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Archive for June 2009

DorobekInsider.com: Godspeed to Christine Burman

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We were saddened to learn of the sudden death of Christine A. Burman, the wife of Allan V. Burman, the president of Jefferson Solutions and the former administrator of the Office of Management and Budget’s Office of Federal Procurement Policy. Christine Burman passed away last Thursday and I just found out about it this morning.

I have posted the notice below

Allan Burman and his friends and family are certainly in our thoughts and prayers.

Godspeed Christine Burman…

Christine A. Burman

CHRISTINE A. BURMAN (Age 65) Wife of Allan V. Burman, died Thursday, June 11, 2009 at Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, VA. Chris was born June 10, 1944 in Bristol, CT and was a daughter of Hedwig (Klimovitch) Anderson of Westport, CT and the late Arnold Anderson. A graduate of the University of Hartford, she was employed as an elementary school educator involved with community outreach with non-native English speakers. She was also an award winning photographer. In addition to her husband and mother, Chris is survived by a daughter and son-in-law, Zoe (Burman) and Jeremy Sherlick of Westport, CT; a brother: Arnold “Andy” Anderson of Grantham, NH; a sister and brother-in-law, Elaine and William Greene of Westport, CT; and two grandchildren, Maya Luna Sherlick and Finn Sherlick. Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 17, 2009, 9 a.m. from Funk Funeral Home, 35 Bellevue Ave., Bristol, CT to St. Stanislaus Church, 510 West Street, Bristol, for a Mass of Christian Burial at 10 a.m. Burial will follow in Peacedale Cemetery, Bristol. Relatives and friends may call at the funeral home on Tuesday from 5 to 8 p.m. A memorial celebration of Chris”s life will be held at a future date in Arlington, VA. Memorial donations may be made to a charity of the donor”s choice. On line guestbook available at: www.FunkFuneralHome.com

Written by cdorobek

June 17, 2009 at 3:50 PM

DorobekInsider.com: Watching the Web 2.0 effect in Iran – and a real gov 2.0 hero

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It is just fascinating to watch what is happening in Iran. It is interesting with all the discussion about how the Obama campaign used so-called “new media,” but this is almost more… not real, but… more raw, maybe… it is fascinating to see how it is happening. And one of the remarkable examples is happening right before our eyes in Iran.

TechPresident.com’s Nancy Scola has an excellent round-up of what people are doing — fascinating ways of supporting eDemocracy or whatever this will end up being. “By just about any measure, we’re seeing just an overwhelming amount of online information, direction, and action around Iran. Making any sense of it is a real challenge,” she writes… and somehow, one just has a sense that whatever the outcome, this is going to have ramifications.

Jared Cohen

Jared Cohen

Meanwhile, while I somehow made a list of gov 2.0 heros, there is a real hero coming from this situation: 27-year-old Jared Cohen, a member of the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff, who, according to the NYT, placed the call to Twitter on Monday, inquiring about their plan to perform maintenance in what would be the middle of the day, Iran time. [Hat tip to the Bay Newser blog… and don’t miss the November 2007 profile of Cohen in the New Yorker, Condi’s Party Starter. The New Yorker notes, “Before his State Department days, while he was still a graduate student at Oxford, Cohen talked his way into a visa for Iran, where he hoped to interview members of the political resistance. Instead, he made friends his own age.”… And yes, I did type November 2007. Whew! I’m feeling like I live under a log or something.]

From the NYT story headlined U.S. Steps Gingerly Into Tumult in Iran:

The request, made to a Twitter co-founder, Jack Dorsey, is yet another new-media milestone: the recognition by the United States government that an Internet blogging service that did not exist four years ago has the potential to change history in an ancient Islamic country.

“This was just a call to say: ‘It appears Twitter is playing an important role at a crucial time in Iran. Could you keep it going?’ ” said P.J. Crowley, the assistant secretary of state for public affairs.

Twitter complied with the request, saying in a blog post on Monday that it put off the upgrade until late Tuesday afternoon — 1:30 a.m. Wednesday in Tehran — because its partners recognized “the role Twitter is currently playing as an important communication tool in Iran.” The network was working normally again by Tuesday evening. The State Department said its request did not amount to meddling. Mr. Cohen, they noted, did not contact Twitter until three days after the vote was held and well after the protests had begun.

Meddling? To the contrary, it seems like very agile thinking on the part of Mr. Cohen.

