2008 Federal 100 award winners: Per -- Wy
Dynamics Research Corp.
Kathy Perras, vice president of Dynamics Research Corp. and general manager of state and local programs, has helped implement a gargantuan information technology project in Ohio to protect the safety and well-being of foster-care children. Perras leads a team that has nearly completed implementing the first Web-based statewide automated child information system successfully developed in nearly a decade.
Perras has a passion for the health and human services IT marketplace, said Robert Stauffer, director of human services at Deloitte Consulting.
State human services departments generally resist IT project implementation, Stauffer noted, but Perras succeeded where the stakes were highest — children’s lives.
Government Accountability Office
David Powner, director of information technology management issues at the Government Accountability Office, views GAO as a partner, not an adversary, in helping agencies use federal IT funding effectively.
Powner “has assisted agencies in keeping their focus on results and achieving the intended program outcomes,” said Karen Evans, administrator for e-government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget.
“I work with David on several of the GAO high-risk areas, including cybersecurity, and [have] found David to be fair in his assessments and willing to work with us in the executive branch to achieve better results for the American citizens,” Evans said.
Charles Prow’s focus on outcomes helped drive an effective team culture. As general manager of IBM’s portfolio of business services for the Defense Department, Prow leads an industry team that supports DOD’s business transformation efforts.
Prow is responsible for more than 50 programs that combine research, software, hardware and business consulting services. In 2007, Prow’s team supported GoArmy Ed, a global online training program; AFSO21, which implements Lean Six Sigma principles in the Air Force; the Navy’s enterprise resource planning program; and the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Net-Centric Enterprise Services initiative.
“With experience on a multitude of consulting engagements in the public and private sectors, [Prow] is able to provide overall management to dozens of complex engagements positively impacting DOD,” said Morgan Kinghorn, chief operating officer of the global public sector at Grant Thornton.
Venkatapathi Puvvada Unisys
Venkatapathi Puvvada was just the person the Industry Advisory Council needed last year. The council required someone who recognized IAC’s role in facilitating industry/government communications and who knew how to translate that into solid programs. As chairman, Puvvada did just that.
Puvvada worked with ACT leaders to ensure their participation in IAC programs and oversaw the expansion of IAC membership to record levels.
As a volunteer, Puvvada demonstrated a strong commitment to IAC, said Kenneth Allen, executive director and chief operating officer at ACT/IAC.
“He has invested as much time as any board chair I’ve ever seen,” Allen said, noting that Puvvada also has a day job as chief technology officer at Unisys Public Sector.
“He understands the value of a true partnership that allows the government to identify its strategic priorities that IAC uses for its programs,” said Martha Dorris, president of the American Council for Technology, of which IAC is part. Dorris is deputy associate administrator of the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications.
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Stephen Quinn’s work in 2007 could make government desktop PCs safer.
Quinn, a senior computer scientist and manager of the security content program at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, was instrumental in implementing the Office of Management and Budget’s mandatory secure desktop configuration initiative, known as the Federal Desktop Core Configuration (FDCC).
Quinn quickly assumed leadership of the project.
He persuaded government and industry to adopt Security Content Automation Protocol standards, laying the groundwork for testing FDCC at several information technology and software development companies. Quinn accomplished this by the OMB-mandated February deadline.
“Mr. Quinn significantly increased the repeatability and reduced the effort of assessing and monitoring FDCC settings, saving the federal government a significant expense,” said Timothy Grance, manager of the Systems and Network Security Group at NIST.
National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency
Christian Rasmussen, knowledge management officer for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, sees the value of Web 2.0 initiatives to the intelligence community and the government at large. He wants others to see that value, too.
In the intelligence world, Rasmussen has championed the use of Intellipedia, a wiki for sharing information on topics related to national security.
Rasmussen also routinely talks to packed audiences inside and outside government about the broader benefits of Web 2.0.
“There are a lot of people involved in making this whole thing successful, but Chris brings to the table such passion to make it work and helping people understand why these tools are important,” said Frank DiGiammarino, vice president of strategic initiatives at the National Academy for Public Administration. “He brings leadership, passion and commitment to doing something new and innovative that is changing the way the government works.”
