Rising Star: Benjamin Black

Benjamin Black

Age: 34

Organization: Department of Homeland Security

Title: Enterprise Architect

Nominated for: Leading the analysis of screening systems, processes, data and policies to support budget and other management decisions related to identity and access management, information sharing and information security at DHS.

First IT mentor: The first person who really taught me about computers was the vice president at my first job out of college, at a chemical lab. We would need to "bootstrap" some computers and code to run specific tests, especially when using the plasma torch. Dr. Chang also gave me my first personal computer.

What you're most proud of accomplishing on the job: Helping to guide consensus on strategic goals at DHS and putting forward plans and solutions to meet those goals.

Career highlight: Bowling at the White House during a celebration of the release of the National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace.

Your advice for a government IT wannabe: Patience!

What you enjoy most about working in government IT: The best days are when everyone is pulling together for the mission with a clear vision of how the particular IT project will benefit the public. The most gratifying is when there is a clear connection between IT servers and public service.

Favorite job-related bookmarks/apps: ScienceMag.org, VisualLiteracy.org’s Periodic Table of Visualization Methods, MAX.gov

Meet the rest of the 2012 Rising Star winners.

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.

Reader comments

Please post your comments here. Comments are moderated, so they may not appear immediately after submitting. We will not post comments that we consider abusive or off-topic.

Please type the letters/numbers you see above

More from 1105 Public Sector Media Group