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Archive for March 2009

A happy birthday to… NASA Goddard CIO Linda Cureton

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NASA Goddard CIO Linda Cureton
NASA Goddard CIO Linda Cureton

A very happy birthday to Linda Cureton, the chief information officer at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center.

Cureton is one of the real shining stars in the CIO community. She has a must-read blog … she uses Twitter… and she is one of the more innovative CIOs out there right now.

Today, she celebrates one of the big birthdays — one of the ones with
an “oh” following it. We will be celebrating with her tonight at FCW’s
annual Federal 100 awards gala.

Meanwhile, on this date in history… Maryland was first settledMercedes debuted
and in 1965, the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the
state
capitol in Montgomery, Ala., to protest the denial of voting rights to
blacks. She shares her birthday with Sarah Jessica Parker, who turns 44
years old today… Elton John (62), Gloria Steinem (75), Aretha
Franklin (67), and Sen. John Ensign, R-NV (51).

More events in history:

1807 Britain abolished its slave trade.

1894 Jacob S. Coxey
began leading an “army” of the unemployed from Massillon, Ohio, to
Washington, D.C., to demand help from the federal government.

1911 A fire at the Triangle Shirtwaist Co. factory in New York City
killed 146 workers, most of them young immigrant women. The tragedy
galvanized America’s labor movement.

1913 The home of vaudeville, the Palace Theatre, opened in New York City.

1957 The Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community.

1975 King Faisal of Saudi Arabia was shot to death by a nephew with a history of mental illness.

1988 Robert E. Chambers Jr. pleaded guilty to first-degree manslaughter
in the death of 18-year-old Jennifer Levin in New York City’s so-called
“preppie murder case.”

1992 Cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev returned
to Earth from the Mir space station after a 10-month stay, during which
his native country, the Soviet Union, ceased to exist.

1994 American troops completed their withdrawal from Somalia.

1996 An 81-day standoff by the antigovernment Freemen began at a ranch near Jordan, Mont.

1996 The redesigned $100 bill went into circulation.

1998 President Bill Clinton acknowledged during his Africa tour that
“we did not act quickly enough” to stop the slaughter of 1 million
Rwandans four years earlier.

2002 A powerful earthquake rocked Afghanistan and northwestern Pakistan, killing as many as 1,000 people.

2004 Congress passed a law making it a separate offense to harm a fetus during a violent federal crime.

Also celebrating their birthday today:

81 Jim Lovell
Astronaut

75 Gloria Steinem
Feminist author

69 Anita Bryant
Singer

66 Paul Michael Glaser
Actor (“Starsky and Hutch”)

61 Bonnie Bedelia
Actress

56 Mary Gross
Actress, comedian

51 James McDaniel
Actor

49 Steve Norman
Rock musician (Spandau Ballet)

49 Brenda Strong
Actress (“Desperate Housewives”)

48 Fred Goss
Actor

48 John Stockwell
Actor, writer, director

47 Marcia Cross
Actress (“Desperate Housewives”)

45 Kate DiCamillo
Author (“Because of Winn-Dixie”)

45 Lisa Gay Hamilton
Actress

43 Tom Glavine
Baseball player

38 Sheryl Swoopes
Basketball player

34 Melanie Blatt
Singer (All Saints)

30 Lee Pace
Actor (“Pushing Daisies”)

27 Sean Faris
Actor

27 Danica Patrick
Auto racer

25 Katherine McPhee
Singer (“American Idol”)

22 Jason Castro
Singer (“American Idol”)

20 Aly Michalka
Actress, singer (“Aly and AJ”)

Written by cdorobek

March 25, 2009 at 9:16 AM

Posted in birthdays, CIOs, Circuit

Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s sister station turns 40

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4066962Last night, I had the pleasure to go to the celebration of WTOP’s 40th anniversary as the all-news station in Washington, DC.

It was a remarkable event held at DC’s Newseum.

