Stephen Duncan, deputy program manager for the General Services Administration’s Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 Managed Services Office, relishes the technical nature of the directive’s security requirements and enjoys dealing with customers.
Michael Butler, the office’s program manager, said Duncan handles the workload well.
“Stephen says, ‘This is just good work,’ ” and he believes it, Butler said.
As the office’s security officer, Duncan must observe any changes to the Certificate Authorities for Public Key Infrastructure, and he must be on call at any hour.
During the day, Duncan deals with HSPD-12 customers. The office supports 67 agencies and more than 800,000 government employees, each of whom must receive an HSPD-12 card.
Kenneth Fagan’s single-minded focus on military combatants has earned him the respect of an important noncombatant in the Pentagon.
Fagan, chief of the Data Services Branch of DISA’s Program Executive Office Global Information Grid Enterprise Services (PEO-GES), led the development of a U.S. Strategic Command test project that uses service-oriented architecture technology to improve data sharing among warfighters.
The project was ahead of schedule and under budget, but more important, it works — so well, in fact, that Defense Secretary Robert Gates requested those capabilities on his personal desktop PC.
The capabilities move the Defense Department closer to achieving its net-centric strategy, which is to provide warfighters with “timely, trustworthy and understandable” information, regardless of where it is housed, said Rebecca Harris, director of the PEO-GES.
It’s easy to understand the importance of raising the level of professionalism in the civilian acquisition workforce. But it takes a real sense of mission to delve into the nitty-gritty details needed to make it happen.
Lesley Field, a policy analyst at the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy, led a certification initiative to standardize requirements for training and development.
And that was just one project in an already busy year.
“Lesley’s dedicated leadership on acquisition workforce, strategic-sourcing and accessible-technology initiatives has, without question, propelled these initiatives forward,” said Robert Burton, OMB’s deputy administrator for federal procurement policy.
Maryantonett Flumian, executive-in-residence at the University of Ottawa and former deputy minister of Service Canada, transformed Canada’s program-centric model of government services into one that focuses on people.
The one-stop network, Service Canada, bundles programs, services and benefits for the elderly, people with disabilities, working adults, employers, young people and families with children.
Consolidating 14 departments is expected to save $3 billion in five years.
Jonathan Breul, executive director of the IBM Center for the Business Government, said the program is a model for re-engineering governments worldwide. Flumian’s achievement was realized without the force of legal imperative or central government authority.
“It was by cajoling, arm-twisting, leadership and vision,” Breul said. “She’s a tough lady who took on the toughest assignment.”
Joyce France, director of the Defense Department’s Chief Information Officer Management Services organization, is not one to sit around and worry about the aging federal workforce. She is doing something about it.
France has established the processes, cooperative relationships and disciplines for educational initiatives such as Clinger-Cohen Competencies, the Information Resources Management College Curriculum and the DOD Information Assurance Scholarship program.
“One of the major things for us…is to understand the strengths of 18- to 22-year-olds and how those can be used in government service,” said David Wennergren, DOD’s deputy CIO. “Joyce has been the champion for the entire CIO Council for that.”
Randy Garrett, senior science adviser to the Army G2 and Army Intelligence and Security Command, developed an intelligence-sharing capability to support coalition operations.
Garrett created the Secure Enterprise DataVault, a multilevel security system that supports the most demanding information-sharing missions. He fashioned strategies, developed organizations and recruited funding to accelerate the adoption of cross-domain security.
Garrett’s efforts brought the defense and intelligence communities together in a project that supports coalition operations and missions involving multiple levels of government.
“There are thinkers and there are doers; Randy is both,” said Suzanne Yoakum-Stover, technical lead at the Army’s Intelligence Information Warfare Directorate.
Chase Garwood, acting chief information officer of the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program, led efforts to expand DHS’ foreign-traveler fingerprint collection program to 10 digital fingerprints.
Implementing this change is no minor task, requiring upgraded technology at 295 air, sea and land border ports, beginning with airports.
“Chase has been an asset to the program since its inception in 2003 and has proven his value, not only to US-VISIT but to the federal IT community,” said US-VISIT Director Robert Mocny.
Diana Gowen, a senior vice president at Qwest and general manager of its government division, put the telecommunications company on the map this past year.
Although already a player in the federal telecommunications arena, Qwest had not yet gained a big win that would let it break out of a niche market as a subcontractor to systems integrators.
In 2007, Qwest earned two big wins on the General Services Administration’s Networx Universal and Networx Enterprise telecommunications contracts.
“I don’t think there are too many people in the industry who could have pulled this off,” said Warren Suss, president of Suss Consulting, a telecom consulting company. “Diana is one of the most promising executives in the industry.”
Floyd Groce, co-chairman of the Defense Department Enterprise Software Initiative Working Group, silenced some skeptics by creating blanket purchase agreements (BPAs) that make data-at-rest encryption technology available across federal, state and local government.
Encryption is the best way to ensure data protection for the Navy and all other government agencies, said Robert Carey, the Navy’s chief information officer.
But some lawyers questioned whether BPAs could be applied so broadly.
