When high-profile executives leave government or retire from key firms, that gets plenty of press. And similarly, there is a steady drumbeat of warning about the coming tsunami of federal retirements that could drain agencies of critical expertise.
What does not get enough attention, however, is the next generation of leaders coming up through the ranks. There are great people at all levels in the federal IT community, and much of the good work that's being done can be traced directly to their commitment and creativity.
FCW's Rising Star awards are an opportunity to address that oversight -- to recognize some of those individuals who are early in their careers and who bring amazing energy and ideas to the table. We will profile each of this year's winners in the November/December issue of FCW magazine -- and will thank them in person at the Oct. 14 GCN Gala -- but for now, it is my pleasure to announce the 2014 Rising Stars:
-- Murtaza Ahmed
Senior Program Manager
-- Rebecca S. Ayers
Performance Management Solutions Manager
Office of Personnel Management
-- Kelli Bell
Information Technology Specialist
NAVSEA, NSW, Department of the Navy
-- Brent Bensten
Chief Technology Officer
-- Matthew Berninger
Senior Cyber Incident Response Lead
US-CERT, Department of Homeland Security
-- Damon Bragg
Service Operations Manager, Homeland Security Information Network (HSIN)
Department of Homeland Security
-- Cristen Cole
IT Project Manager and COR, Continuous Diagnostic & Mitigation (CDM) BPA
Federal Systems Integration and Management Center, General Services Administration
-- Shawn Garrow
Division Head, Enterprise Architecture
Department of the Navy
-- Michael Gross
Auditor, Information Technology
Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Service
-- Isaiah Joo
Office of eDiplomacy, Department of State
-- Emily "Millie" Maksymiuk
-- Nina Malakouti
Supervisory Contract Specialist
General Services Administration
-- Christina Manol
PEO EIS, Department of the Army
-- Tanusree McCabe
Blackstone Technology Group
-- Farrell O'Neill
RIVA Solutions, Inc.
-- Jon Quandt
Government Printing Office
-- Kent Reynolds
-- Benjamin Rhodeside
Senior Policy Adviser, Oversight and Government Reform
Office of Congressman Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11)
-- Larissa Riviezzo
Assistant Product Manager, Biometrics Handheld Devices
PEO EIS, Department of the Army
-- Megan Schmith
Manager of Platform Strategy and Innovative Solutions
Office of the Chief Information Officer, General Services Administration
-- Zach Scott
Environmental Protection Agency
-- Ngoc Vu
Assistant Director (Office of Information Technology)
Securities and Exchange Commission
-- Shawn Wells
Director, Innovation Programs, U.S. Public Sector
-- Peter Wilson
And for those of you who know more-senior superstars in federal IT, start making your lists! Nominations for the 2015 Federal 100 awards open in October, and I look forward to seeing the submissions. If they're anything like this year's Rising Star nominations, 2015 could be a very good year.
Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN, as well as General Manager of Public Sector 360.
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 NationalJournal.com, Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com 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, WashingtonPost.com, 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.