WTOP has the video posted that they showed last night at the event… and they have clips from many different events over the years.

Also Jim Farley, WTOP’s Vice President of News Operations, and Mike McMearty, WTOP’s News Director, were on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Federal Drive with Tom Temin and Jane Norris this morning. You can hear that here .

I have posted some photos of last night’s event… the roomNorris and TeminFederal News Radio Program Director Lisa Wolfe and WFED’s Jason Miller. … and WFED producer Julia Ziegler and Mike Causey.

It was a fun evening.

Federal News Radio's Mike Causey and Amy Morris

Federal News Radio's Mike Causey and Amy Morris

Written by cdorobek

March 25, 2009 at 9:00 AM

Posted in Circuit, press

GSA CFO Turco awarded Scantlebury Award

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GSA CFO Kathleen Turco has been awarded the 2009 Donald L. Scantlebury Memorial Award.

From the release:

Chief Financial Officer Kathleen Turco was recently named as this year’s recipient of the Donald L. Scantlebury Memorial Award. The award is the highest recognition given to government executives who have demonstrated outstanding leadership and significant improvements in financial management in the public sector.

Turco was honored during the Joint Financial Management Improvement Program’s (JFMIP) Federal Financial Management Conference on March 12.
JFMIP is a cooperative undertaking of the Department of Treasury, Office of Management and Budget, Office of Personnel Management and the Government Accountability Office. The agencies work to improve and coordinate financial management policies and practices throughout the government. Turco’s award signifies due recognition for her continuous leadership in financial management, and for having been principally responsible for significant economies, efficiencies and improvements in the government.

Turco’s bio…

Kathleen M. Turco was appointed the Chief Financial Officer (CFO) for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) on August 5, 2002.

In her capacity as the agency’s CFO, she provides enterprise-wide leadership for strategic planning, financial and budgetary analysis, performance budgeting, portfolio management, systems life cycle management, business case methodology and internal control processes and procedures. She provides the executive leadership and direction in administering the GSA’s Performance Management Process including the agencywide strategic planning, performance budgeting, financial management, and the core financial management system. She serves as principal advisor to the GSA Administrator on federal financial management, ensuring compliance with financial policies governing the $17 billion in financial activity for federal buildings, acquisition management, citizen services and governmentwide policy.

The GSA Office of the CFO (OCFO) is an Office of Management and Budget (OMB) designated Financial Management Line of Business (FMLoB) Shared Services Provider (SSP). OCFO offers “corporate” shared financial management services to GSA and more than 50 external customers by providing: high quality financial management services including strategic planning; budget and performance management; labor forecasting and distribution; financial analysis; financial operations (accounts payable, accounts receivable, cost allocation, asset management); ePayroll; travel management (E-Gov Travel), charge card (travel and purchase), financial reporting; internal controls and audit follow-up.

Ms. Turco came to GSA from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). At IRS she served as the Director of Financial Policy, Planning and Programs in the Office of the Chief Information Officer from 2001 to 2002 and was the IRS’ Deputy Chief Financial Officer for Strategic Planning and Budgeting where she directed the IRS strategic planning and budgeting from 1998 to 2002.

Prior to IRS, Ms. Turco was an examiner at the Executive Office of the President’s Office of Management and Budget for 10 years. She began her career with the Department of Education.

Ms. Turco was the recipient of a 2006 Presidential Rank Award as a meritorious executive and the 2008 Donald L. Scantlebury Memorial Award for Distinguished Leadership in Financial Management Improvement. She is a member of U.S. Chief Financial Officers Council and the Office of Federal Procurement Policy’s Cost Accounting Standards Board.

Ms. Turco has an undergraduate degree from the University of Maryland and a Master’s in business administration from the University of West Florida.

Written by cdorobek

March 24, 2009 at 3:51 PM

Posted in awards, CFO, Circuit

Another big merger: Deloitte buys struggling BearingPoint

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BearingPoint, which had filed for bankruptcy protection just weeks ago, this morning announced that the company had been sold — to Deloitte, no less. At least the public sector portion of it.

