Archive for the ‘Executives’ Category
03.12.2012: DorobekINSIDER: New media matures – and changes the VA; how to take responsibility; and having good conflicts
The start of our second week… thanks for being here.
And there was some significant news on Friday — a new nominee to be the Obama administration’s chief technology officer — Todd Park. Park has been serving as the chief technology officer at the Department of Health and Human Services. He is an awesome guy… and he has done some remarkable things. We’ll chat about that more later… And HHS has also named Frank Baitman as the new chief information officer at the HHS. Baitman has served most recently at FDA and SSA. That post has been filled in an acting capacity for some time.
We have a great show for you today…
- Remember when everybody was talking about NEW media — you needed a new media person to change how you get information out to the public? Well, that term is becoming passe. But new media — whatever you want to call it — it is more that just messaging. It has really changed the very nature of how organizations work and operate. And we’re going to talk to the person who has led new media at the Department of Veterans Affairs about their challenges in 2012…
- Accountability — we’re always talking about accountability in government, right? As if there isn’t enough accountability… but sometimes people don’t feel really responsible for the agency’s goals and mission. We’re going to talk to a professor who has studied this subject — and he’s written a new book… Stepping Up: How Taking Responsibility Changes Everything. We’ll talk to him about responsibility.
- Ever have a big of a fight with somebody at work? Nothing physical, but… is there a way to have happy conflicts? Seem too good to be true? We’ll talk to an expert about how you can turn a negative into a positive.
All that ahead… but after the break, we start off with the stories that impact your life for Monday 12 March, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…
03.07.2012 DorobekINSIDER: Leading the Recovery Board; our information diet; and bosses trading places
Today on GovLoop INsights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- There is a new chief watchdog at the Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board. It’s a visible job. She takes over from Earl Devaney. And she has a tough task leading an organization that could sunset is a little over a year. We’ll introduce you to Kathleen Tighe later in the program.
- You watch what you eat, but do you watch what you read? and watch? and listen to, for that matter? and click on? We’ll talk about OUR role in defining the meadia culture out there… we’re going to talk to Clay Johnson, author of the book The Information Diet.
- And have you seen the TV show Undercover Boss? We’ll talk to a professor about the advantages of walking in somebody else’s shoes.
After the break… the stories that impact your life for Wednesday March 7th, 2012… your government world in 120-seconds…
The GovLoop Insights Issue of the Week is changing a few for December. Generally, we try to find a issue — a person — an idea — that helped define the past 7-days… and we always work to find an issue that will also will have an impact on the days, weeks and months ahead. And, as always, we focus on six words: helping you do your job better.
For the month of December, we are taking a break from the issue of the week — and we are taking a look at the issues that defined government for the year. And we’ll unveil the issue that defined 2011 later this month. But that gives us a few weeks to look at a few of the big issues of the year. And this week, we’re going to talk about cyber-security and making sense of big data.
But first, a look at some of the big stories for the end of November and the beginning of December, 2011 — yes, the final month of the year.
Or read more… after the break…
Chris Niedermayer, the Deputy CIO for Business and IT Modernization at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has announced internally that he is retiring after 33 years of public service, the DorobekINSIDER has learned.
His last day will be Dec. 3. He has told friends that he plans to take two or three months off to “decompress” and that he will start looking for new opportunities after the new year.
Niedermayer is well respected in the government IT community having worked in a number of key posts, most recent at the Patent and Trademark Office, and before that at the Agriculture Department. He was recruited by HUD CIO Jerry Williams to be a key part of the IT leadership team at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Earlier this year, Niedermayer was struck with Lyme Disease. After a tough battle, he has now fully recovered.
Read Niedermayer’s full bio… after the break.
But first… a quick review of the other stories that were news for the last week of October…
We start with the technology story of the week… which was… the first speech [PDF] by the new federal CIO, Steve VanRoekel. Unfortunately he didn’t speak to an audience of government executives — the 21st annual Executive Leadership Conference was going on this week. VanRoekel decided to speak to an audience in California — specifically, at Palo Alto’s storied PARC headquarters.
That aside, it was the federal CIO’s first speech since he took that post nearly three months ago. And he stressed that his focus will be to drive innovation in government and make investments in technology that better serve the American people.
He detailed specific initiatives inside each of the administration’s focus areas — maximizing IT return on investment, improving citizen and business interaction with agencies, closing the so-called productivity gap and cybersecurity.
I’ll have a round-up of stories about the speech soon on DorobekINSIDER.
Staying in technology… what are the challenges facing state technology executives? The National Association of State CIOs has just published its annual list of the strategies, management processes and solutions [PDF]. Topping the list — it will be no surprise to you: consolidation — and I would add, doing more with less. Number two is budget and cost controls. Security comes in at number six… and mobile comes in at number 10.
The top tech priority for state CIOs, according to NASCIO: virtualization.
