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DorobekINSIDER on the circuit: Jane Norris; NASA’s Diaz; NASA’s Kemp; former GSAer Bill Piatt; Paul Strasser; and baby tweets

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Catching up on changes throughout the community…

* Federal News Radio’s Jane Norris to join Deloitte

Jane Norris

How does one post about news within my own organization? Radio/TV blog DCRTV reported it first, but… Federal News Radio’s Jane Norris, who has been the morning drive anchor for several years — first with Mike Causey and now with Tom Temin — is leaving the station. Norris will be the federal PR guru for Deloitte as that company continues to grow and expand, particularly in the federal market.

The note to staff from Federal News Radio program director Lisa Wolfe:

Please join me in wishing Jane Norris great success as she departs Federal News Radio and joins the global consulting firm, Deloitte.

Jane’s new role as Public Relations Manager, Deloitte Federal Sector, is an impressive position and one that requires an insider’s knowledge of the federal space.

Jane started with Federal News Radio in August of 2006 and helped us launch the first iteration of our live morning drive show, along with Mike Causey. Since then, Jane has been instrumental in developing the type of news and information targeted to our federal executive audience.

Jane has been an excellent ambassador for the station on the air and behind the scenes and she leaves some very big shoes to fill.

So what next? How is Federal News Radio filling those shoes?

The Deciders have been working on that and, frankly, I don’t it has been all figured out yet. I know there have been a lot of discussions. (Collaboration kudos: Wolfe took a page from the collaboration playbook and asked the entire Federal News Radio team for their ideas. And it was interesting because the buzz around the WFED water cooler was almost complete shock that somebody asked. ‘What do you think she wants us to say?’ was the type of questions people asked. People aren’t always asked. Those kinds of things doesn’t always happen within organizations — particularly media organizations.)

As we say in radio… stay tuned.

* Diaz named NASA’s deputy CIO

NASA CIO Linda Cureton confirmed it on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief, but… it is now officially official — Deborah Diaz has been named the NASA deputy chief information officer.

From the release:

NASA Chief Information Officer Linda Cureton has announced the appointment of Deborah Diaz as the agency’s new deputy chief information officer. Diaz will be a key member of the office that provides information technology services to all staff.

Cureton said, “I’m delighted that we are filling this position with a seasoned, hands-on technical leader who can immediately and seamlessly assist with implementing strategic changes and rebuilding the Office of the CIO.”

Diaz joined the CIO’s office in December as associate chief information officer for architecture and infrastructure and director of the Information Technology Infrastructure Integration Program (I3P), a new initiative to consolidate the agency’s information technology and data services.

Previously, Diaz was the chief information officer for the Department of Homeland Security’s Science and Technology Directorate, where she developed and implemented $1 billion worth of scientific programs and IT infrastructure. She also served as the senior advisor on IT interoperability and wireless technologies. As deputy CIO at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, she helped transform electronic commerce and managed complex IT initiatives to modernize business processes and data exchange systems.

* Kemp named NASA chief technology officer

Cureton also confirmed word from Nick Hoover at InformationWeek that Chris Kemp, who had been the NASA Ames CIO, has been named the NASA chief technology officer.

Kemp has been spearheading much of NASA’s cloud initiative, including its Nebula initiative.

Selfishly, we hope Kemp will continue his blog in the new post.

* Former GSA CIO Bill Piatt leave the International Finance Center

Bill Piatt, who was the CIO at the International Finance Center, is leaving that post as of May 1.

There has been a major restructuring ongoing at the World Bank where IT is being consolidating into a central unit. So Piatt has decided to move on.

We’ll be watching for Piatt’s next adventure.

* Strasser exits Pragmatics, joins Dynamics Research

Paul Strasser, the former chief operating officer at Pragmatics, has joined Dynamics Research Corp. as Senior Vice President of Strategic Development.

From the release:

Dynamics Research Corporation, a leading provider of innovative management consulting, engineering, and technology solutions to federal and state governments, today announced that Paul Strasser has joined DRC as Senior Vice President of Strategic Development. In this newly formed position Strasser will be responsible for developing new business growth strategies that will further expand DRC’s presence with federal government customers, including the Department of Homeland Security, the Department of Defense, civilian and intelligence agencies. Strasser will report to Jim Regan, DRC’s president and chief executive officer.

