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Performance management pro moves from ODNI to private sector

Cherreka Montgomery

The woman who developed the State Department’s systems for measuring the effectiveness of public diplomacy efforts has joined a contractor that specializes in analytics and database systems for intelligence and national security projects.

Cherreka Montgomery spent five years at State, where she was director of evaluation and measurement in the Office of the Undersecretary for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs.  Since 2011, she had been with the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, serving as the principal media spokeswoman for the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Agency. 

In October Montgomery joined SAP National Security Services as national vice president for corporate development.  In that role, SAP NS2 announced, Montgomery will “work with the intelligence community, Department of Defense, and systems integrators.” 

While at State, Montgomery developed an integrated performance management plan to “measure and assess” the public diplomacy efforts that Karen Hughes began in the Bush administration, and that current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her team have continued and expanded.  Before, Montgomery said, diplomats could point to anecdotal evidence of public diplomacy payoffs, but ultimately “you have to demonstrate return on the public’s investment… So I looked for ways to synthesize the strategy and performance.”

In an interview with FCW, Montgomery said that after years in government, the chance to develop public-private partnerships from the other side was too appealing to pass up.  And based on her State Department performance-management projects, which relied on SAP software, “I’m a believer in the [these] solutions,” she said.

As someone who was only recently wrestling with budget limitations on the federal agency side, Montgomery said she is acutely aware of the effect sequestration could have on her new responsibilities.  “We definitely want to avoid it,” she said, but “shrinking budgets are a reality.  We have to be agile and be flexible.” 

And agencies must do the same, she said – not just for fiscal reasons, but also to reflect today’s national security realities.  “We face multifaceted threats,” Montgomery explained, “and we have to modernize our I.T. to identify and defend against those threats.”

Note: When originally published, this article incorrectly stated that Montgomery had worked at ODNI prior to the State Department, not after.

Posted by Troy K. Schneider on Nov 07, 2012 at 12:10 PM


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