Read full list [PDF]… GovLoop is also asking you for your thoughts about the priorities and technologies that will help you do your job.
Our management story of the week… well, it also involves technology… it’s the ongoing troubles with the government’s job site: USAJobs.gov. We’ve told you over the weeks that the Office of Personnel Management rolled out a brand new version of USA-Jobs, but the new site has been plagued with problems. The Washington Post reports that the site would crash repeatedly, error messages popped up over and over, résumés disappeared, passwords were obliterated. In some cases, it even got geography wrong. Searches for Delaware, for example, turning up jobs in Germany. And Federal Computer Week notes those problems were having an impact. An analysis indicates that the number of resumes coming in through the new site is at least 60 percent less than the earlier version. And now lawmakers are asking the federal CIO to step in to help.
In gov 2.0 news… The Department of Veterans Affairs named RelayHealth as the winner of its “Blue Button for All Americans” contest. The Blue Button allows veterans across the country to download their health data. Even better: McKesson’s RelayHealth announced that it is donating the $50,000 prize to the Wounded Warrior Project, which supports programs that assist injured Servicemembers, Veterans and their families. Awesome — all the way around!
Our budget story of the week… is, of course, the super-committee, which is facing a deadline just before Thanksgiving to make its recommendations on cuts. And there is a lot of back-and-fourth fighting going on. At the Executive Leadership Conference this week, a congressional staffer suggested that agencies should expect significant budget cuts. We’ll continue to watch it, of course.
And four recommendations for some reading this weekend…
One from the Harvard Business Review about government start-ups… Government “start-ups” — new agencies, offices, or initiatives — have the potential to be a powerful tool for solving critical policy problems at the local, state, and federal levels. But while creating the “new and the nimble” within an established bureaucracy is a well-known art form in the private sector, governments are still struggling to do it effectively. Read more — we have the link online.
FastCompany has the story about the Silicon Valley’s new hiring strategy for IT: NOT hiring PhDs.
And are you having trouble finding the right person for the right job? In the Wall Street Journal, this week, a piece on why companies are facing the same challenge.
Finally, social media experts… some feel uncomfortable with that title. The EPA’s Jeffrey Levey explains on GovLoop.
But the GovLoop Issue of the Week… the end of October also marks the end of cyber-security awareness month… and this week, Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano told the Washington Post that she spends a considerable amount of time dealing with cybersecurity threats, including potential attacks on the nation’s infrastructure. (Video)
This week, the Security Innovation Network was holding a conference in Washington assessing ways to help solve the challenges facing government — and there are many of them, and they have been evolving quickly. Robert Rodriguez is the chairman and Managing Principal of the Security Innovation Network. He tells me that things are changing in the age of austerity…
Schlosser has been at the Environmental Protection Agency since 2008, initial overseeing the Office of Information Collection and most recently as the principal deputy associate administrator for EPA’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education. Before that, she was the CIO at the Department of Housing and Urban Development. (NOTE: This information has been updated at of 06.02.2011.)
Schlosser is widely respected within the CIO community and she has an impressive resume having experience across a wide variety of issues, including cyber-security. She also served as a military intelligence officer for the Army. Her efforts have also been recognized with Federal Computer Week’s 2008 Fed 100 award and the Laureate Award by the Computerworld Honors Program.
Before HUD, she was the associate CIO and chief information security officer at Transportation Department and she served as the vice-president for Business Operations and Response Services for Global Integrity and a a senior manager for Ernst & Young.
Schlosser is a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserves and did a tour of duty in the Middle East during the Iraq war.
Read her full bio after the break:
Just before the end of the year, a significant reorganization coming to GSA’s acquisition leadership.
Ed O’Hare, Assistant Commissioner for the Integrated Technology Services (ITS) portfolio, who took the post in March 2009, will retire effective January 15, 2011, according to a memo by Steve Kempf , the commission of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service sent to employees today. Mary Davie, presently the Assistant Commissioner of FAS’ Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS), will serve as the ITS portfolio’s next leader effective January 16, 2011. ITS oversees some of the government’s biggest and most important contracts including the GSA schedule contracts, GSA’s governmentwide telecommunications contracts such as Networx , and GSA’s governmentwide acquisition vehicles , including the just announced Alliant.
Kempf stressed that the Federal Acquisition Services has a deep bench of executives with extensive experience. Therefore, as part of those changes:
* As I mentioned, Mary Davie, presently the Assistant Commissioner of FAS’ Office of Assisted Acquisition Services (AAS), will serve as the ITS portfolio’s next leader effective January 16, 2011.
* Bill Sisk, presently the FAS Southeast Sunbelt Region Commissioner, has agreed to act as the GSS Assistant Commissioner effective January 2, 2011.
* Michael Gelber, presently the FAS Northwest Arctic Region Commissioner, will become the new FAS Pacific Rim Commissioner effective January 16, 2011.