Homeland Security Department
Rebecca Richards, director of privacy compliance at the Homeland Security Department, led DHS’ challenging effort to meet the privacy requirements of the E-Government and Privacy acts.
Colleagues praise Richards for improving the department’s track record in filing Privacy Impact Assessment notices for new and existing systems.
Her job is particularly complex because of the large number of older systems from the more than 20 agencies that were consolidated to form DHS in 2003.
“I think privacy impact assessments have been the single most important tool for the DHS privacy office, and Becky Richards has been a real leader in having effective privacy impact assessments,” said Peter Swire, who worked in the Clinton administration as chief counselor for privacy at the Office of Management and Budget from 1999 to 2001 and is now a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress.
Col. Eric Rolaf
As commanding officer of the Marine Corps’ Network Operations and Security Center, Col. Eric Rolaf led a lean, mean team that improved the battle- readiness of Marine communications.
Rolaf’s team streamlined and tightened security of network operations and improved interoperability between the Marines and the other military services. He also oversaw key projects, such as the Marine Corps’ transition to the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.
His work “sets the model for what the Navy is and what it should be,” said Robert Carey, the Navy’s chief information officer. Rolaf has saved others large investments of money and time, Carey said. “He successfully delivered models that others can replicate, and the Navy has already decided to adopt many of them.”
Rolaf acts as a crucial link between the Marine Corps and top leadership in the Strategic Command, Carey said. “His technical acumen in this space is second to none.”
As program manager for the Navy Enterprise Resource Planning Program (ERP), Ronald Rosenthal had the odds against him.
The ERP program is one of the largest government technology initiatives since the implementation of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.
Given the amount of scrutiny the ERP program attracted from Congress, it might have been difficult for lesser program managers to make progress, said Robert Carey, the Navy’s chief information officer.
“Leading such a massive change management effort doesn’t win you many friends, but [Rosenthal] successfully restructured the program, aligned all of the data and, at the same time, managed to defuse the naysayers,” Carey said.
In doing so, Rosenthal delivered on the promise of ERP as the information backbone for the Navy and Marine Corps.
Debra Ruh, founder and president of TecAccess, made her mark by providing information technology training and job placement for disabled veterans, including opportunities to work from their homes or hospital beds.
With a telecommuting business model and the use of assistive technology, Ruh frequently hires disabled veterans for jobs that help federal employees with disabilities. Her advocacy has raised awareness of Section 508 accessibility requirements among federal agency leaders.
Ruh deserves recognition for “expanding opportunities to include people with disabilities in the workforce and serve an expanding customer base,” said Katherine McCary, a vice president at SunTust Bank.
Shyam Salona, executive vice president and chief technology officer of REI Systems, has provided critical support in launching USAspending.gov, a public database about federal spending.
Because of various procurement and technical challenges, Salona’s Web design and development firm faced aggressive deadlines for loading, validating and testing the site’s data and functionality. Working around the clock, REI completed its work ahead of the project’s Jan. 1, 2008, deadline.
“They overcame the challenges in part because they acknowledged that there are 24 hours in every day,” said Tim Young, the Office of Management and Budget’s deputy administrator for e-government and information technology.
Eric Schmidt, chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Google, helped inspire a new way of thinking about software acquisition at the Defense Department.
In 2007, Schmidt kept the company on the cutting edge of software as a service, made Web searches easier and kept open lines of communication with government officials, some of whom credit Google with helping change the way they manage software acquisition.
Schmidt has had a major influence on the federal information technology community. He sits down to discuss issues with IT officials. He responds to their e-mail messages. “It’s his personal commitment” that is appreciated, said David Wennergren, deputy chief information officer at the Defense Department.
Office of Management and Budget
Andy Schoenbach, chief of the budget systems branch in the Budget Review Division at the Office of Management and Budget, devised a new way to help OMB address an old question: Is there a more efficient way to formulate the federal budget? Schoenbach was a leader in creating the MAX Federal Community, a secure wiki that budget officials use to collaborate and share information.
What began as a tool for the Budget Formulation and Execution Line of Business has grown to include other executive issues, such as financial management.
