- By Sean Lyngaas
- Nov 30, 2014
Although he is well-versed in IT, Shawn Garrow often prefers working on the policy to shape it rather than on the technology itself.
"The technology shouldn't drive the policy, but rather the policy should be dictating where we go with our investments and operations," said Garrow, a division head for the Navy's Tenth Fleet. As advanced as some IT systems are, he added, they still play a support function to an overarching policy to better secure networks.
Garrow has been involved in the Navy's biggest IT projects in recent years, including the Next Generation Enterprise Network and the Defense Department's Joint Information Environment. He did most of his work on NGEN, an acquisition vehicle for the Navy's intranet, before the contract was awarded. He evaluated the Navy's goals for the intranet and the policies needed to achieve those goals.
Now he is a significant player in the Navy's contributions to JIE, a broad effort by the Pentagon to standardize and modernize IT systems and networks. Garrow said the job entails "taking a look at all of the operational concepts of operations…and ensuring that Navy's equities are appropriately represented in that body."
Like other Rising Stars, Garrow's sharp IT and management skills are often pitted against a rather cumbersome acquisition process.
"One of the large challenges is balancing capacity against demand and the ability to ensure that our acquisition cycle can move at an accelerated pace," he said. And that cycle "doesn't necessarily align to the threats that are posed by our adversaries."
Sean Lyngaas is a former FCW staff writer.