Community

Roger Baker joins Agilex

Jay Nussbaum and Roger Baker

Agilex co-founder and Vice Chairman Jay Nussbaum (left) welcomes Roger Baker aboard as chief strategy officer. (Photo courtesy of Agilex)

Former Department of Veterans Affairs CIO Roger Baker, who left the agency in March after four years of service, has taken his IT talents to the private sector.

On April 1, Baker stepped into the newly created position of chief strategy officer at Agilex, a Virginia-based provider of mobility, analytics and other technology solutions to the federal government. His hiring signals the six-year-old company's intent to build its brand from a modestly sized 500-person company into a $1 billion organization over the next decade, according to Agilex co-founder and Vice Chairman Jay Nussbaum.

"As one of the most respected and transformative CIOs in government history, Roger redefined technology's role in the federal sector," Nussbaum said. "He will build upon his numerous accomplishments while advancing Agilex' position as our clients' most trusted and valuable partner. With his appointment, it should be clear that we are fully committed to our clients' long-term and enduring success."

Another Take

Washington Technology: VA’s Roger Baker picks Agilex for next career chapter

As CSO, Baker will work to improve solutions with existing Agilex customers -- including members of the intelligence community, and the departments of Defense, Homeland Security and Health and Human Services -- and look to help expand the company's brand to other federal sector clients. Under the Obama administration's ethics guidelines, Baker cannot deal directly with VA for at least two years.

While Baker's public- and private-sector experience and extensive file of federal IT contacts held obvious appeal for Agilex, he said he chose the customer-centric company from a long list of potential suitors because both parties share a vision for a better government.

Agilex, he said, puts the long-term results of its federal customers before short-term profits with the expectation that profits will follow results -- a business model that he feels will not only survive, but also thrive in a sector stressed by sequestration and budget woes.

"The beauty of where I'm at at this point is that you get to be selective about who you work for. This opportunity came along faster than I thought, but I'm pretty excited about getting going," Baker told FCW in an April 2 interview. "I want to continue to help change government, this time from outside government - that is the passion. We as taxpayers deserve and demand better investment, and that's in large part why I took a job inside government. I'm taking this job with the idea that you can have the same kind of influence from the outside, and drive a different model."

Baker first worked with Agilex when it provided technical leadership in the development of the Veterans Benefits Administration's Chapter 33 Long-Term Solution, which delivers education benefits to veterans, and said the collaboration on that project was uniquely positive. After he announced his decision in February to leave VA, Baker said a contact told him Agilex might be interested, and after a first meeting with the company, he was interested, too.

Nussbaum said Baker has a history of delivering results, making hard decisions and using innovative approaches.

At VA, Baker oversaw the federal government's second largest IT department, including a $3.3 billion budget and 7,500 IT professionals. He helped lead the agency in adopting mobile technology to improve healthcare, and pushed for standards-based systems and open-source software. Baker has repeatedly been recognized in the federal IT community for his efforts, and was most recently honored as a 2013 Federal 100 winner.

Outside VA, Baker served three years as the Department of Commerce's CIO (1998-2001), as president and CEO of Dataline LLC, CIO for General Dynamics Information Technology, and general manager for the Telecommunications and Information Assurance business group at CACI International. In his early career, Baker was COO for BlueGill Technologies, and vice president of Engineering and Operations at VISA International. And the hands-on leader is no stranger to hard labor, having grown up on a dairy farm in rural Bancroft, Mich.

Agilex, meanwhile, is the third company founded by Bob LaRose, a serial entrepreneur who died unexpectedly in 2010. LaRose founded his first company, Advanced Technology Inc., in 1976, and sold it in 1988 for $140 million. He then launched Integic Corp., which focused on the federal health care market, and built that company into a $180 million a year enterprise before selling it to Northrop Grumman Corp. for more than $300 million in 2005.

"Roger is going to help shape the second phase of Agilex," Nussbaum told FCW. "He's going to shape our strategy, and looking out over the next 24 months, how many small companies are looking out that far? This is the hardest time government and companies will ever see. We need Roger to help us be paranoid and see what we don't see, go where we wouldn't go, and give us credibility of how to wrap it up and do it."

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

The Fed 100

Save the date for 28th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala.

Featured

  • computer network

    How Einstein changes the way government does business

    The Department of Commerce is revising its confidentiality agreement for statistical data survey respondents to reflect the fact that the Department of Homeland Security could see some of that data if it is captured by the Einstein system.

  • Defense Secretary Jim Mattis. Army photo by Monica King. Jan. 26, 2017.

    Mattis mulls consolidation in IT, cyber

    In a Feb. 17 memo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told senior leadership to establish teams to look for duplication across the armed services in business operations, including in IT and cybersecurity.

  • Image from Shutterstock.com

    DHS vague on rules for election aid, say states

    State election officials had more questions than answers after a Department of Homeland Security presentation on the designation of election systems as critical U.S. infrastructure.

  • Org Chart Stock Art - Shutterstock

    How the hiring freeze targets millennials

    The government desperately needs younger talent to replace an aging workforce, and experts say that a freeze on hiring doesn't help.

  • Shutterstock image: healthcare digital interface.

    VA moves ahead with homegrown scheduling IT

    The Department of Veterans Affairs will test an internally developed scheduling module at primary care sites nationwide to see if it's ready to service the entire agency.

  • Shutterstock images (honglouwawa & 0beron): Bitcoin image overlay replaced with a dollar sign on a hardware circuit.

    MGT Act poised for a comeback

    After missing in the last Congress, drafters of a bill to encourage cloud adoption are looking for a new plan.

Reader comments

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 Another VA IT Gal

Baker wasn't responsible for Flite, but he did kill it, the horrible VBA backlog (which is also about process change which was slow to come) nor Scheduling Redesign (not on his watch either). VISTA is being moved to Open Source, and don't blame the VA for the DOD being recalcitrant about change. They aren't famous for that in the health care world!

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 VA IT Guy

While I think Roger Baker did a wonderful job establishing his vision and socializing it within VA and with the industry press, he didn't do a very good job actually implementing it. The Baker years are largely a series of VA IT failures: VistA stagnation, the joint VA-DoD iEHR collapse, Scheduling Redesign, FLITE and the horrible VBA backlog. He is a good man, a hard worker and I wish him well, but he really doesn't leave the organization any better than he found it.

Wed, Apr 3, 2013 ALM NOVA

Agilex has seen senior talent pass through -- almost like a parking lot for folks between career moves, and not as a career move itself. Having said that, I hope Roger stays and makes a difference. I highly respect him as an individual, and for his public service in challenging assignments.

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