The MAX Federal Community will lead to new ways to solve existing problems, said Tim Young, OMB’s deputy administrator for e-government and information technology. “Andy is having a positive impact not only on the IT community but also on all communities of interest across the federal government,” Young said.
Gen. Norton Schwartz
U.S. Transportation Command
Gen. Norton Schwartz, commander of the U.S. Transportation Command, has been a well-spoken advocate for many of the Defense Department’s transformation efforts.
With a portfolio that includes radio frequency identification and Automated Identification Technology supply chain projects, Schwartz is responsible for coordinating many information technology systems that feed data into those projects.
“He’s been a hands-on leader and has been visible and vocal everywhere about the need for this,” said David Wennergren, DOD’s deputy chief information officer. “It’s very easy for a leader to rely on IT professionals to do this for them, but he’s been the one out front advocating for this.”
That visibility is a major reason why business management modernization has gained such momentum at DOD, Wennergren said.
Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee
Adam Sedgewick, a staffer for the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, helped put e-government back on the committee’s legislative agenda.
He pushed for reauthorization of the E-Government Act of 2002 and orchestrated a hearing to examine the government’s progress in realizing the vision spelled out in that landmark legislation.
Ari Schwartz, vice president of the Center for Democracy and Technology, said Sedgewick has demonstrated leadership on that and other high-profile issues.
Sedgewick “looks at issues based on their substantive merit and is willing to work with anyone in industry, advocacy and government who can provide facts and answers to the important questions on issues of importance to the future of citizen engagement with government,” Schwartz said.
Office of Management and Budget
Robert Shea, the Office of Management and Budget’s associate director of administration and government performance, gave new meaning to performance under pressure in 2007.
Shea oversaw the development of USAspending.gov, a public database of federal contracts, grants and loans. Working under scrutiny from congressional and watchdog organizations, Shea created the database on a tight schedule.
“He worked with Congress to define the goals and desired levels of functionality for the site,” said Clay Johnson, OMB’s deputy director for management. Shea also worked with the procurement and information technology communities to create the database more quickly “and for millions of dollars less than most experts thought possible,” Johnson said.
“He relentlessly focused everyone on the desired outcome” and engaged all the participants in creative problem-solving, Johnson added.
John Swart, product director for the Army’s Technology Applications Office, understands how important his customers are. In 2007, he created a contracting portal for the Joint Special Operations Command.
The Web application allows special operations components to track their projects’ progress, including contracting status and funding.
Swart “has been consistently recognized for developing and delivering enabling technologies to our special forces on the front lines of the global war on terrorism,” said Gary Winkler, program executive officer for enterprise information systems.
Swart was deputy director of the technology office, and his “incredible work ethic and exceptional performance” made him the logical choice to replace its director when the director retired recently, Winkler said.
Don Tapscott, chief executive officer at New Paradigm and co-author of “Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything,” has inspired leaders at the Office of Management and Budget and CIO Council to bring Web-based collaboration technologies into the federal government.
Tapscott’s New Paradigm think tank is leading Government 2.0, an extensive international, multidisciplinary investigation of how mass collaboration technologies can transform government and democracy. OMB is participating in the project.
“Don is an inspiring and visionary force in the whole Gov. 2.0 movement,” said Bruce Mc- Connell, president of Government Futures, a Web 2.0 consulting company.
Peter Tseronis, director of network services at the Education Department, is known in the agency for innovation and cost savings. But it’s his governmentwide work on the transition to the next-generation IP that inspired many of his peers.
Tseronis has become the face of IPv6 transition in government during this past year by dint of volunteer leadership as a facilitator and coordinator.
Tseronis became chairman of the CIO Council’s IPv6 Working Group in 2007 “because he wanted to help other agencies and leverage his experience,” said Tim Young, deputy administrator for e-government and information technology at the Office of Management and Budget.
“Pete is not someone who views IPv6 transition as a compliance exercise,” Young said. “He’s using it as an opportunity to transform the way federal agencies conduct business.”
Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government
As executive director of the Leadership for a Networked World Program at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, Zachary Tumin has developed a talent for transcending organizational differences.
Tumin’s work in 2007 focused on the cross-boundary challenges confronting government leaders. One example: a case study of the Maritime Domain Awareness initiative that involves the Navy, Coast Guard, Transportation Department and intelligence community.