But it does seem like we are seeing the early glimpses of what could be a watershed moment. Web 2.0 guru Clay Shirky has a fascinating Q&A on the TED Blog and he says, “This is the big one.”

Q: What do you make of what’s going on in Iran right now.
Shirky: I’m always a little reticent to draws lessons from things still unfolding, but it seems pretty clear that … this is it. The big one. This is the first revolution that has been catapulted onto a global stage and transformed by social media. I’ve been thinking a lot about the Chicago demonstrations of 1968 where they chanted “the whole world is watching.” Really, that wasn’t true then. But this time it’s true … and people throughout the world are not only listening but responding. They’re engaging with individual participants, they’re passing on their messages to their friends, and they’re even providing detailed instructions to enable web proxies allowing Internet access that the authorities can’t immediately censor. That kind of participation is really extraordinary.

Read the full conversation here. Of course — shameless plug — read Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Meet the Innovators conversation with Shirkypart one… and part two

Back to State Department’s Cohen for a moment… I noted the New Yorker about his getting into Iran. That spurred a book, Children of Jihad: A Young American’s Travels Among the Youth of the Middle East. The book’s self-description: “Defying foreign government orders and interviewing terrorists face to face, a young American tours hostile lands to learn about Middle Eastern youth—and uncovers a subculture that defies every stereotype.” And yes, I did just download it onto my Kindle. You can read an excerpt of the book here.

Meanwhile, we are working to get folks on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris this afternoon who can provide insight about what all of this means. It is still a work in progress, so… as we say in radio, stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

June 17, 2009 at 7:57 AM

DorobekInsider named a GovFresh Gov 2.0 hero

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I’m not big into tooting my own horn — in general, do you really care — but… this one was nice. (That being said… the Bette Midler quote somehow is going through my head right how: Movie quote Enough about me what do you think about me?)

The Web site GovFresh, which provides “live feed of official news from U.S. Government Twitter, YouTube, RSS, Facebook, Flickr accounts and more, all in one place,” named me as a “Gov 2.0 hero.”

GovFresh asked me to answer three questions:

* What was your path to Gov 2.0?
* What area of government offers the biggest opportunity for improvement via Web 2.0 tools?
* What’s the killer app that will make Gov 2.0 the norm instead of the exception?
* What part of Gov 2.0 most excites you?

Read more here.

It is good company so far… including…
* Steve Radick, the social media lead for Booz Allen Hamilton
* Scott Horvath, a public affairs specialist/web developer with the U.S. Geological Survey
* Steve Ressler, the founder of GovLoop

Written by cdorobek

June 16, 2009 at 2:41 PM

DorobekInsider: The July Federal News Radio Book Club book: Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation

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Our next meeting of the Federal News Radio Book Club is what we call a “get” — we will be talking about a book selected by Aneesh Chopra, the first ever federal chief technology officer, and Chopra will be with us for the discussion.

The details:
When: Friday, July 31 at 2p ET July 17 at 2p ET TIME UPDATED
Where: On Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose program and on FederalNewsRadio.com
The book: Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman — and James Andrew, Global Leader
Senior Partner & Managing Director of Boston Consulting Group’s innovation group will be joining us… so not a bad line-up: Chopra, Andrews and then Rose and Dorobek.

Just a reminder in case you have not participated in a Federal News Radio Book Club “meeting” before: It is something akin to the Oprah book club except we talk about books that help feds do their jobs better. And perhaps unlike other book clubs, our “meetings” take place on the radio — specifically on on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose and online at FederalNewsRadio.com. And we’d love to hear your thoughts about these issues. Comments will soon be available here. I have also set up a Facebook event page for the book club.

How did this come about: Well, Obama CTO Aneesh Chopra, in his interview with Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller, mentioned the book. I have posted part one of the interview below:

You can hear part two here.

As soon as I heard the interview, I sent a note to Chopra and his team… and to Andrews… both were interested… and we worked out the details and…

I started reading the book over the weekend and it is definitely a fascinating read. The book was written for the private sector, but… there is plenty in there that is applicable to government… and I know that Chopra will bring the pieces today.

I’m a third of the way through the book. I’ll post some liner notes when I’m a bit further along.

In the meantime, mark your calendar… Friday, July 17 at 2p ET for the Federal News Radio Book Club discussing Payback: Reaping the Rewards of Innovation by by James P. Andrew, Harold L. Sirkin, and John Butman.

Previous Federal News Radio Book Club “meetings”:

* The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.

* Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard. Read more and hear the book club meeting here.

