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Archive for December 2008

The president-elect announces his science and technology team — but no CTO yet

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From his Saturday “radio” — YouTube address — no CTO yet though.

Obama announced his appointment of Dr. John Holdren as Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and Co-Chair of the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST). He also announced Dr. Harold Varmus and Dr. Eric Lander as the other co-chairs of PCAST, which the President-elect said he hopes will be “a vigorous external advisory council that will shape my thinking on the scientific aspects of my policy priorities.” Additionally, he named Dr. Jane Lubchenco as his choice to lead the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

Read the full text after the break:

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Written by cdorobek

December 20, 2008 at 11:43 AM

Posted in Technology, Transition poll: What do you think of Team Obama’s team?

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Another day — more names… but we’re starting to get a sense of what the Obama administration is going to look like. The WSJ’s Gerald Seib has a fascinating piece in the paper this morning headlined Obama Team takes two shapes.

Here is how’s Today’s Paper summed up the story:

The WSJ‘s Gerald Seib says Obama is “giving the country two administrations for the price of one.” While Obama’s first round of high-profile appointments were heavy on Washington veterans who are seen as largely moderate, the second wave include “the kind of folks who look like the fabled ‘agents of change’ promised in the campaign.” These newer faces are concentrated in areas of energy and the environment, signaling that’s where Obama wants to implement changes, while he stuck with known commodities in the economics and national security fields to signal continuity in a time of war and an economic crisis.

So… what’s your sense of the team of rivals so far?

Written by cdorobek

December 19, 2008 at 7:35 AM

Posted in poll, Presidency, Transition

The big government CIO challenge: people… The most critical technology: Web 2.0

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There has been a change at the top of the list of issues facing government IT executives — security has dropped to number two in the latest AFFIRM’s 13th annual CIO challenges survey. The big issue: Hiring and retaining skilled professionals.

The big issue facing CIOs — people.

The survey recipients were asked to select five items from a list of 25 challenges that they consider the most important to the federalCIO in performing the CIO function. The “top ten” (there are 11 actual challenges in the top ten due to a tie at #10) out of 25 survey challenges in descending order of importance are:

  • Hiring and retaining skilled professionals
  • Balancing information sharing and security/privacy requirements
  • Obtaining adequate funding for IT programs and projects
  • Simplifying business processes to maximize the benefit of technology
  • Aligning IT and organizational mission goals
  • Managing or replacing legacy systems
  • Developing agency-wide IT accountability
  • Consolidating common IT business/mission functions
  • Creating data interoperability across agencies
  • Building effective relationships in support of IT initiatives with agency senior executives (agency head, CFO, etc.) (tie)
  • Formulating or implementing an enterprise architecture (EA) (tie)

There is much more detail in the report itself, which you can find here… or below.

The other interesting part of the survey is the critical technologies that people are watching. This year’s winner didn’t even make the list last year — Web 2.0/collaborative technologies. From the report:

The survey recipients were asked to select five items from a list of 30 critical technologies and solutions that they considered the most important to performing the federalCIO function.  The “top ten” selected critical technologies and solutions in descending order of importance

1. Web 2.0/Collaborative technologies
2. Information sharing
3. Knowledge management
4. Service-oriented architecture (SOA)
5. Wireless technology (tie)
5. Identity management/HSPD12 (smart cards, biometrics, etc.) (tie)
7. Security applications (tie)
7. Workflow (tie)
9. Security infrastructure (tie)
9. Executive information and decision support systems (tie)

I’ve posted the full report here…

View this document on Scribd

You can also find it here.

Written by cdorobek

December 18, 2008 at 10:29 PM

Posted in CIOs

A video walking tour of Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s new studio

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Federal News Radio’s Francis Rose has a new video camera that he is just thrilled with… and, given that Federal News Radio 1500 AM has moved into our new studio — I posted photos yesterday — Rose posted video of the new studio… yes, taken during the Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris yesterday.

Check out the new digs.

More photos here.

They are very nice.