“I am very pleased and excited to have Paul join DRC’s senior management team in a critical leadership role focused on accelerating growth in our target federal markets. Paul’s impressive track record of success in developing new business fits well with DRC’s extensive portfolio of flexible contract vehicles and proven solutions. It’s a winning combination,” said Regan.

Strasser has more than 28 years of industry experience in senior management positions focused on developing technology services business with Federal Government customers. Most recently he served as Chief Operating Officer for Pragmatics, Inc. During his tenure of leadership, Pragmatics experienced five-fold organic growth from $31 million in FY 2004 to approximately $145 million, in FY 2010.

Finally, the baby boom…

Last Thursday, GovDelivery’s Scott Burns became a father — for the second and third time. Burns and his wife had twins last Thursday — and they are enjoying a life without sleep.

Meanwhile, GovLoop’s Andrew Krzmarzick and his wife had a baby a few weeks ago — and yes, Issac has a Twitter feed. (No word yet if he is on GovLoop.)

Not to be outdone, Booz Allen Hamilton’s Steve Radick’s yet-to-be-born baby has a Twitter feed@babyradick.

Written by cdorobek

April 28, 2010 at 4:16 PM

DorobekINSIDER: AFCEA Bethesda’s 12 annual benefit for The Children’s Inn at NIH

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The 12th annual AFCEA Bethesda annual charity ball to Benefit the Children’s Inn at NIH. It is often one of the best events of the year — and this year was no exception. (Congratulations to Microsoft’s Teresa Carlson and Mark Hollander, Associate Director for Management at the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences. They served as the co-chairpeople for the event.)

The NIH Children's Inn Gala

For those of you who don’t know about it, the Children’s Inn is similar to the Ronald MacDonald houses — they are a place where families can stay near the hospital and have as normal of a life as is possible. Over the years, AFCEA Bethesda has raised more than $2 million to benefit The Children’s Inn at NIH.

If you were not able to attend and you want to donate to the Children’s Inn at NIH, it is a wonderful cause… and $93 buys a day at the Inn for somebody. You can make your donation here.

You can see a slideshow of the event here.

AFCEA Bethesda does a great job with this event. There was a new location for the event this year — the JW Marriott, which allowed for more tables.

Each year, the gala features one of the Inn’s families who talks about life at the Inn. It is always one of the highlights of the evening, and this year was no exception. This year, we got to hear from Kaytelan Hoppes, an 8-year-old who has osteogenesis imperfecta – better known as brittle bone disease. It is a condition that causes extremely fragile bones. And Hoppes talked about the impact that the Inn has had on her family — the ability to have a home away from home. (And she even let it be known that it enables her mother to get an occasional massage. Given what these families go through, whatever it takes to survive. Good for Mom!)

The only snag of the evening — a fire alarm right at the start of the live auction. (You could tell the journalists in the room because none of the people at the Federal News Radio table moved.) The immediate concern was that it would scare people away — and, of course, that they wouldn’t return and it would impact the live auction prices. But… the false alarm sure didn’t seem to have an impact. Most of the items — including a Vespa that the DorobekINSIDER was bidding on — all went for more then their estimated values.

Congratulations to those involved. Nice job! Looking forward to 2011!

See a slideshow from the event here.

Meanwhile… more photos…

Best shoes of the night

The Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris

No word on where Jim Williams is going -- yet

1105's Anne Armstrong and Eric Pesachowitz

Team NASA

Team Federal News Radio 1500 AM

Written by cdorobek

April 26, 2010 at 9:37 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Is that a ‘for sale’ sign at market research firm Input?

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Input, the market research firm, has opened the door to potential buyers, insiders and industry sources say.

While the privately held company has been in talks before, nothing panned out.

Input officials had no comment noting that Input is a privately held company and therefore, they tend not to comment on these kinds of topics. But insiders did note that “INPUT is a strong performer in a hot sector and naturally is an attractive asset.”