The following people will act in these positions during the upcoming transition period:
* Tim Fleming, presently AAS’ Deputy Assistant Commissioner, will be the Acting Assistant Commissioner for AAS.
* Kelley Holcombe, FAS Deputy Regional Commissioner, will serve as the Acting FAS Southeast Sunbelt Region Commissioner.
* James Hamilton, the Northwest Arctic Region’s Director for Customer Accounts and Research, will serve as the Acting FAS Commissioner in Region 10.
In one of the biggest moves in government IT in years, Teresa Carlson, who has led Microsoft Federal for the past several years, is leaving the software giant to lead Amazon.com’s burgeoning cloud computing business.
Amazon officials were not available to confirm, but Carlson has told told friends that she will start on Dec. 13. Microsoft officials said that no replacement has been named.
Carlson is one of the preeminent leaders in the business of government community. She has been at Microsoft since 2002, and for the past several years, she has served as the vice president of Microsoft Federal.
The move is a tectonic shift for the cloud computing environment — and for Amazon.com. Amazon has already been a significant player in government — Recovery.gov runs on the Amazon cloud platform. But Amazon has largely lacked a “face” to the market.
But it also is a significant development for the cloud computing environment, scoring one of the most respected government IT executives for the relatively new computing platform.
And… the move leaves Microsoft Federal with a big shoes to fill.
Carlson’s biography as posted on the Microsoft Web site:
Vice President US Federal Government
Teresa Carlson is the Vice President at Microsoft Corporation responsible for US Federal Government. In this role, she defines the strategy and oversees the execution of sales, contracting, pre-sales technical support, product marketing, customer satisfaction, and performance of the US Federal Government business worldwide.
Teresa joined Microsoft in 2002 as part of the US Federal Group to start up and manage the new Business Productivity unit. In this role, she led a team focused on delivering customer business value through a portfolio of business scenarios. Promoted from there to lead the US Federal Solutions Unit, she created a comprehensive solutions framework that was introduced into the US Federal marketplace. Teresa was also responsible for the US Federal partner channel that consists of more than 2500 Microsoft partners. In July 2005 she became the US Director of Strategy and Operations for Microsoft Federal where she developed new concepts, methods, and strategies for working in the US Federal market. And in 2006 she became the General Manager of the US Federal Civilian Agencies and International Global Organizations (IGO’s) business unit, managing a $600M+ business unit.
Prior to joining Microsoft Teresa was the World Wide Vice President of Marketing and Business Development for Lexign Incorporated, formerly Keyfile Corporation, a software company focused on secure, end-to-end business transactions using XML and other technologies. Upon acquisition of three separate companies by Lexign, Teresa was responsible for the overall strategy of the integration and world-wide launch of the newly merged company.
Before moving into the information technology arena, Teresa spent 15 years in the health care field, as a practitioner and consultant initially, then as a business manager and area vice-president, responsible for national accounts, marketing, and business development. During this time, she led customers through numerous transformations, including Joint Commission certifications and significant payment system changes.
Teresa is a native of Kentucky, and currently loves living in Maryland with her husband, a graduate of the US Military Academy at West Point and her youngest son. Her oldest son is now also at West Point. The three men in her life help make it exciting and keep her priorities straight. She has an undergraduate and Masters of Science degree in Communications and Speech and Language Pathology from Western Kentucky University. She holds a variety of certificates and is an advocate for children.
Teresa has received many awards for her industry and civic contributions to the Washington D.C. Community. These include the Federal Computer Week’s Fed 100 Award, and The Bisnow on Business’ Federal IT Power 50 for 2009. Her deep commitment to bettering her community and her passion for her Federal customers has led her to numerous leadership engagements including service on the Boards of: AFCEA Bethesda Chapter, AFFIRM, American Red Cross Capital Chapter, TIE-DC and NPower.
On the heels of a number of management changed made official yesterday, Steve Kempf, the commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, has named Houston Taylor as the assistant commissioner for the Office of Acquisition Management.
Taylor has been serving in that post in an acting capacity. Previously he Previously Mr. Taylor served as the Director of the Program Analysis Division, were he championed and managed the FAS Environmental Program.
As the assistant commissioner of FAS Acquisition Management, he oversees the direction in planning, organizing and managing major functional areas including Acquisition Career Field Management, Policy Implementation, Socio-Economic Programs, Program Analysis, Supplier Management, and the Federal Supply Schedules Program.
The memo from Kempf:
I am pleased to announce that Houston Taylor, who has been the Acting Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Acquisition Management, has agreed to permanently fill this role. In this role Houston will continue to direct FAS acquisition policy initiatives such as socioeconomic and environmental programs and support GSA’s goals through improved acquisition policy management throughout FAS. His career experience in acquisition, serving both civilian and defense department organizations, will serve him well as he leads the FAS Acquisition Management team.
