Top VA official recognized for excellence in leadership

The Veterans Affairs Department’s most senior technologist has received top honors for his leadership in information resources management.

Roger Baker, VA CIO, received the award June 12 at the AFFIRM Leadership Awards Luncheon at the Capital Hilton in Washington, D.C. He received the Executive Leadership in Information Resources Management – Civilian award. 

Under his direction, VA has been setting an example of how agencies can update and modernize their network infrastructure, with Baker spearheading efforts in cloud adoption and IT systems consolidation, his nomination said.

In accepting his award, Baker offered a few words on what leadership means and highlighted the focus on outcomes.

“I think a leader has to be the rock that results are built on in an organization, and really has to be focused on delivering those results,” he said. “In the end, results are all that matter. We spend a lot of time on process in the government [but] process doesn’t serve veterans. Process doesn’t serve the taxpayers. Process doesn’t serve all of our other mission focuses.”

Baker, who also is assistant secretary for information and technology, has served as VA’s CIO since May 2009. His previous role to that appointment was as president and CEO of Dataline LLC, an IT services and integration company.

Other 2012 AFFIRM Leadership Awards winners include:

Executive Leadership in Information Resources Management – Defense
Maj. Gen. Earl Matthews, director of cyberspace operations, Office of Information Dominance and CIO, Air Force

Executive Leadership in Information Resources Management – Intelligence
Al Tarasiuk, intelligence community CIO, Office of the Director of National Intelligence

Executive Leadership Award for Industry
Todd Ramsey, general manager, U.S. federal, IBM

Leadership Award in Acquisition and Procurement
Oliver Voss, manager, headquarters procurement division, Environmental Protection Agency

Leadership Award for Service to the Citizen
Prudence Goforth, web communications and new media division director, Health and Human Services Department

Leadership Award for Service to the Country
Robert Tosatto, captain, U.S. public health service director, Division of Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, Office of the U.S. Surgeon General

Leadership Award for Innovative Applications
Sara Schroerlucke, director, Northern Border Division, Office of Technology Innovation and Acquisition, Homeland Security Department

Leadership in Service to the Government IT Community
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), House of Representatives

Leadership in Service Excellence
Carpool App Team, Transportation Department

Leadership in Technology Innovation
GSA Sustainable Facilities Tool Team, Office of Governmentwide Policy, Office of Federal High-Performance Green Buildings, General Services Administration

Leadership in Health Information Technology
Make the Connection Team led by Sonja Batten, deputy chief consultant for specialty mental health, VA

Leadership in Cybersecurity
Heidi Avery, deputy assistant to the president for homeland security, National Security Staff

Leadership in Human Capital
Barbara Whitelaw, chief of staff, Office of the CIO, DHS

Special Recognition Award
Tim Schmidt, deputy CIO, Transportation Department

NEXT STORY: Déjà vu all over again

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