Meet the 2013 Rising Stars

Rising Star 2013

This has been a tough year to be a fed: there have been furloughs, shutdown fears, ongoing pay freezes and an utter lack of budget clarity. Throw in the occasional congressional broadside or inspector general audit, and one could be forgiven for tucking into a defensive crouch and hoping that next year will be better. (Spoiler alert: Don't count on it.)

More often than not, however, great work is still getting done despite all the obstacles. And without fail, those successes can be traced to the commitment and creativity of exceptional individuals in the federal IT community.

FCW's Rising Star awards are an opportunity to recognize some of those individuals who are early in their careers and who bring new energy and ideas to the table. We will profile each of this year's winners in the October issue -- and will thank them in person at the Oct. 16 GCN Gala -- but for now, it is my pleasure to announce the 2013 Rising Stars:

  • Eric T. Brassil, Department of State
  • Kirsten E. Dalboe, Department of Homeland Security
  • Grace E. Dalton, Department of the Army
  • Carolyn Harvey, General Services Administration
  • Dan P. Houston Jr., U.S. Postal Service
  • Hetal Jain, Department of Transportation
  • Samantha Kott Kouril, General Services Administration
  • Victor T. Lazzaro, Department of Health and Human Services
  • Michael G. Meskill, Department of Agriculture
  • Michael Metzger, Department of Defense
  • Van "Irina" Nguyen, Department of the Army
  • Paul Reynolds, Department of Homeland Security
  • Marlene C. Roush, SAIC
  • Rebecca Schwartz, Lockheed Martin
  • Michael Shrader, Carahsoft

And for those of you who know more-senior superstars in federal IT, start drafting your notes! The Federal 100 nomination period opens Oct. 1, and I look forward to seeing the submissions. If they're anything like this year's Rising Star nominations, the future might look brighter after all.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of, Schneider also helped launch the political site in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times,, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.

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