Written by cdorobek

June 15, 2009 at 3:11 PM

DorobekInsider.com: Rep. Honda’s tries crowdsourcing his Web redesign — a check-in

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Editor’s note: To those coming from the Future Fed series that I will be doing on WTOP and Federal News Radio 1500 AM — if this is your first time to the DorobekInsider — welcome. I hope you’ll visit regularly, but… each week, along with the Future Fed series, I will also have a related post each Monday morning with more on the topic. So, if nothing else, I hope you’ll join me here on Mondays.

20090603 hondaI mentioned earlier this month that Rep. Mike Honda (D-CA) is redesigning his Web site using a very innovative method — crowdsourcing. That is essentially where a task that was traditionally done by an employee — or contractor — and it is done in a transparent, open way. Open source software is one version of crowdsourcing, but… it is developing in many different ways. It is one of the Web 2.0 ideas — my Web 2.0 definition being that information is power, but that the real power of information comes when it is shared.

Rep. Mike Honda is taking this very unique step — he is crowdsouring the redesign of his Web site. It is very innovative. And it could have broader applications. As the White House openness and transparency initiative continues, Vivek Kundra is Chief Information Officer, Katie Stanton is Director of Citizen Participation have a blog post about technologies they are looking at — and one of them is crowdsourcing. Specifically, they point to an initiative that the Transportation Department is funding to crowdsource the development of a bus stop design. The project is called Next Stop Design — cute — and you can read more here.

UPDATE: We spoke to Honda on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. We will talk to Honda Monday afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. (He tells us he got some push back from House administrators.)

We will talk to Honda Monday afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. (He tells us he got some push back from House administrators. We also talk to him about the loss of control.)

Honda already has more than 80 different submissions. You can see them for yourself here — very transparent.

I have been culling through them — and there are some very good designs. I hope to have Rep. Honda back on the show to talk about the experience once they have made a final section — I’m hoping that they will unveil the new redesign on our show. But… here is one by “Apoloo” that I thought was handsome:

Written by cdorobek

June 15, 2009 at 5:45 AM

DorobekInsider.com: Welcome Liam Patrick Young

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I know you will join me in welcoming Michele and Tim Young’s second child: Liam Patrick Young.

Liam was born early Friday — a very healthy 8lbs 4oz and 19.25″ (My hasn’t Reagan grown since she was born.)

Young reports on his Facebook page that the family is doing well.

Tim Young, of course, was formerly OMB’s deputy administrator for e-government and IT. He is now at Deloitte.

Congratulations!

Written by cdorobek

June 14, 2009 at 10:24 PM

Posted in Circuit, community

DorobekInsider.com: Most read items for the second week of June 2009

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For the second week of June 2009 for the DorobekInsider.com, Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris… and some of my favorite items from the week…

From DorobekInsider.com:

  1. DorobekInsider.com: GSA names Danielle Germain as chief of staff
  2. DorobekInsider.com: Most read items for the first week of June
  3. DorobekInsider.com: Friday’s Federal News Radio Book Club – Fired Up or Burned Out &ndas
  4. DorobekInsider: The benefits of the federal IT “dashboard” – and the liner notes for NewsChannel 8 [See the video of the NewsChannel 8 discussion about dashboards hereThat post also contains the Kiviat Graph — a dashboard circa 1973.]
  5. DorobekInsider.com: ConnellyWorks scores a coup hiring ACT/IAC’s Kelly Olson
  6. DorobekInsider.com: Remembering Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns
  7. DorobekInsider.com: Ed DeSeve to join the Obama administration
  8. DorobekInsider.com: Management of Change panel: The changing role of the CIO – the liner notes
  9. DorobekInsider.com on DC’s NewsChannel 8 on dashboards — and the Kiviat graph
  10. DorobekInsider: June’s Federal News Radio Book Club book — Fired Up or Burned Out
  11. DorobekInsider.com: Congratulations on the wedding of Bob Suda and Joanne Connelly
  12. DorobekInsider.com: The new TSA CIO — Emma Garrison-Alexander
  13. DorobekInsider.com: Kundra clears up the ‘go around the CIO’ controversy
  14. DorobekInsider.com: Congratulations on the wedding of Bob Suda and Joanne Connelly
  15. DorobekInsider.com: Twitter #followfriday — the @fednewsradio edition
  16. DorobekInsider.com: Martha Johnson to be nominated as GSA administrator soon — maybe today
  17. DorobekInsider.com: Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris
  18. DorobekInsider.com: Hear the July 2009 Federal News Radio Book Club meeting – Fired Up or Burn
  19. DorobekInsider.com: Steve Ressler — GovLoop’s 10K man… and counting
  20. The DorobekInsider reader: Obama cyber policy review
  21. The DorobekInsider reader: Transparency, openness and data.gov
  22. DorobekInsider.com: GSA’s Dorris, Army’s Sorenson, HP’s Hempfield earn AFCEA Bethesda
  23. DorobekInsider.com: Former GSAer John C. Johnson wins ACT/IAC’s 2009 Franke award

