The Federal 100: A year like no other

Hurricane Katrina dominated this year’s Federal 100 Awards, in much the same way that it has dominated the headlines for the past six months

Hurricane Katrina dominated this year’s Federal 100 Awards, in much the same way that it has dominated the headlines for the past six months. All told, hurricane-related work figured into the nominations of 18 winners, although a few of those recipients ultimately were selected for other reasons.

Never before have so many Federal 100 awards been tied to a single event or issue. But those results should come as no surprise: A disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina was bound to bring out the best in people.

Yet despite the life-and-death stakes of their work last fall, those 18 people are not unlike the other winners on this year’s list. Whatever the circumstance, most winners in any year are able to make a difference because of a potent mix of ingenuity and determination. They see a problem, and they have the insight and fortitude to solve it.

The disaster response also highlighted a complex aspect of the Federal 100 awards program. The awards are given to individuals, not teams, because we believe the most important work is done when one person steps up and serves as a catalyst. But in the long run, such work often could not be done without the support of a team or the backing of an organization.

This dynamic was especially important in industry. With Hurricane Katrina, many company executives went above and beyond any reasonable expectation of customer service. As soon as the extent of the crisis became clear, they came forward and offered up the brainpower, manpower and material resources of their companies.

That could not have happened without the blessing of their corporate offices. But then, Federal 100 winners, whether in industry or government, usually have a knack for helping other people understand what work must be done and why.

So it was a remarkable year, and yet it was like every other year in that so many members of the federal IT community, faced with vexing problems or pressing needs, managed to rise to the occasion, as they so often do.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group