“He took the view that the glass was half-full,” Carey said. “That sounds simple, but it was hard for him to work this. He had to come up with a rock-solid, convincing position and a thorough understanding of opposing positions.”
The BPAs are considered a template for future enterprise licensing contracts.
Paul Gwaltney, program manager at Nortel Government Solutions, is not someone who simply develops a program and walks away.
Gwaltney provided program and technical leadership to help the Nuclear Regulatory Commission go live in 2007 with a digital courtroom system.
NRC’s Digital Data Management System (DDMS) primarily supports the commission’s Atomic Safety and Licensing Board Panel, which reviews nuclear licensing applications.
However, Gwaltney’s role extended beyond building DDMS. He also supported the system during a hearing on the proposed Yucca Mountain radioactive waste disposal facility.
“We’ve had both Paul and his senior managers go out and support us,” said Dan Graser, information technology team leader for the licensing panel. “It’s all very comforting to the customer.”
Federal contracting behemoths sometimes find subcontracting with small businesses easier said than done.
David Hadsell, a vice president and sales leader at EDS’ U.S. Government and Public Sector, focused last year on getting small businesses into the EDS fold. His efforts paid off, leading to Defense Department recognition for the company’s outreach to service-disabled, veteran-owned small businesses.
“David is a huge advocate of partnerships with small businesses,” said Dennis Stolkey, vice president and general manager of EDS’ U.S. Government and Public Sector. Subcontracting with small businesses isn’t charity work. The larger the industrial base from which government can draw, the more likely the government will get good prices. And, as a group, small businesses often are quicker to seize on technological innovations than larger businesses.
Hadsell “really understands the value of those relationships and how those companies enhance the solutions we’re providing,” Stolkey added.
Robert Hanson, in his dual role as chief information officer of Sarasota County and CIO of Sarasota County Schools, made collaboration work for the county as it deals with severe budget shortfalls.
Hanson brings to his role a belief that collaboration among public-sector organizations is the wave of the future.
In 2007, he led four major collaborative initiatives that enabled the county to increase service levels while achieving a 50 percent reduction in its information technology staff — without layoffs.
“Bob is a strategic thinker who is innovative, manages transition extremely well and has never shown a fear of taking personal risk to benefit the organization,” said Hank Schwan, deputy CIO for Sarasota County.
Information sharing is impossible if organizations fear that their data will end up in the wrong place. Court records of juvenile offenders, for example, shouldn’t be accessible by just anybody.
Enter Alan Harbitter, chief technology officer at Nortel Government Solutions. As a member of the Global Security Working Group, a Justice Department-funded organization, Harbitter took it upon himself to help craft an electronic identity credentialing standard.
“He decided it was critical, and he wanted to do it,” said Paul Wormeli, executive director at the nonprofit IJIS Institute.
Harbitter came up with an Extensible Markup Language specification that any state, local or federal agency can use as a framework for secure exchanges of personally identifiable information.
Without Harbitter’s contribution, “we’d still be floundering around, trying to get agreement on how to do this,” Wormeli said.
Lee Harvey, deputy program executive officer for Enterprise Information Systems, is responsible for $700 million in annual obligations for medical, personnel, acquisition and other Defense Department combat support systems.
Harvey distinguished himself in 2007 by promoting better communication between industry and government.
“Lee Harvey exhibits an openness to industry and the ability to communicate government needs to industry and industry solutions to government,” said Kevin Carroll, former program executive officer for enterprise information systems.
Carroll singled out Harvey’s efforts in successfully deploying a battlefield digital health record system last year. “This system has drastically improved the medical care for injured soldiers in Iraq and Afghanistan,” Carroll said.
Kip Hawley, the Transportation Security Administration’s administrator and a believer in the virtues of openness, has used Web collaboration tools to improve communications in the agency and with the public.
TSA’s IdeaFactory, an internal online forum where employees can offer ideas for improving the agency, has grabbed the attention of government executives and information technology leaders.
“Kip has always been a forward-thinking, creative and courageous leader,” said Jennifer Dorn, president and chief executive officer of the National Academy of Public Administration.
“He’s a leader who understands that transparency builds credibility.”
Kenneth Heitkamp, associate director of life cycle management in the Air Force Office of the Chief of Warfighting Integration and Chief Information Officer, prefers to share the credit with many people for improving the federal government’s desktop security. But most experts agree that Heitkamp is a founding father of an effort to create a Federal Desktop Core Configuration for Microsoft Windows XP and Vista.
Heitkamp’s work inspired the Office of Management and Budget to expand the Air Force’s work governmentwide.
“Ken forged the idea of doing this on a large scale and saving money while improving security,” said Tim Grance, manager of NIST’s Systems and Network Security Group. “He provided the leadership necessary to demonstrate this could be done across the Air Force.”
As director of operations of the U.S. Strategic Command’s Joint Task Force-Global Network Operations, Col. Barry Hensley has been instrumental in transforming the JTF-GNO into an organization at the forefront of governmentwide cybersecurity initiatives.
