2016 Rising Star Awards

Kathryn Wilson

Director, Jefferson Solutions

Kathryn Wilson

In 2009, when Nicole Wilson was a communications student at George Mason University, she found her way into a contractor position at the Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems. Once there, her supervisor and mentor, Victoria Johnson, nudged her into the (now defunct) Federal Career Intern Program.

When talk turns to federal acquisition and the need to be more collaborative and results-driven, it’s tempting to overlook the obvious: Transforming most government programs — with their myriad stakeholders, pre-existing contracts, shared infrastructure realities and ever-evolving operations — is tough. Real progress requires the ingenuity and persistence of people like Kathryn Wilson.

Wilson, a onetime intern at the U.S. Forest Service, is Jefferson Solutions’ point person for a number of IT acquisition and program management projects. But the re-compete of the agency’s Fire and Aviation Management Web (FAMWeb) contract is the clearest example of her contributions.

Meet the rest of the Rising Stars

2016 Rising Stars
Click here for profiles of all the 2016 winners.

FAMWeb is a suite of applications that federal, state and local governments use to model, plan for and respond to wildland fires. Wilson brought a new level of agency/industry dialogue to the acquisition, going so far as to convene a presolicitation conference in Boise, Idaho, that produced feedback from roughly 100 in-person and virtual attendees.

A highly collaborative approach to the request for information and draft performance work statement ensured that expectations were realistic and paved the way for a successful contract award.

The Forest Service has since tasked Wilson with projects to encourage agile development and support the design and development of a new grants system. As one agency program manager noted, Wilson has “an uncanny ability to understand the program needs.”

 

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is the Editor-in-Chief of both FCW and GCN, two of the oldest and most influential publications in public-sector IT. Both publications (originally known as Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News, respectively) are owned by GovExec. Mr. Schneider also serves GovExec's General Manager for Government Technology Brands.

Mr. Schneider previously served as New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company, where he oversaw the online operations of The Atlantic Monthly, National Journal, The Hotline and The Almanac of American Politics, among other publications. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Mr. 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, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Mr. Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

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