RISING STAR

Zachary Baldwin: Crunching data for data center consolidation

Name: Zachary Baldwin

Age: 35

Organization: General Services Administration

Title: IT Specialist, Cloud Computing Program Management Office

Nominated for: Developing a strategy for collecting and analyzing information on the federal government’s existing data centers, which helped the Obama administration set a realistic goal for reductions.

First IT mentor: My dad, thanks to the work computers he brought home and (mostly unknowingly) let me use (break). My first professional mentor was Mary Whitley at GSA, now at ICF International, who taught me how to manage effectively.

Latest accomplishment on the job: I’m most proud of the progress the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative has made, and will make, in the optimization of IT and cost savings.

Career highlight: Being trusted to lead a project with the scope of the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative.

Your advice for a government IT wannabe: Make yourself valuable any way you can. Learn the old financial system that nobody else wants to learn, get your contracting officer's technical representative certification, be open to working outside your comfort zone, and volunteer for projects that scope beyond your office. Also, talk to everyone.

What you enjoy most about working in government IT: Believing taxpayers are getting a good return on their investment by paying my salary.

Three favorite job-related bookmarks: Info.Apps.gov, USA.gov, CIO.gov

Dream non-IT-related job: I like to work with my hands and tinker with things, so I’d probably be a mechanic or rehab houses.

Read the next Rising Star profile or view the full list of winners.

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