Rising Stars

Shawn Garrow

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.

Meet the rest of the Rising Stars

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

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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."

About the Author

Sean Lyngaas is an FCW staff writer covering defense, cybersecurity and intelligence issues. Prior to joining FCW, he was a reporter and editor at Smart Grid Today, where he covered everything from cyber vulnerabilities in the U.S. electric grid to the national energy policies of Britain and Mexico. His reporting on a range of global issues has appeared in publications such as The Atlantic, The Economist, The Washington Diplomat and The Washington Post.

Lyngaas is an active member of the National Press Club, where he served as chairman of the Young Members Committee. He earned his M.A. in international affairs from The Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University, and his B.A. in public policy from Duke University.

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


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