Paul Reynolds: Connecting civilian and intell agencies
- By Mark Rockwell
- Oct 30, 2013
As senior information architect at the Department of Homeland Security, Paul Reynolds is a critical conduit between federal civilian agencies that generate huge volumes of data and the intelligence community, which is the major consumer of that data.
Reynolds' managers and associates say he has developed ways to use big-data techniques and core data management practices to increase the timeliness and quality of the data in the government's Information Sharing Environment.
Ask Reynolds what he does, however, and he will give a more straightforward answer. Helping the federal government deal with big data "is like watching someone get hit with the water from a fire hose. I have to figure out what to do with all that water."
According to those who work with him, his efforts have helped the intelligence community protect civil liberties and helped DHS enhance its counterterrorism-screening capabilities — not an easy combination.
"Paul is helping to develop the tools and capabilities for improved data aggregation across the Information Sharing Environment," said Charles Bartoldus, senior director of transborder information sharing and safeguarding for the White House's National Security Staff.
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But Reynolds also knows how to handle competing mission priorities.
"The government's vision for the future of data aggregation systems is a new way of thinking," said Kshemendra Paul, program manager for the Information Sharing Environment at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. "The data aggregation community is feeling the impact of budgetary constraints. The development of new projects is competing with mission priorities, leading to fewer technical resources available for transformation projects. Paul deftly navigates this terrain."
Reynolds' colleagues say he combines an enthusiasm for what he does with a dogged attention to detail and an ability to wring consensus from a complicated group of stakeholders.
Reynolds might have honed that good-humored persistence while helping to homeschool his three children. He said he's contemplating how to apply some of the concepts he's teaching his children, such as logic and math, to improving the way data is shared in government.
Mark Rockwell is a staff writer at FCW.
Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.
Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.
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