Federal 100 winner: Sanjeev Bhagowalia

Sanjeev Bhagowalia

Chief Information Officer

Interior Department's Bureau of Indian Affairs

Bhagowalia overcame legal and other barriers to return BIA and its 5,500 users at 148 locations to the Internet after nearly seven years of darkness. A lawsuit led to a judicial order in 2001 that shut down Interior’s servers because of security concerns. The court allowed most agencies to reconnect by 2002, but BIA was not allowed to join them.

Lack of access to the Web caused significant delays in the delivery of basic services to the tribes that the agency serves. Bhagowalia created a team to restore confidence in BIA’s information technology capabilities, and the court voided the earlier order in May 2008.

“The most significant part of the project was Sanjeev’s incredible leadership ability, within the first seven months of his arrival, to create a cross-organizational team and unity of purpose, which restored faith and trust in the [Office of the Chief Information Officer] at the tribal, departmental, bureau and judicial level,” said Grayford Payne, acting principal deputy assistant secretary of Indian affairs at Interior.

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