RISING STAR

Robert S. Niewood: Making old things new again

Name: Robert S. Niewood

Age: 30

Organization: General Services Administration

Title: IT Specialist, Federal Acquisition Service’s Office of Assisted Acquisition Services

Nominated for: Retrofitting an old system with a standardized electronic contract file structure, which fostered the development of a paperless environment at GSA’s Office of Assisted Acquisition Services.

First IT mentor: Randy Matlack, one of my first supervisors, who has provided me with a steady stream of opportunities and challenges to pursue. His passion for continuous improvement is contagious, and his work ethic is unparalleled.

Latest accomplishment on the job: We are developing interactive dashboard capabilities to improve financial, project and contract management for the program management office and the client support centers. We’re even offering the dashboards to our client agencies and industry partners.

Career highlight: I have had the opportunity to work with incredibly talented individuals committed to public service, both contractors and government personnel. There would not be a single highlight in my career without the cumulative experience, expertise and support of those individuals.

Your advice for a government IT wannabe: First, make friends — lots of them. Technology changes rapidly, relationships last much longer. Second, read the regulations. Third, ask lots of questions and be prepared to listen.

What you enjoy most about working in government IT: I really enjoy the challenge of integrating ambiguous requirements with ever-changing business needs against the backdrop of voluminous financial and acquisition regulations.

Three favorite job-related bookmarks/apps: Acquisition.gov, Apps.gov, Wifcon.com

Dream non-IT related job: Clinical scientist (so I could work for my brilliant wife, Michelle)

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

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