The Chenok era dawns at IBM center

Dan Chenok, the new executive director of the IBM Center for the Business of Government, took the lead on July 1. He takes over from Jonathan Breul, who is retiring.

Chenok has been a senior fellow at the center since 2010, offering his expertise on government technology, acquisition and ways to improve management. He also leads the organization’s consulting services for public-sector technology strategy and is chairman of the federal government’s Information Security and Privacy Advisory Board.

Chenok has declined to comment on his vision for the organization’s future, preferring to wait until he actually steps into the new role, but he sent a message via Twitter on June 8 that he is “honored to build on Jonathan Breul’s great leadership.”

Previously, Chenok was senior vice president of civilian operations at Pragmatics and vice president of business solutions and offerings at SRA International. Before joining the private sector, Chenok was the branch chief for information policy and technology at the Office of Management and Budget, where he and his staff oversaw policies related to e-government, computer security, privacy and IT budgeting. In 2008, he served on President Barack Obama’s transition team as the government group leader of the Technology, Innovation and Government Reform Working Group and as a member of the agency review team for OMB.

Steve Kelman, a professor of public management at Harvard University and a Federal Computer Week columnist, praised the center’s past and future leaders. “Jonathan brought both an appreciation of scholarship and also a requirement that scholarship about public administration be relevant to practitioners — a great mix,” Kelman said.

“Because of Dan's background and accomplishments over the years, I expect him to continue Jonathan's work and adapt it as necessary,” Kelman said. “I hope he is successful in fighting for resources for this effort inside IBM. This has become an important source of funding for public administration research.”

Kelman also wrote a post on his “Lectern” blog at FCW.com extolling the center’s work in promoting sound scholarship in the field of public administration, primarily through grants to academic researchers.

“The research is published in working papers that IBM makes available,” Kelman wrote. “Generally, the quality of these papers is higher than would typically be the case for the in-house ‘research’ reports consulting firms often produce, though they do not typically possess an academic rigor sufficient to allow them to be published in scholarly journals. Over the years, the IBM center has produced extremely helpful and practical work on subjects such as collaboration across organizational boundaries, performance measurement, business process re-engineering and reverse auctions.”

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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