Input board chairman Peter Cunningham has held sales talks before, but nothing ever came of it. But Cunningham might believe now is the right time.

The shop talk comes after media giant Bloomburg purchased Eagle Eye Publishers, a much smaller market research firm, as marketing guru Mark Amtower reported. And, in fact, Bloomburg is seeming to growing its government focus. Last month, Bloomberg announced that Kevin Sheekey is rejoining the company as chairman of the government-oriented division. He will also oversee government relations and communications. It is unclear exactly what Bloomberg plans to do in the government market, but FishbowlDC has reported that the company is looking to take on the other so-called Hill rags.

I can’t imagine why one would want to jump into that already crowded market, which already has Politico, Roll Call, Congressional Quarterly, The Hill… and others like, say, the Washington Post. There is, however, much less of a focus on the business of government market. Washington Technology covers the business of government IT, but there are few others. The Washington Post has dramatically reduced its business coverage, and the Washington Business Journal, which seems like the other logical contender, has not really jumped into that space.

Who might be potential buyers?

Aside from those, 1105 Media’s Neal Vitale, owner of the 1105 Government Information Group, had said publicly that he saw market research as an important part of a government media organization to add it’s print, Web and events businesses.

Government Executive‘s research and “thought leadership” division, the Government Business Council, has been doing more business with research, but it is unclear how much GovExec’s parent, Atlantic Media, is interested in investing beyond its current holdings.

Some Input facts from the company’s Web site:

INPUT helps buyers buy and vendors sell in the government marketplace. We are committed to promoting collaboration between government and industry for the benefit of all.

Year Founded: 1974, privately held

Headquarters: Reston, Virginia

# of Employees: 160

Stay tuned.

Written by cdorobek

April 1, 2010 at 1:09 PM

DorobekINSIDER: Northrop makes it official: Drabkin is the new director of acquisition policy

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The DorobekINSIDER told you first that David Drabkin was retiring from government… and that he was joining Northrop, but it is now official: Drabkin will serve as Northrop Grumman’s director of acquisition policy.

From the press release:

Northrop Grumman Corporation has named David A. Drabkin director of acquisition policy for the company. Drabkin reports directly to Larry Lanzillotta,corporate vice president of customer relations.

In his new role, Drabkin will be responsible for coordinating the company’s efforts related to pending and upcoming acquisition regulations and policy at the U.S. Department of Defense and other government agencies. He will lead internal coordination of Congressional relations activities related to acquisition policy and reform and representing the company at numerous acquisition and related professional associations.

“The extensive acquisition expertise David Drabkin brings from his work with the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA), theDefense Department and the Defense Logistics Agency is critical and will greatly benefit Northrop Grumman,” said Lanzillotta.

Before joining Northrop Grumman, Drabkin served as the acting chief acquisition office/deputy chief acquisition officer and senior procurement executive for the GSA. In those two positions, he led several acquisition-based initiatives such as the Federal Acquisition Institute, Federal Procurement Data Center, Catalog of Domestic Federal Assistance and the Civilian Agency Acquisition Council. He also servedas procurement counsel to the Minority Staff of the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

Drabkin held several executive positions at the Defense Department including the deputy program manager for the $4.2 billion Pentagon Renovation Program. He also worked as the chief counsel for the Defense Logistics Agency. In 2009, Drabkin was presented with the Presidential Meritorious Rank Award for his strong leadership and commitment to public service.

Other awards include the Federal 100 Top Information Technology Executive Award and the Leadership Award in Acquisition & Procurement. Drabkin earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and politicalscience from Washington and Jefferson College, in Washington, Pa., anda law degree from the Cumberland School of Law in Birmingham, Ala.

Written by cdorobek

March 4, 2010 at 2:29 PM

DorobekINSIDER EXCLUSIVE: GSA’s Drabkin to join Northrop

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The DorobekINSIDER told you last week that GSA’s deputy chief acquisition officer David Drabkin will be retiring. In fact, his last day at GSA HQ is today. Well, the DorobekINSIDER has confirmed that Drabkin will join Northrop, where he will start on March 8. We don’t yet now what his job will be.

