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Archive for March 2011

DorobekINSIDER: Cisco’s Brubaker to join upstart Synteractive

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Paul Brubaker is leaving networking giant Cisco to become the chief operating officer of up-start Synteractive, the company behind Recovery.gov.

Paul BrubakerBrubaker has a storied career in both the public and private sector, having worked as the Defense Department deputy CIO and as one of the primary authors of the Clinger-Cohen Act, the bill that created federal CIOs back when he worked for Sen. William Cohen (R-ME). Brubaker joined Cisco about two years ago.

Brubaker will be working with Synteractive CEO Evan Burfield, who just happens to be a winner of the 2011 Fed 100 Award. The Fed 100 Gala just happens to be tonight.

Below, read the release… and Brubaker’s bio:

The release:

Synteractive names former Cisco Executive Paul Brubaker as Chief Operating Officer

(WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2011) – Synteractive, a leader in providing solutions that combine social and technological innovation for the public and private sectors, announced today that government and industry veteran, Paul Brubaker, will serve as the new Chief Operating Officer.  Working out of the Washington, DC headquarters, Brubaker will be supervising Synteractive’s business growth and execution strategies.  

“This is an important move to accommodate our recent substantial growth,” said Evan Burfield, Chief Executive Officer of Synteractive. “Paul’s experience leading complex, growing organizations over the past twenty years and his long-standing passion and commitment to driving technology-enabled transformation as well as his dedication to reform and innovation in the public sector are a perfect complement to Synteractive’s culture of enabling new and effective business models.”

Brubaker comes to Synteractive from networking giant, Cisco Systems, where he led the North American Public Sector’s Internet Business Solutions Group. Prior to that, he held a number of senior level positions in industry and government. Notably, he served as subcommittee staff director in the U.S. Senate, as the Deputy CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense for the Government Accountability Office and Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation.  

In the private sector, Brubaker served as Chief Marketing Officer of SI International, was the CEO of two successful small businesses and engineered a management buyout of the public sector division of Commerce One where he served as division President.   He was also Chairman of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology.    

“I look forward to helping Synteractive build upon successes such as the groundbreaking cloud platforms of Recovery.gov and Treasury.gov, and overseeing the development of applications and platforms that drive efficiencies through crowd sourcing, collaboration, and enterprise migration to the cloud,” says Brubaker. “I’m exceptionally impressed with Synteractive’s unique vision, innovation and people and very excited to be a part of this rapidly growing organization as it moves to the next level and beyond.”

Brubaker’s bio from Cisco [PDF]

In his earlier days on Capitol Hill, where he was an auditor for the U.S. General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office), Paul Brubaker became intrigued by the use of IT to transform and dramatically improve business processes and operations. Brubaker observed that the software development process for the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) missile program was cumbersome, antiquated, and slow—and therefore costly. He realized that software development was nothing more than a business process, and therefore it could be automated and streamlined to create a dramatic reduction in the time and money required for development. He and his team began looking at how these processes could be modernized and automated, referencing the best practices of leading organizations to identify proven ways to streamline the process and save money.

From that point on, Brubaker was a devotee of achieving transformation through technology, but (belying his intensity of purpose) he has always employed what he terms “the lazy man’s methodology”: studying other organizations’ best practices to draw upon the successful experiences of others. “I first look to other organizations that have had analogous problems, and see what they have done,” he comments. “There has never been a situation where I couldn’t find best practices somewhere and apply them to the challenges at hand.” To illustrate, Brubaker talks about how he and others at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approached enabling smart vehicles so that they could detect and avoid each other. He discovered that the Department of Defense (DOD) had faced a similar problem enabling mobile communications among troops on the move. They met with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn best practices,

From that point on, Brubaker was a devotee of achieving transformation through technology, but (belying his intensity of purpose) he has always employed what he terms “the lazy man’s methodology”: studying other organizations’ best practices to draw upon the successful experiences of others. “I first look to other organizations that have had analogous problems, and see what they have done,” he comments. “There has never been a situation where I couldn’t find best practices somewhere and apply them to the challenges at hand.” To illustrate, Brubaker talks about how he and others at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approached enabling smart vehicles so that they could detect and avoid each other. He discovered that the Department of Defense (DOD) had faced a similar problem enabling mobile communications among troops on the move. They met with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn best practices,

In his earlier days on Capitol Hill, where he was an auditor for the U.S. General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office), Paul Brubaker became intrigued by the use of IT to transform and dramatically improve business processes and operations. Brubaker observed that the software development process for the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) missile program was cumbersome, antiquated, and slow—and therefore costly. He realized that software development was nothing more than a business process, and therefore it could be automated and streamlined to create a dramatic reduction in the time and money required for development. He and his team began looking at how these processes could be modernized and automated, referencing the best practices of leading organizations to identify proven ways to streamline the process and save money.

