Google hires former GSA official

Google has hired M.J. Pizzella, a former official at the General Services Administration who had overseen the government's official search engine, FirstGov.

This week, Pizzella became senior business development manager at Google Enterprise in Google's Herndon, Va., sales office.

She will work with federal senior executives to help Google better understand and solve the government’s technology needs.

As the associate administrator of GSA's Office of Citizen Services and Communications, Pizzella had helped guide FirstGov's recent facelift before leaving the agency June 30.

Government search is a growing market. In January, the government revamped FirstGov, awarding a contract to Vivisimo and Microsoft for newer search technologies. Google did not bid on the contract, according to government officials.

In June, Google introduced a free Web site for searching federal, state and local government Web sites via its trademark interface. Convera launched a free search Web portal Aug. 14. The search technology company’s portal targets government professionals.

“MJ has been a key agent of change for helping make government more effective, efficient and responsive to citizens, businesses and government employees,” said Dave Girouard, vice president and general manager of Google Enterprise. “She is a perfect person to help extend Google technology to the public sector. "

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