CIO Council honors Schlarman, Andreessen with Azimuth Awards

The CIO Council picked two winners of the 2007 Azimuth Award that couldn’t be more different. The federal executive toiled in the government 34 years before retiring last December. The industry executive was a millionaire by the time he was 34, and now at 36 is heading up at least two new companies.

But what they do have in common is their vision on how technology should be used and their ability to change the way people apply it.

Glenn Schlarman, who worked for the FBI, Energy Department and the Office of Management and Budget before stepping down last year, led the federal effort to secure information and keep it private all the while understanding the importance of information dissemination and accessibility. In some ways, Schlarman had competing and complimentary jobs.

Marc Andreessen, co-founder of Netscape Communications Corp. and chairman of Opsware Inc., provided his guidance and technical expertise to the federal government on assorted e-government initiatives, focusing on the goal of getting information or services to citizens. He has provided e-government program managers with insight on developing performance metrics among his contributions.

“The Azimuths are lifetime achievement awards,” said Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and information technology, and a 2006 winner. “Marc is and always has [been] invested in the community.”

The Azimuths, handed out each year at the FOSE trade show in Washington sponsored by 1105 Government Information Group -- parent company of Federal Computer Week—recognize two individuals for their extraordinary contributions toward improving the mission of government through technology.

Schlarman, who slipped the presenter of his award, OMB’s Deputy Director for Management Clay Johnson, a note asking why he was there, truly was surprised by the honor.

“I did not know I was going to make remarks tonight so I’m as excited to hear them as you are,” Schlarman said with his usual dry wit. “I am here because of Karen. She allowed me to do a lot of things to people – well, for people. She gave me a long leash that permitted us to do the things we can do.”

Johnson said Schlarman has had an impact every federal employee and most American citizens through his work.

“His most successful quality is his ability to work effectively with people,” Johnson said. “We are all better off because of your service.”

Johnson said there are numerous examples of how Schlarman led a governmentwide effort successfully, including his work on the Security Line of Business effort and information dissemination policy.

“There are 1.8 million feds and anyone could be up here saying this,” Schlarman said. “I’m blessed to be in the right place at the right time, and I thank you all.”

Andreessen could not attend the event because he was celebrating his father-in-law’s 70th birthday party. He sent a letter thanking the CIO Council.

“It has been an honor to work with the e-government initiatives to further the innovative use of information technology,” he wrote. “A government centered on its customers—the citizens—and the services it can and should provide those customers is a new view to many. I am thrilled to see this changing and applaud recent federal effort to improve the use of information technology.”

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