From the release :

BearingPoint and Deloitte have entered into an asset purchase agreement by which Deloitte will purchase a significant portion of BearingPoint’s largest business unit, Public Services, for a price of $350 million… In addition, BearingPoint has signed a non-binding letter of intent to sell a substantial portion of its North American Commercial Services business, including its Financial Services segment, to PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP for $25 million.

From the WSJ:

BearingPoint had been reporting weakened results for some time and in late 2007 named a new chief executive in hopes of turning around its fortunes. Results improved in 2008, but the company — spun off from accounting firm KMPG LLP in 2001 — continued to be affected by dwindling cash levels, which fell nearly one-third the first three quarters of 2008 to $333 million, and an inability to generate cash flow.

For its part, Deloitte said the acquisition would accelerate the expansion of its federal-government services business, which has seen strong growth in the past five years.

Written by cdorobek

March 24, 2009 at 6:46 AM

Ed DeSeve to join the Obama administration

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Ed DeSeve, the former acting Office of Management and Budget deputy director of management during the Clinton administration and Chairman of Strategy and Solution Partners, is going to join the Obama administration, Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller hears. And I have confirmed that DeSeve will be named the Senior Advisor to the President for Recovery and Reinvestment.

Earlier this year, on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris , we spoke with DeSeve about the appointment of Nancy Killefer as the OMB deputy director of management — she has since withdrawn — but we also spoke to him about his book, The Presidential Appointee’s Handbook.

The announcement just released by the White House:

Edward DeSeve, Special Advisor to the President, Assistant to the Vice President and Special Advisor to the OMB Director for Implementation of the Recovery Act:

In this role, Edward will support the Vice President in his leadership on Recovery Act implementation, and coordinate efforts at OMB on this project. He will focus on interagency coordination and lead White House efforts to make sure that the Recovery Act is implemented quickly and effectively. His management efforts inside the Executive Office of the President will complement the oversight work led by the independent Accountability and Transparency Board, chaired by Earl Devaney.

Mr. DeSeve is the former Deputy Director for Management of OMB. During his tenure in this position, he played a major role in coordinating the highly-successful federal approach to dealing with the “Y2K” computer problem. He was most recently the Chairman of Strategies and Solution LLP, which provides sustainability and consulting services to governments and non-profits. He spent the previous eight years as a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, as a Senior Fellow at James MacGregor Burns Academy of Leadership, and currently serves as a Senior Lecturer at the Fels Institute for Government of the University of Pennsylvania

Mr. DeSeve has served in all three levels of government. In addition to his role as Deputy Director for Management at OMB, he worked as the Controller for OMB and as the Chief Financial Officer at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Mr. DeSeve was also Special Assistant to the Governor of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Director of Finance for the City of Philadelphia.

In the private sector, Mr. DeSeve worked at KPMG Peat Marwick as a partner and national industry director, at Merrill Lynch Capital Markets as a Managing Director and at Affiliated Computer Services as a Senior Vice President. He established and led several consulting firms, including Public Financial Management Incorporated.

Mr. DeSeve has published numerous works on the federal budget, financial management, and information technology. He received a B.S. in Labor Economics from Cornell University and his Master of Government Administration in Public Finance from the University of Pennsylvania.

Written by cdorobek

March 23, 2009 at 5:49 PM

The CIO Council’s 2009 Azimuth Award goes to… Marty Wagner and Symantec’s John Thompson

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At the end of FOSE, the CIO Council holds an awards dinner to present its Azimuth Award. The Azimuth is essentially the compass on a boat that guides people. And so the CIO Council’s Azimuth Award is given to somebody who guides the community.