Written by cdorobek

December 18, 2008 at 2:30 PM

Posted in Federal News Radio

A happy birthday to… Joanne Connelly and Lisa Schlosser

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ConnellyWorks' Joanne Connelly

ConnellyWorks' Joanne Connelly

schlosserA very happy birthday to Joanne Connelly, the head of ConnellyWorks PR firm… and to Lisa Schlosser, the CIO of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, at least until tomorrow when she will join the EPA. Coincidentally, both of the birthday women were at AFCEA’s Bethesda, MD’s chapter session this morning… where I am not this morning.

Lisa and Joanne share their birthday with… Brad PittStephen Spielberg, wrestler Stone Cold Steve Austin, and Keith Richards — who is only 65… and from history… Ty Cobb, and Joseph Stalin. How’s that for a range of people?

In 1892 Peter Tchaikovsky’s “The Nutcracker Suite” premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia.

And, in 1865, the 13th Amendment to the Constitution went into effect ending slavery in the United States.

Also born on this date… Robert Moses, the American public servant who supervised the construction of many New York landmarks, including the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts and Shea Stadium , was born. Read his NYT obit from July 29, 1981 here.

After the break, read more events from history… and happy birthday to Joanne Connelly…
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Written by cdorobek

December 18, 2008 at 8:16 AM

Posted in Circuit

1105 GovInfo’s Nancy Ferris to retire

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The DorobekInsider has learned that 1105 GovInfo’s Nancy Ferris has announced that she is going to retire.

Of course, we told you earlier that 1105 GovInfo recently hired a new editorial director, David Rapp.  Another editorial change, albeit unrelated — 1105 GovInfo is losing a distinguished journalist in Ferris who I have had the pleasure of working with for most of my DC career.

Ferris has an amazing journalistic career — in the government market, and elsewhere. She worked at the former Washington Star newspaper. I met Ferris when she was the managing editor at Government Computer News and I was a mere reporter. She worked at Government Executive for a time and eventually joined PlanetGov, which was a dot-com start-up in the late 1990s featuring Mike Causey, who has just made the jump from the Washington Post. (I now get to work with the legendary Mike Causey again here at Federal News Radio 1500 AM.) In DC, you may remember Causey’s face all over buses around town. When both of were jobless after the dot-com was dot-gone, I eventually ended up at Federal Computer Week. Later, I was thrilled to hire Ferris to work on the burgeoning Government Health IT publication.

She has notified 1105 Media that she will be retiring.

Government Health IT editor Paul McCloskey, in a note sent to staff, called her a “real pro,” and I couldn’t agree more.

Her husband retired a few years ago — they do some of the most amazing adventures. Personally, I wish her all the best and publicly thank her for all the help that she provided me over the years.

Read McCloskey’s note after the break:
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Written by cdorobek

December 17, 2008 at 2:23 PM

Posted in press

Federal News Radio — the next generation

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wfed-studio-1So starting this afternoon, Federal News Radio 1500 AM starts broadcasting from our new studios.

For a former print guy, this is a bit daunting. When I started here, I didn’t have radio experience, so I’ve been learning all sorts of new technology — the magic of radio.

We have been in a… well, not the greatest studio, to be honest. But starting this afternoon, we move to very fancy — and very daunting — new digs.

Why daunting? This is the “board,” as they call it in radio… and while we don’t use all of these buttons regularly… it is still a whole lot of buttons. We then also have to use the computers on either side.


More photos of Federal News Radio’s new digs — and you can see our old digs — after the break…
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Written by cdorobek

December 17, 2008 at 11:07 AM

Posted in Federal News Radio

IAC transition reports are out… and we’ll hear from them Tuesday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM

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I mentioned over the weekend that the Industry Advisory Council was slated to post its transition reports today… and they are posted… they aren’t all that easy to find, but… they are posted. There are four of them — all PDFs:

On Tuesday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we’ll be talking to some of the people involved with the reports, including IAC Chairman Leslie Steele [bio in .doc].

They were just posted, so I haven’t read them yet, so… share your thoughts.