The most read items on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris:

  1. Your TSP: Changes coming tomorrow?
  2. Senate takes up TSP changes in bill
  3. Daily Debrief EXTRA: “Special Agent” Efrem Zimbalist, Jr., honored by FBI
  4. Why you should watch Capitol Hill
  5. Ask the CIO preview: USAID
  6. Meet the Innovators: Clay Shirky
  7. What’s going on at the GSA Expo? with GSA Deputy Administrator Barny Brasseux
  8. No cure for FERS flu?
  9. Fedarra hopes to help agencies make sense of recovery.gov
  10. TSP changes coming soon
  11. Dashboards: coming soon to an agency near you?
  12. Pentagon employees’ travel arrangements raises eyebrows
  13. Remembering Stephen Johns, Holocaust Museum security guard
  14. Sunlight Foundation: SCOTUS Web site in need of an upgrade
  15. Your TSP: Big changes coming
  16. Defense Secretary faces challenges with acquisitions process
  17. FAIR Institute releases report on insourcing
  18. No COLA for federal retirees?
  19. DIA issues billion dollar tech services contract
  20. Former CIA official withdraws from DHS position
  21. Virtual World Technology: coming soon to an agency near you?
  22. Congresswoman: DHS’s NPPD deserves recognition
  23. Federal CIO Kundra’s new approach to IT oversight
  24. FDA’s Transparency Task Force
  25. Women in Government: Angela Dingle [Editor’s note: This is the first in a series of conversations on the Daily Debrief about women in government. On Thursday evening, June 18, the group Women in Technology will be holding “Government Leaders at the Helm”. The panel features NASA Goddard CIO Linda Cureton and GSA chief financial officer Kathleen Turco, among others. And it will be moderated by FederalNewsRadio program director Lisa Wolfe. More information about the WIT event here.]
  26. Partnership for Public Service on pilot program FedExperience
  27. INPUT: improvements needed when it comes to stimulus spending
  28. An explanation of those buzz words: ‘business intelligence’
  29. Web 2.0: An issue for the Department of Defense?

The CJD favorites of the week:

It was a somewhat unusual week. That being said, I was just fascinated by our Meet the Innovators conversation with Clay Shirky, the author of Here Comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations and one of the real Web 2.0 gurus out there. The conversation ended up being so good that we decided to break it into two sections. Part two will air June 15 on the Daily Debrief. But you can here part one here:

The the coming weeks in our Meet the Innovator series, we will be talking to Vint Cerf, the person most generally known as the father of the Internet and currently Google’s chief Internet evangelist.

Written by cdorobek

June 14, 2009 at 6:19 PM

DorobekInsider.com: Jerry Williams to take the HUD CIO helm

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I tweeted it last night, but… Government IT veteran Jerry Williams will soon be named as the new CIO at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, insiders are saying. Expect an official announcement as soon as this week.

Williams currently is the deputy CIO at the Interior Department. Previously he served as part of the senior IT management team at the Agriculture Department and the Small Business Administration.

He fills the post that was vacated by Lisa Schlosser, who left HUD in December for the Environmental Protection Agency.

Written by cdorobek

June 14, 2009 at 8:57 AM

DorobekInsider.com: Hear the July 2009 Federal News Radio Book Club meeting – Fired Up or Burned Out

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Today was the fourth “meeting” of the Federal News Radio Book Club on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose program where we discussed Fired Up or Burned Out: How to reignite your team’s passion, creativity, and productivity by Michael Lee Stallard. The book was recommended by Martha A. Dorris, the acting Associate Administrator Citizen Services and Communications for the General Services Administration. It was a great discussion among Dorris,Stallard, Rose and myself. You can hear the full conversation here.


Fired Up or Burned Out

One of the goals of the Federal News Radio Book Club is to ensure that the books that we select have application to helping government managers and contractors do their jobs more effectively. And that is one of the reasons why I try to have a senior government person — in addition to the author of the book — join us during the book club “meetings.” And Dorris did a particularly good job connecting the book to the government.