Please join me in congratulating Houston as he permanently takes over this leadership role. His energy, commitment to service and collaborative approach to building business solutions that work for FAS and its customers will help him continue to make an impact for FAS.
Houston Taylor is the Acting Assistant Commissioner of the Federal Acquisition Service’s Office of Acquisition Management, with full authority and shared responsibility for direction in planning, organizing and managing major functional areas including Acquisition Career Field Management, Policy Implementation, Socio-Economic Programs, Program Analysis, Supplier Management, and the Federal Supply Schedules Program. Previously Mr. Taylor served as the Director of the Program Analysis Division, were he championed and managed the FAS Environmental Program, working in direct support of the General Services Administration’s commitment to providing “green” options for Federal customers while leading the way in environmentally friendly acquisition practices. Mr. Taylor started his career with GSA as the Director of the Center for Services Acquisition, where he was responsible for managing the Financial and Business Solutions Schedule, a program that exceeded one billion dollars in sales under his leadership.
He brings more than 25 years of procurement and contract management experience to the agency. Mr. Taylor retired from active duty with the U.S. Air Force in 2000. His assignments included tours in Turkey, the United Kingdom, the Air Force Inspection Agency, and Operation Provide Comfort, where he worked as a contingency contracting officer in Southern Turkey and Northern Iraq. In his final assignment he worked at the Pentagon for the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the U.S. Air Force as the contracting career field manager. Additional highlights of his extensive government career include service as a contracting professional within the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Postal Service.
Mr. Taylor holds a Graduate Certificate from the University of Virginia in Procurement and Contracts Management, along with an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland. He is also a Level III-Certified Contracting Officer and a Certified Federal Contracts Manager.
Mr. Taylor is a native of Canton, Ohio.
A number of leadership changes at the General Services Administration.
GSA Administrator Martha Johnson has announced that Gail Lovelace, who has served as the chief people officer for the General Services Administration, will be taking a newly created job as GSA’s chief leadership officer.
“I have been deliberately attending to succession planning, strategic alignment, and performance management of the agency leadership since my confirmation,” Johnson said in a memo to staff. “Gail has helped shape those activities and will continue to build on them. This move will also signal beyond the walls of GSA that we are intent upon holding our place as a pace-setter for the government in matters of fostering and strengthening public sector leadership.”
Lovelace is widely respected in government, particularly in the HR community, and has been recognized for her work on the Bush-Obama transition.
Replacing Lovelace as GSA’s chief people officer will be Tony Costa, who has spent most of his 25 year career at GSA with the Public Building Service.
In addition, Bill Piatt is moving from the Office of Technology Strategy to the GSA Administrator’s office. He will assume the work that Tony has been championing, namely GSA’s use of the social media and open government tools that our Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies is promulgating across government
The memo from Johnson sent out today:
From: Administrator Martha Johnson
Subject: Exciting Leadership Movement
It is my pleasure to announce a couple of exciting leadership moves here at
To begin, Gail Lovelace will be moving to my office to assume the role of Chief Leadership Officer on December 1. For the past 13 years Gail has served as the Chief People Officer. She and I have worked very closely together for years, and I am personally thrilled to have her join me in building and strengthening our leadership cadre. I have been deliberately attending to succession planning, strategic alignment, and performance management of the agency leadership since my confirmation. Gail has helped shape those activities and will continue to build on them. This move will also signal beyond the walls of GSA that we are intent upon holding our place as a pace-setter for the government in matters of fostering and strengthening public sector leadership.
In conjunction with Gail’s move, I have asked Tony Costa to step in as the Chief People Officer. Tony brings customer knowledge, strategic business perspective, operational experience, and, perhaps most importantly, change management chops. While most of his 25 year career at GSA has been with the Public Building Service – both Regional and at Central Office – Tony is
willing to step into a new challenge in the “C-Suite.” It is not an easy thing to follow a leader such as Gail Lovelace who has in many ways defined Human Resources for GSA, but I have confidence that Tony will do a great job at the helm of the CPO’s office. I am equally confident that such moves are good for our leaders and good for the organization as a whole. They break down our silos and send the signal that we want people to try new things and build out their knowledge of the full enterprise.
Finally, Bill Piatt will move from the Office of Technology Strategy to my office and will assume the work that Tony has been championing, namely GSA’s use of the social media and open government tools that our Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies is promulgating across government. Bill recently returned to GSA and brings great experience in IT leadership and progressive IT tools. I know that he will hit the ground running, and I am excited about the energy that he will bring to these important enterprise-wide efforts.
GSA is going through a lot of change. These leaders have deep experience in GSA and share a passion for our mission and collective success. As they change roles, they are modeling change as leaders. Please join me in thanking them for their service and supporting them in these new challenges.