Written by cdorobek

December 15, 2008 at 3:47 PM

Posted in Industry, Transition

12.15 edition: DorobekInsider’s most read items for the past 7-days

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Yes — a new record number of readers for the past week, thank you very much. The most read items for the past 7-days on the

  1. FCW gets a new editor: David Rapp… and the 1105 GovInfo’s marketing person is official (I’m having coffee — or tea, in my case — with Rapp on Wednesday. He has tentatively agreed to come on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris… I’m going to push for early January. Stay tuned.)
  2. HUD CIO Lisa Schlosser to join to EPA
  3. IAC meets with Team Obama
  4. A government 2.0 movie — really (We are working to get the director on Federal News Radio’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris — this week, I hope)
  5. Some buzz on FCW’s new editor… and the note sent to 1105 GovInfo staff
  6. What would you ask Team Obama — is now ‘open for questions’
  7. Kudos to ACT/IAC’s Kelly Olson is one to watch
  8. GSA delays Alliant again, but… you’d barely know that from the press release
  9. 1105 Media scores with a big return… a new 1105 GovInfo marketing person
  10. Hearing that Interior has named a new CIO
  11. The DorobekInsider meets with DHS Secretary Chertoff Tuesday
  12. DorobekInsider brush with the famous: DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff
  13. Interior’s Howell to move to OMB
  14. Gartner’s 10 technologies worth watching
  15. Microsoft federal names a CTO — a chief transition officer
  16. Navy out with one of the first Web 2.0 policy memos
  17. FCW’s Fed 100 Awards: Recognizing the good work done by people… nominations for the annual awards are open (I am behind — I have work to do this week writing my nominations. Reminder, the nominations close Dec. 23. Nominate online at And I’ll be posting my nominations this week.)
  18. Doan sings the Army fight song — radio gold
  19. A correction… and a even bigger congratulations to Teresa Carlson, the new head of Microsoft Federal
  20. One of my favorite stories of the week:Obama and Zumegate
  21. Krumholtz, Microsoft’s K Street legend, is leaving
  22. Obama CTO frenzy: More names in the mix
  23. Hear the Navy CIO talk about the Navy’s Web 2.0 policy
  24. The DorobekInsider Guide: Experimenting with Twitter, part II
  25. NewsBytes: Items worth reading (or hearing)… NASA undergoing hacks… DC CTO Vivek Kundra… government 2.0… and Safavian pardon watch
  26. 12.08 edition: DorobekInsider’s most read items for the past week

Written by cdorobek

December 15, 2008 at 6:45 AM

Posted in DorobekInsider

IAC meets with Team Obama

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Updated at 8:28p ET

A group representing the non-profit Industry Advisory Council met this week with the Obama transition team, and the group is expected to (finally) release its transition documents next week — likely as soon as Monday.

The meeting went very well, according to a Friday e-mail to industry group’s leadership from IAC Executive Director Ken Allen. “They told us that they recognized the importance of IAC and that this was their first meeting with an IT group.” And he indicated that the IAC transition papers will be sent to IAC members and posted on the IAC Web site on Monday.

As IAC announced at the Executive Leadership Conference in October, the group has been hosting a Transition Study Project, which they described as “a group that is developing recommendations on the strategic use of information technology (IT) for the next Administration and Congress.” At the time, the transition group highlighted 10 areas that it was studying:

  • Acquisition Process Improvement
  • Budget Challenges
  • War on Terror
  • Healthcare
  • Energy and Environment
  • Identity and Access Management
  • Entitlement Programs
  • Disaster Protection
  • Financial and Regulatory Reform
  • Government Management

Read GCN’s story from ELC here.

The transition reports were slated to be released in November, but… they were delayed for a number of reasons.

There are apparently now two so-called “capstone papers” — one on IT as a strategic weapon, and another on returning innovation to the federal government.

UPDATE: As mentioned, I got an update tonight from an IAC insider:

We will definitely be releasing the papers Monday. There are 4 total on Monday and more through the next two weeks. The will be on the website…

So… we’ll be watching on Monday.

Read Allen’s full memo… and the IAC original press release on the transition project… after the break.
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Written by cdorobek

December 12, 2008 at 7:46 PM

Posted in Industry, Transition

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