My take aways from the book — and our “meeting”:

* Leadership matters… It seems elementary, but it is leaders can play a remarkably powerful role in the success of an organization

* Don’t underestimate the ‘squishy’ issues: Relationships and connection are very important to building a successful team.

* Trust feeds leadership — and the ‘squishy’ issues: Our first Federal News Radio Book Club book was Stephen M.R. Covey’s The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. [Read more and find a link to the book club session here.] It is a theme that keeps coming up — in our book club meetings… and in government.

And some additional resources: Here is the Fired Up or Burned Out Web site and you can read Michael Lee Stallard’s blog at www.michaelleestallard.com… and Stallard wrote about his DC adventures on his blog here.

Love to hear your thoughts about the session and/or the book.

And I’m always looking for interesting books.

Our next book club meeting is on July 17 — and it is a good one — appointment listening, as we say in radio. More on that tomorrow.

Previous Federal News Radio Book Club “meetings”:

* The SPEED of Trust: The One Thing That Changes Everything by Stephen M.R. Covey. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* What Would Google Do? by Jeff Jarvis. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.
* Grown Up Digital: How the Net Generation is Changing Your World by Don Tapscott. Read more and find a link to the book club session here.

Written by cdorobek

June 12, 2009 at 10:24 PM

DorobekInsider: Remembering Officer Stephen Tyrone Johns

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Wednesday was a difficult day — darkened, of course, by the shooting at the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum just blocks from the National Mall here in Washington, DC. It was a shooting that resulted in the death of a Holocaust Museum guard, Stephen Tyrone Johns of Temple Hills, MD.

People may often think of journalists as cold and uncaring. Well, truth be told, reporters and journalists are people and that means many of them are unique, but… in my experience, they are particularly sensitive. In many cases, that is why they got into the profession. But during events like yesterday’s shooting, we have a job to do — get information to people that allows them to make decisions — about whether it is safe out there, about whether it was possible to get home.

But I — much like most of you — also went through a variety of emotions yesterday… shock… anger that we need to have guards in these kinds of facilities at all…

But after all of that, for me, it is time to think. Perhaps it is my way of maintaining a positive outlook.

Stephen Johns

Stephen Johns

And I keep thinking of Stephen Tyrone Johns. On Wednesday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to WTOP reporter Mark Segraves, and he made the point that so often, we encounter these guards and see it as a hassle. And in many ways, it can be similar to the way that many people view many of the jobs done by government workers.

From what we’ve been able to find out, Johns worked for Wackenhut Services Inc., based in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., that has contracted security services at the museum since 2002, according to a company statement as reported by WTOP radio.

From what I’ve been able to find out, Johns was a fed. Yes, the museum is a public-private partnership, the museum is a “federal government institution.” Therefore, most of the positions are federally funded — they are feds.

In the end, it doesn’t really matter if he was a federal employee or a contractor or whatever. Johns today gave his life in the line of duty. We will lean more as the days continue about what happened, but by all accounts, Johns was doing his job. He was guarding.

Very often — sometimes too often — particularly in large organizations like government agencies, one can feel detached from the mission of the organization. For Johns, the mission was very clear — and he did it today.

But we at Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief also asked ourselves the question: Is this a Federal News Radio story? Our mission is to provide information that helps people in the government market do their jobs better. In the strictest sense, no, the coverage of a shooting at a museum does not help you do your job better. But I think our coverage can be justified because it was the story that people were talking about yesterday… and today, for that matter. So to not cover it felt… well, odd.

I was really touched by the messages that feds posted — on Facebook and on Twitter. Johns was doing his job. And he made the ultimate sacrifice.

Our lives can get so busy and crowded, but… this sure seems like a good opportunity to take a step back and remember Officer Johns and his family and the staff at the Museum. And to be connected to the mission of our organization.

WTOP report Mark Segraves told us today that Johns even held the door open for the shooter — helping what he thought was an elderly man. Hear our conversation with Segraves here.

We also hear that the Wackenhut is going to create a memorial fund for those who want to donate. WTOP reporter Michelle Bash joined us on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris this afternoon with an update on Johns. Hear that conversation here. Wackenhut has not posted information yet, but I’ll post to it once they do…

Regardless, our thoughts are with Johns family and the museum staff.

God speed Officer Johns.

Written by cdorobek

June 11, 2009 at 6:28 PM

Posted in Circuit, Workforce