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

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