From that point on, Brubaker was a devotee of achieving transformation through technology, but (belying his intensity of purpose) he has always employed what he terms “the lazy man’s methodology”: studying other organizations’ best practices to draw upon the successful experiences of others. “I first look to other organizations that have had analogous problems, and see what they have done,” he comments. “There has never been a situation where I couldn’t find best practices somewhere and apply them to the challenges at hand.” To illustrate, Brubaker talks about how he and others at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approached enabling smart vehicles so that they could detect and avoid each other. He discovered that the Department of Defense (DOD) had faced a similar problem enabling mobile communications among troops on the move. They met with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn best practices,

From that point on, Brubaker was a devotee of achieving transformation through technology, but (belying his intensity of purpose) he has always employed what he terms “the lazy man’s methodology”: studying other organizations’ best practices to draw upon the successful experiences of others. “I first look to other organizations that have had analogous problems, and see what they have done,” he comments. “There has never been a situation where I couldn’t find best practices somewhere and apply them to the challenges at hand.” To illustrate, Brubaker talks about how he and others at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approached enabling smart vehicles so that they could detect and avoid each other. He discovered that the Department of Defense (DOD) had faced a similar problem enabling mobile communications among troops on the move. They met with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn best practices, and incorporated these into their smart vehicle initiative.

“Creating an ad hoc, mobile, peer-to-peer wireless network on the road will do more than reduce the tragic 40,000 car crash fatalities in the United States every year. It will also deliver a raft of benefits, from the ability for first responders to get rapid data from traffic incidents, to enhanced communications abilities for drivers,” he says. “It will literally transform transportation at every level.”

Brubaker’s interest in best practices and in technology experienced a happy marriage when he came up with a concept that eventually became the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, while he was working as a subcommittee staff director on Capitol Hill. The Clinger-Cohen Act mandates that government be operated exactly as an efficient and profitable business would be, by automating processes where possible, and treating acquisition, planning, and management of technology as a capital investment. “The objective was to use technology to find more efficient ways of collaborating, especially in automating standard processes,” Brubaker explains. “There never before was an explicit link between IT and improvements in operations, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and so forth. Clinger-Cohen mandated a link between IT and improvements in mission performance in the federal government.”

Brubaker’s personal hero, Winston Churchill, also had a farsighted vision of technology. During his tenure as Great Britain’s First Lord of the Admirality, Churchill was one of the first military leaders to understand the potential power of tanks in warfare, and is credited with their adoption by England—thus changing the face of warfare in the 20th century. Noting that Churchill was “an imperfect man,” Brubaker says that the former British prime minister made many mistakes during his life—as a soldier, author, Member of Parliament, husband, father, mason, investor, and ultimately Prime Minister—but he never failed to learn from his mistakes and successfully apply that knowledge as he evolved. Brubaker is active with the Churchill Centre, the international focus for study of Winston Churchill, his life and times, and has been instrumental using technology to reach and develop new generations of Churchillians and working to make the Churchill archives at Cambridge University available online.

As executive vice president and chief marketing officer of SI International, a provider of mission-critical IT and network solutions (primarily to the federal government), Brubaker automated the firm’s entire set of marketing processes—a feat unheard-of in a company the size of SI. As a result, SI International increased their proposal throughput by 300 percent without adding any staff, resulting in dramatically increased sales. .

As a result of his successful transformation of SI International, Brubaker founded his own company, Procentrix. “I wanted to use technology to enable new and more efficient ways of collaborating, especially around automating standard processes,” he says. In essence, Brubaker automated the entire project management body of knowledge, using off-the-shelf software widely licensed by enterprises and government. This meant that organizations did not have to purchase new software to use the firm’s advanced project management tools and incorporated these into their smart vehicle initiative.

“Creating an ad hoc, mobile, peer-to-peer wireless network on the road will do more than reduce the tragic 40,000 car crash fatalities in the United States every year. It will also deliver a raft of benefits, from the ability for first responders to get rapid data from traffic incidents, to enhanced communications abilities for drivers,” he says. “It will literally transform transportation at every level.”

Brubaker’s interest in best practices and in technology experienced a happy marriage when he came up with a concept that eventually became the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, while he was working as a subcommittee staff director on Capitol Hill. The Clinger-Cohen Act mandates that government be operated exactly as an efficient and profitable business would be, by automating processes where possible, and treating acquisition, planning, and management of technology as a capital investment. “The objective was to use technology to find more efficient ways of collaborating, especially in automating standard processes,” Brubaker explains. “There never before was an explicit link between IT and improvements in operations, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and so forth. Clinger-Cohen mandated a link between IT and improvements in mission performance in the federal government.”