David Wennergren, the Defense Department’s deputy chief information officer, said Tumin was able to extract best practices from the maritime effort and create a case study with wide applicability.
“He is able to work across all these cultural issues and organizational imperatives...glean the knowledge that matters and translate it in a way that others can benefit from it.”
Defense Information Systems Agency
Teresa White, chief of the Defense Information Systems Agency’s Cross Domain Solutions program, created a much-needed solution for exchanging data between networks with different security requirements. Better yet, she came up with a way to implement that solution in less than half the time anticipated.
The goal was to enable Defense Department users to share data even if one system resides on the Secret Internet Protocol Router Network and another on the Unclassified but Sensitive Internet Protocol Router Network. Historically, the systems used to enable such exchanges were disjointed, uncoordinated, ineffective and inefficient.
In establishing the first Cross Domain Enterprise Service at a DISA computing services center in Montgomery, Ala., White demonstrated that a cost-effective and streamlined process could cut implementation time from 228 days to fewer than 90 days.
“Teresa made the process adaptable and flexible,” said Fred Kopf, chief at DISA’s Computer Network Defense Division, “as well as shortening it.”
Defense Intelligence Agency
Steven Willett, a Defense Intelligence Agency technical project manager, received an assignment that he thought at first would be easy: automating a manual intelligence briefing.
But after doing some research, Willett concluded that it was more complicated than he had originally thought. His answer to the challenge was to create a briefing application and dashboard using Web 2.0 collaboration tools and service- oriented architecture to combine information from various sources.
“The application enables DIA seniors to track resources around the world in real time,” said Mike Bearden, DIA’s chief of special services.
“Otherwise, this data would have to be manually collected, prepared and presented at a later time.”
“Steve developed a solution that has transitioned into an enterprise-class effort and is the first service-oriented architecture presentation layer in the Defense Department’s intelligence information systems” inventory, Bearden said.
General Services Administration
Jim Williams has brought customer-minded vision and business controls to the General Services Administration’s Federal Acquisition Service since becoming commissioner in mid-2006.
“He’s a very strong advocate within GSA of bringing the customers’ requirements into GSA proper, and I think he’s made some difference in making GSA more responsive to customers,” said G. Martin Wagner, senior fellow at the IBM Center for the Business of Government.
Wagner said Williams’ experience elsewhere in government gives him insight into various agencies’ needs. Before coming to his GSA post, Williams worked at the Homeland Security Department and Internal Revenue Service.
One of Williams’ interests as an organizational leader is business process improvement, Wagner said. Williams is focused on Lean Six Sigma, a process improvement methodology that agencies can use to streamline business operations.
Holding a coalition of fiercely competitive businesses together for more than two years to fight Congress is no easy task. But Karen Wilson, director of acquisition policy and industrial affairs at Boeing, managed that and more.
As industry chairwoman of the Specialty Metals Acquisition Reform Team (SMART Coalition), she helped defeat a potentially crippling protectionist legislative measure in 2007.
Wilson helped Congress craft an exemption for commercial products from a law that ordinarily requires specialty metals used in goods sold to the Defense Department to be of U.S. origin or from a list of qualifying countries.
“It wasn’t easy because there were efforts to peel off” some members of the coalition through measures that might have satisfied some of their needs but not those of the entire coalition, said Trey Hodgkins, vice president of federal government programs at the Information Technology Association of America.
Volpe National Transportation Systems Center
Henry Wychorski, a senior electrical engineer and project manager at the Transportation Department’s Volpe National Transportation Systems Center, demonstrated the value of good follow-through during deployment of the Maritime Security and Safety Information System.
First, he oversaw the deployment of the system, which provides an unclassified shared network that 31 countries use to track ship movements.
Wychorski used existing technology to create the system for less than $1 million.
Then Wychorski traveled wherever he was needed to troubleshoot and support international partners in their implementation of the system.
Wychorski’s work and leadership created heightened worldwide maritime domain awareness, said Paul Brubaker, administrator of DOT’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration.
“This innovation has inspired unparalleled international maritime cooperation and is critical to efforts to combat terrorism, smuggling and piracy,” Brubaker said.