The Azimuth Award is not well known but is prestigious because it comes from the federal CIO Council. And the roster of winners is impressive. Back when I was working for Government Computer News, I got to attend the ceremony for the first Azimuth Award to John Koskinen, who at the time was leading the U.S. efforts for Y2K. (GCN seems to no longer have the story in their archives.)

Earlier this month, at the end of FOSE, the CIO Council quietly held the Azimuth Award ceremony — a lunch this year. There are two awards given out each year: one to a government person, and one to an industry person. The industry winner this year was John Thompson, chief executive officer of Symantec. (Thompson has been widely rumored for a number of positions in the Obama administration, including Commerce Secretary at one point.)

The government award, however, went to G. Martin Wagner, known by most people in the government space as Marty.

Earlier this month on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, I was reporting on the award… and frankly, I got a bit overcome with my own emotions. And last week, we spoke to John Sindelar , client industry executive at EDS, an HP company, most recently, he lead GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy, and he is one of Wagner’s best friends. You can hear that conversation here.

As many people know, Wagner retired from government a few years ago after a long and distinguished government career most recently at the General Services Administration. He then joined the IBM Center for the Business of Government, which is such a perfect spot for him.

Last July, Wagner was on the roof of his home in Arlington, VA trimming his prized trees — and he fell. He was essentially in a coma for what felt like months.

But he’s now doing much better. While he isn’t 100 percent, he is able to recognize people in ways that he was not able to before.

Wagner has been such a valuable part of the government IT community — somebody who was never a CIO, I might add. Marty is the thinker. And he is a true leader. He knew how to motivate people and keep the ball moving in the government sphere — something that can be difficult to do. Wagner always presses people yet is never a contrarian. And he enlists incredible amount of loyalty.

I was so pound of the CIO Council for recognizing Wagner… and our thoughts continue to be with Marty and his family.

FCW has more on the 2009 Azmeth Awards here.

Keep going Marty.

Written by cdorobek

March 23, 2009 at 1:45 PM

Was I unfair to GSA? Maybe a bit, but…

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I’ve received a number of calls and e-mails about yesterday’s post about GSA halting the use Facebook as a collaboration application.

This is typical:

I think the headline isn’t quite accurate and conveys the wrong message. We aren’t using facebook but we are using another tool that was made available immediately with all kinds of support and resources.  GSA absolutely does support collaboration and I don’t think you can equate “no more facebook” with not supporting collaboration.

And to be fair, in my original post, I should have specifically noted that, like many agencies, there are real pockets of innovation at GSA… GSA CIO Casey Coleman’s public blog … the USA.gov and GSA’s office of citizen services are doing some innovative things… and, of course, the leaders of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, Jim Williams and Tyree Varnado, encourage collaboration and have worked to enable that. (ASIDE: I don’t know if either Williams nor Varnado… or other GSA leaders, for that matter… are on Facebook or GovLoop or are using any of the other Web 2.0 tools. I would encourage them to at least put their toes in the water and try it, as I do most people. These tools are very simple — and they can be fun. And very quickly they provide a glimpse at the power of collaboration.)

But the opportunity to use Facebook as a collaborative environment. I think one of the important trends we are seeing is using tools that people already use. (The fact is that people probably are already using it as a collaboration tool anyway. If if you can capture that… it’s very powerful.)

One of the people who chided me was Mary Davie, assistant commissioner for GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service’s Office of Assisted Acquisition Services. She notes that GSA, in fact, is working to enable another tool that will allow people to collaborate. I’m thrilled to hear that.

There isn’t as much collaboration around procurement — and it seems that this can and should be a huge opportunity across government. There are so many lessons to be learned and shared, particular as the stimulus money starts flowing.

So I think I ended up kicking GSA… when I meant to simply poke ’em, to use the Facebook vernacular. I still believe it is a missed opportunity to encourage collaboration in an area where it is desperately needed… and I think this was an exceedingly low risk, but I’m thrilled to hear that this is not the entire story.

Written by cdorobek

March 19, 2009 at 7:33 AM