Hensley is a superb leader and adept at taking complicated issues, simplifying them, marketing them to a broad array of people and then making things happen, said Lt. Gen. Charles Croom, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and commander of JTF-GNO.
“More than that, he has a keen ability to listen more than talk,” Croom said. “That’s the only way to generate the teamwork you need for this effort.”
Thank Neil Horikoshi, director of global business development at IBM, for helping ensure that the government didn’t craft a unique, federal-only standard for IPv6 implementations.
When the National Institute of Standards and Technology released a proposed first-draft IPv6 federal standard in 2007, Horikoshi marshaled a coordinated industry response.
Horikoshi wasn’t the only person to sound the alarm about the daylight between commercial IPv6 standards and NIST’s proposed profile, but he “was the only one who was raising the issue to the level of a policy discussion,” said Trey Hodgkins, vice president of federal government programs at the Information Technology Association of America.
Because of Horikoshi’s activism, NIST agreed to harmonize its proposal with commercial standards.
Horikoshi “really ratcheted up the level of conversation,” Hodgkins said.
Because of the efforts of Warren Huffer, director of corporate information systems at the Energy Department, the Integrated Management Navigation System has begun to pay off.
DOE created the program to standardize and modernize the department’s business systems, but the program suffered because of problems with funding. Huffer helped put the program on track.
“Bringing up these new systems, whether it was off-the-shelf software or migrating to a system owned by another federal agency, required change management in that particular business, and getting people to focus on the new application rather than wishing for what was used in the past,” said Michaela Brown, DOE’s team lead for corporate management support.
Michael Jacobs, the Navy’s chief technology officer, offered not only a vision but also the nitty-gritty details for implementing the Navy’s next-generation networking infrastructure.
Jacobs is responsible for coordinating all Next-Generation Enterprise Network activities for the Navy. He also is developing the scope, strategy and concept of operations for the future Naval Networking Environment.
“Jacobs is leading a very small team of folks to deliver what amounts to an aircraft carrier-size amount of technology integration,” said Robert Carey, the Navy’s chief information officer.
“Pound for pound, given the short amount of time they’ve had to pull this together, it’s probably far more.”
Jerry Johnston, geospatial information officer at the Environmental Protection Agency, demonstrated last year how he could think outside the box.
Johnston led a team that launched the Puget Sound Information Challenge, a 36-hour open call for suggestions about how to clean up Washington’s Puget Sound. Johnston then developed various innovative schemes for setting up Really Simple Syndication feeds and using Web harvesting to find related content.
The challenge netted 75 recommendations from a government, industry and academic sources.
“Jerry was able to demonstrate how [Web 2.0] technologies can be powerful in bringing together place-based information throughout government to solve problems,” said Molly O’Neill, assistant administrator of EPA’s Office of Environmental Information and chief information officer.
Since July 2007, Brig. Gen. Nickolas Justice has used his position as program executive officer for command, control and communications–tactical to push the Army to adopt open-source technologies.
Justice first gained attention as an open-source aficionado during preparations for the Iraq war, when he deployed the open-source Linux operating system for Blue Force Tracking. The technology improved commanders’ situational awareness and saved lives, Defense Department officials say.
Justice also spearheaded the Army’s adoption of an industry-standard systems engineering process.
“The new process ensures that brigade combat teams are ready to deploy, supported while they are deployed and reset after they return from deployment,” said Mike Krieger, principal director at the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Information Management and Technology.
Steven Kempf, former deputy associate commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services organization, brings discipline to each program on which he works.
In 2007, Kempf’s efforts shone in reengineering the Homeland Security Presidential Directive 12 managed services contract from strategy to award.
John Johnson, assistant commissioner of ITS, said Kempf exercised his skills to reshape a program fraught with schedule delays, cost overruns and uncompetitive pricing. “He has a solid background and plenty of experience to turn around a challenged contract,” Johnson said.
Judith Kenny, director of the Information Technology Services Office at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, consolidated IT services across the agency.
Kenny led the consolidation with the federal government’s first designated civilian agency high-performing organization under the Office of Management and Budget’s competitive-sourcing program.
Kenny “has been a pioneer in blending and balancing aggressive IT service consolidation, cost reduction, customer satisfaction, rigorous performance measurement and accountability,” said Jim Seligman, CDC’s chief information officer.
The organization saved $46 million in 2007 while improving IT infrastructure services to customers.
Jeff Koch, manager of the Office of Management and Budget’s Internal Efficiency and Effectiveness portfolio, didn’t try to force agencies to accept the Bush administration’s e-government plans for back-office services. Faced with resistance from agency managers and lawmakers, Koch used persuasive tactics.
He cleared roadblocks to ensure that initiatives such as E-Payroll and E-Travel could mature.
“Jeff has provided unwavering leadership for the agencies with his management of the Internal Efficiency and Effectiveness E-Government portfolio,” said Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator for e-government and information technology.
“Jeff has ensured the milestones for each of the initiatives are met, and any obstacles in the way have been cleared.”
Agencies saved $508 million in 2007 from initiatives in Koch’s portfolio.
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