Editorial: Seeking the bright lights

This issue of Federal Computer Week honors the 2008 Federal 100 award winners — 100 people who have defined our community in the past year. At the same time, we are announcing a call for nominations for the 2008 Rising Star awards, which recognize the incredible work done by younger people in government and industry helping agencies carry out their missions — the Federal 100 award winners of the future, perhaps.

This program started three years ago when a group of young people — the Young AFCEANs of AFCEA International’s Bethesda, Md., chapter — came to us saying there was a need for this kind of recognition.

We immediately agreed. And in the first two years of the awards program, we have been able to recognize 77 remarkable people doing remarkable work.

Beyond simply honoring individual accomplishments, the goal of the Rising Star awards program is to offer young people some insight into the value and rewards of a career in public service. Too often, government employees are the butt of jokes during political campaigns, an attitude captured perfectly by the horrible but common punch line, “Good enough for government work.” The Rising Star awards show young feds — and people everywhere — the amazing work that is good enough for the government.

The Rising Star program is modeled on FCW’s Federal 100 awards. Much like the Fed 100, the criteria for the Rising Stars are simple. Nominees must be people in the government information technology community who have made a difference in the past 12 months — give or take. We have not put age requirements on the program precisely because we understand and appreciate that the terms “young” and “rising” are defined not by a specific number but rather by an attitude. However, in general, the Fed 100 awards are for those who have risen, while Rising Star awards are for those who are rising — and who typically do not receive recognition elsewhere.

This year, we are expanding the program to two other 1105 Government Information Group publications: Government Computer News and Washington Technology. We refer to this as 360-degree coverage because each publication will highlight the Rising Stars in its coverage area: FCW for policy/management; GCN for technology; and Washington Technology for industry.

If you have a question about someone’s eligibility, go ahead and nominate him or her. Use the nomination form to make the case for why the nominee deserves recognition.

Let the nominations begin. The deadline is Friday, May 2.You can find the form online at www.fcw.com/risingstar

FCW in Print

In the latest issue: Looking back on three decades of big stories in federal IT.


  • Anne Rung -- Commerce Department Photo

    Exit interview with Anne Rung

    The government's departing top acquisition official said she leaves behind a solid foundation on which to build more effective and efficient federal IT.

  • Charles Phalen

    Administration appoints first head of NBIB

    The National Background Investigations Bureau announced the appointment of its first director as the agency prepares to take over processing government background checks.

  • Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.)

    Senator: Rigid hiring process pushes millennials from federal work

    Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) said agencies are missing out on younger workers because of the government's rigidity, particularly its protracted hiring process.

  • FCW @ 30 GPS

    FCW @ 30

    Since 1987, FCW has covered it all -- the major contracts, the disruptive technologies, the picayune scandals and the many, many people who make federal IT function. Here's a look back at six of the most significant stories.

  • Shutterstock image.

    A 'minibus' appropriations package could be in the cards

    A short-term funding bill is expected by Sept. 30 to keep the federal government operating through early December, but after that the options get more complicated.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter speaks at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco

    DOD launches new tech hub in Austin

    The DOD is opening a new Defense Innovation Unit Experimental office in Austin, Texas, while Congress debates legislation that could defund DIUx.

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