Rising Stars

Cristen Cole

Just four years into her career, Cristen Cole has been responsible for overseeing more than $65 billion worth of government contracts.

After completing an early-career professional development program at the General Services Administration and cycling through various programs and offices at GSA, she realized she liked the challenges that the Federal Systems Integration and Management Center posed.

Now, as an IT project manager for FEDSIM, she manages the Department of Homeland Security's Continuous Diagnostics and Mitigation program portfolio, and she single-handedly provided program management for the entire CDM portfolio in its first year.

According to Danny Toler, deputy director of federal network resilience at DHS, Cole's "tireless dedication to task resulted in putting automated monitoring tools in the hands of 21 federal agencies."

Meet the rest of the Rising Stars

The Future of Federal IT- FCW (Volume 28 Number 18)

Click here for profiles of all the 2014 winners.

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John Streufert, director of federal network resilience at DHS, said Cole's efforts have been "unwavering, tireless and highly valued from the moment she was assigned by GSA to support the program."

However, Cole might be best known for managing a FEDSIM award that resulted in prices that were an average of 30 percent lower than GSA's Schedule 70. It was the largest Schedule 70 vehicle ever developed and the largest one FEDSIM had ever awarded, and it saved taxpayers more than $21 million.

She also meets with government and industry leaders and represents the FEDSIM program at large events. Such public-facing efforts are a new challenge, but she said she's building her comfort level.

"Having a passion for it helps me to go up there and be able to show the criticality of what we're trying to do," Cole said. "It's easier to support the FEDSIM program when I like what I'm doing."

About the Author

Colby Hochmuth is a former staff writer for FCW.

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