-for-query Practitioner Data Banks Branch at the Department of Health and Human Services, he did not continue business as usual.

He created a new business model in which subscribers automatically receive updated information each time the branch learns about bad doctors, rather than making subscribers wait for infrequent updates.

Pincus turned the fee-for-service business around in less than a year because of his intelligence and persistence, said Frank Shartle, a project manager at SRA International. “The fact that he’s only been in a management position for a year makes this all the more remarkable,” Shartle said.


Jeff T.H. Pon

Deputy Director of Human Resources

Line of Business

Office of Personnel Management


Jeff Pon helped lead five e-government initiatives and the Human Resources Line of Business at the Office of Personnel Management. One of the five, e-training, can help federal agencies lower training costs.

Pon is credited with motivating change governmentwide in support of the e-training initiative. Among his accomplishments, he created the Learning and Development Advisory Council in which representatives from the largest federal agencies share best practices and lessons learned about e-learning.


Catherine Poole


Acquisition Solutions


Catherine Poole led an effort to analyze and report on rapidly changing emergency contracting authorities created in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

She wrote an advisory for contractors, issued updates to it and developed content for an emergency contracting Web site hosted by Acquisition Solutions, where Poole is a principal.

Poole rose above narrow commercial interests and provided a broadly needed service, said Steve Kelman, a Federal Computer Week columnist and a professor of public management at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

“She didn’t have to do it so fast, and she didn’t have to do it so well,” Kelman said. “I don’t think any of it benefited her firm directly, except insofar as it displays Acquisition Solutions as a firm with a lot of knowledge capital.”


Jim Preissner

Chief Technology Officer



Jim Preissner oversaw the restoration of the Agriculture Department’s National Finance Center in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit.

The USDA quickly moved the center’s operations from New Orleans to a backup site in Philadelphia, but a contract with SunGard allowed only 42 days of backup operations immediately after a disaster.

Preissner and Vion, a small, veteran-owned systems integrator, had earlier submitted a proposal for a dual data center. USDA officials called on Vion to quickly establish a new site in Philadelphia to which the agency could move its operations.

James Obendorfer, an IBM consultant, said Preissner’s around-the-clock work and willingness to start ordering equipment even though no contract had been signed helped make the emergency effort successful.



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