As we said earlier, Drabkin is one of the most respected people in the government procurement community and has had a distinguished career.

Mr. Drabkin has served GSA for nearly 10 years including a tour on detail to the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee.

He served on the Acquisition Advisory Panel (SARA Panel), Deputy Program Manager, Pentagon Renovation Program, the Assistant Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition Process and Policies), Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense (Acquisition Reform) (ODUSD(AR)); and the Director, Regulatory Reform and Implementation, ODUSD(AR), where he served as the Project Manager for FASA Implementation.

The question buzzing around the procurement community: Who will replace Drabkin as the acting chief procurement officer. It is an important post given that the Chief Procurement Officer, Michael Robertson, who also serves as the head of GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy and the White House liason. Robertson worked for then-Senator Barack Obama as the legislative coordinator and deputy to the chief counsel. In that post, he managed the appropriations process, handled judicial nominations, and conducted political outreach to promote Obama’s legislative priorities. But he has suggested that he is not a government contracting expert — and it is not his forte. Therefore, the deputy chief procurement officer becomes very important.

In the speculation, there are a few names in the mix. If GSA officials decide to hire from within the agency — and that isn’t certain at this point, but if they decide to hire from within GSA, one of the names that is making the speculation rounds is Joseph Neurauter, who served as the chief procurement officer at HUD before rejoining GSA. The other is Al Matera, director of GSA’s Acquisition Policy Division.

There isn’t any official word yet — about an acting deputy nor how GSA plans to move forward. We’ll keep watching it.

Written by cdorobek

March 2, 2010 at 4:58 PM

DorobekINSIDER poll: The Federal News Countdown for Feb. 22 – what’s the big story of the week?

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Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s In Depth with Francis Rose each Friday at 2p ET features the Federal News Countdown, where Francis has a panel of three people who select their top three big stories that impacted the federal government.

This week on the Federal News Countdown:
* Robert Burton, the former deputy administration of the Office of Federal Procurement Policy, now a partner with the Venable law firm.
* Melissa Chapman, the former CIO for the Department of Health & Human Services now with Agilex.
* Alan Chvotkin, Executive Vice President & Counsel of the Professional Services Council

What do you think is the big story of the week? Select one of theirs — or offer up one of your own…

Written by cdorobek

February 26, 2010 at 9:12 AM

DorobekINSIDER EXCLUSIVE: GSA cancels one cloud RFQ, plans to launch a new cloud RFQ

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The General Services Administration has canceled its for cloud infrastructure as a service request for quotations and will move to a new RFQ, GSA officials confirmed this afternoon.

In September, GSA extended the deadline for the RFQ saying that the agency wanted to give vendors more time.

This shift comes as the cloud environment has really evolved, GSA officials tell FederalNewsRadio.com’s DorobekINSIDER.

From GSA:

There was an Infrastructure as a Service RFQ that was canceled today. We are moving to issue a new RFQ. Both the definition of IAAS and the marketplace have evolved and matured since GSA began this procurement process. With this new RFQ, we hope to enable a robust pool of vendors and maximize industry participation providing federal customers with a wide range of IAAS offerings. With the rapid evolution of the Cloud Computing marketplace and the ever-present security needs of federal agencies, the new RFQ that will allow vendors to provide additional offerings with a higher level of security than was required in the original RFQ.

Industry sources say that GSA hopes to have a new RFQ out in the next 30 days.

Industry had been concerned because there were a lot of unanswered questions around the RFQ specifically — and cloud computing in general. And industry has been pushing GSA to address issues such as security and privacy, among others. Industry sources say those issues need to be addressed by GSA and the Office of Management and Budget.

The new RFP will be led by GSA’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications, led by Dave McClure. GSA’s Office of Citizen Services operates USA.gov, which operates in the cloud.

Background:

From FederalNewsRadio.com’s FedCloudBlog: GSA’s Casey Coleman at the Gov 2.0 Summit

InformationWeek from Aug. 9, 2009: GSA Outlines U.S. Government’s Cloud Computing Requirements

Written by cdorobek

February 25, 2010 at 6:54 PM