Brubaker’s personal hero, Winston Churchill, also had a farsighted vision of technology. During his tenure as Great Britain’s First Lord of the Admirality, Churchill was one of the first military leaders to understand the potential power of tanks in warfare, and is credited with their adoption by England—thus changing the face of warfare in the 20th century. Noting that Churchill was “an imperfect man,” Brubaker says that the former British prime minister made many mistakes during his life—as a soldier, author, Member of Parliament, husband, father, mason, investor, and ultimately Prime Minister—but he never failed to learn from his mistakes and successfully apply that knowledge as he evolved. Brubaker is active with the Churchill Centre, the international focus for study of Winston Churchill, his life and times, and has been instrumental using technology to reach and develop new generations of Churchillians and working to make the Churchill archives at Cambridge University available online.

As executive vice president and chief marketing officer of SI International, a provider of mission-critical IT and network solutions (primarily to the federal government), Brubaker automated the firm’s entire set of marketing processes—a feat unheard-of in a company the size of SI. As a result, SI International increased their proposal throughput by 300 percent without adding any staff, resulting in dramatically increased sales. .

As a result of his successful transformation of SI International, Brubaker founded his own company, Procentrix. “I wanted to use technology to enable new and more efficient ways of collaborating, especially around automating standard processes,” he says. In essence, Brubaker automated the entire project management body of knowledge, using off-the-shelf software widely licensed by enterprises and government. This meant that organizations did not have to purchase new software to use the firm’s advanced project management tools.

As the second-highest-ranking official at the Department of Defense (DOD), Brubaker again used technology to automate the department’s processes and operations, including personnel, logistics, finance, and command and control. His success in improving efficiency and driving down costs earned him the Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Even in his personal life, Brubaker is always looking for ways to collaborate, automate processes, and apply best practices. He and his wife are active in Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. Brubaker has created ad hoc collaborative capabilities so that parents of autistic children can informally exchange ideas and information.

And when he isn’t trying to make the world a better place for people to live, work, learn, and play through the transformative power of technology, Brubaker enjoys being with his two young sons. After all, his sons will be the ones to live in tomorrow’s world, and he’s not taking any risks that it won’t be a better one.

Written by cdorobek

March 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

DorobekINSIDER: Good-bye to Federal News Radio

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As I mentioned, Friday was my last day on the air at Federal News Radio. 

Here are my final thoughts…

Radio microphoneChange is never easy. We do almost anything to avoid it. But these days, change is almost the norm. 

And today represents a change for me. I’m moving on.

For the past three years, we’ve been able to spend the afternoons together here on this magical medium called radio. A lot has happened during that time. No, budgets never got passed… And yes, there were government shutdowns — but they were thanks to snowstorms rather then any budget battle.

When I came here three years ago, Federal News Radio was JUST moving to a new frequency — 1500 AM. And at that time, Federal News Radio was building it’s platform. The management team here made a key decision to hire a number of people who have deep roots covering government — Mike Causey, of course, Tom Temin, Jason Miller… and me. When I came here, I had never produced a radio show before. So my goals were to learn as much as I possibly could… but also to help make Federal News Radio a presence. And I’m very proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. The station is vital source of news and information for the federal government here in Washington.

One of the great things about this radio station is that it is so innovative. It is the first radio station to move from the dot-com world… to a frequency. Ten years ago, Jim Farley, John Meyer and Joel Oxley decided to create a Web radio station for feds. And look what has come of it. And in many ways, I think it is a model for the evolution of media.

All of that being said, it is time for me to move on. Now let me be very clear — I’m not disappearing. I may not be here in the afternoons, but I’m not done. I’ve been thrilled to cover the government for nearly 20 years, and I think I have a few more years left. And, in fact, that is part of the reason that it is time for me to move on. On this program, each and every day, we have tried to keep our focus on six words — helping you do your job better. (Yes — it’s six! I counted!) And we have tried to focus on innovation, lessons learned, better-faster-cheaper…

And I’m going to continue doing that… Again, in a different way.

A number of people to thank…

  • Federal News Radio program director Lisa Wolfe, who gave a print guy with no experience in radio, an opportunity to fulfil a dream.
  • Mike Causey, who invented covering the operations of government. All of us walk in his footsteps. He is a remarkable journalist — and a good friend.
  • My colleagues Amy Morris, Francis Rose… and my producers Emily Jarvis, Ruben Gomez, and Internet editor Jolie Lee… what can I say but thanks.
  • And to my spouse and amazing family. When you’re trying something new, you need good, you need a great support structure… and I’m blessed.

But most of all, I want to thank you… for listening… for reading… for participating… for doing what you do.

These are odd times… challenging times. There are pay freezes and continuing resolutions… and yes, therea are still no budgets approved.

Many people out there think you’re overpaid… under-qualified… under worked… Many people out that the government isn’t innovative.

We know that isn’t true — and on this program, we’ve had the opportunity to talk to the creators of the Internet. (Most organizations would be thrilled creating something as all-altering as the Internet.)

We know there is good — and bad — in government. But there is no doubt in my mind that accomplishing the mission of government is exceedingly challenging… and, in many ways, much more challenging then most jobs the private sector.

And I wake up each day thrilled because Ihave the best job on the planet. I have an amazing opportunity to talk to smart people — in most cases, very spart people — each day. And I get to help you do your job better.

And I get to do that for people who have actually done this work … People who know how complex it is… how really difficult it is. They don’t worry about whether it is like the private sector or not. They understand the very real differences… and quietly they understand that their jobs are MUCH more challenging. But they are passionate about getting that job done.

I continue to believe these are remarkable times… And yes, times to make real change. These days, everything is on the table. That can be scary — but it also presents real opportunities.

So… Go do it. Be innovative. Try. Make mistakes even. And if there is anything I can do to help you… let me know… I’m easy to find… DorobekINSIDER.com.

Thanks for hanging with me. I hope we can continue to spend time together, albeit in a different way.

Written by cdorobek

March 27, 2011 at 8:20 PM

Posted in Federal News Radio

Looking for the DorobekINSIDER radio show?

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As I noted earlier this week, today is my last day at Federal News Radio 1500 AM.
All of the radio interviews are archived here.

Written by cdorobek

March 25, 2011 at 11:58 AM

DorobekINSIDER: The next chapter

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Change is never easy. So it is with some trepidation that I decided to leave Federal News Radio 1500 AM.

Not to worry. I’m not going anywhere. I’m still going to in this market — and I do have plans. I’m not really going anywhere. I’ve been covering the issues facing government agencies for a very long time — and I plan on continuing doing this for a very long time.

There are a couple of reasons for the change. First off, in case you don’t know, I am going to be a father very soon and I want time to spend time with my new baby boy. For me, this is a once in a life opportunity and I am blessed to have the opportunity to spend some time with my son.

Beyond that, I also am looking for new opportunities to grow… to innovate… to create — and producing a radio show each day leaves little time for anything else.

I do have plans. Not all of them are fully locked down, so I hope you’ll give me some time to do that. I will share them as soon as I can.

I can say that the DorobekINSIDER will continue at DorobekINSIDER.com. (If you found the DorobekINSIDER through Federal News Radio’s Web site, that will change in the weeks ahead.)

I’m hoping to create a platform that uses all kinds of platforms. But, as always, my mission can be found in eight words: Help the government accomplish its mission more effectively. That won’t change.

I’ll continue to be around… in fact, I hope to be around MORE…

As we say in radio, stay tuned!

A huge thanks to the people at Federal News Radio, who took a print guy and taught him radio. In particular, Francis Rose, Amy Morris, Julia Ziegler and WTOP’s Judy Taub, all of whom have been real mentors in the art of sound. UPDATED: Trying to write quickly, I forgot two essential people to thank. First, Lisa Wolfe, the program director for Federal News Radio. She gave me this great opportunity — and I simply cannot thank her enough for that. With key hires of experienced people who have covered the federal government, Federal News Radio has become a player — and quickly.

Finally, at Federal News Radio, I somehow forgot to thank Mike Causey. Causey is, quite simply, a legend. He has been a mentor to so many journalists — and he shows us how it is done each and every day. I have worked with him twice now… and it is nothing short of an honor.

It has also been an honor to be associated with WTOPJim Farley, WTOP’s vice president of news and content, had the idea for a Web radio station that would cover feds. A decade ago and the site has evolved into Federal News Radio. Farley is so passionate about making WTOP the information resource for Washington, it is simply infectious. He is, quite simply, the best.
I also have to thank John Meyer, director of Digital Media for WTOP and Federal News Radio. He has been with Federal News Radio from the start — and always saw a future.
Thanks to all for their help.
And to all of YOU — for listening… for reading… for helping… for doing what you do… Thanks so much.
Please stay in touch…
You can always find me at DorobekINSIDER.com… My contact information can be found here. In addition:
E-mail: cdorobek at dorobekinsider.com
Facebook: Both CDorobek and DorobekINSIDER
Twitter: Both CDorobek and DorobekINSIDER

Written by cdorobek

March 23, 2011 at 9:57 AM

Posted in DorobekInsider

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