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DorobekINSIDER: Kempf named to head GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service

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Steve Kempf has been named to lead GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service.

Kempf has been serving the acting commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service since the departure of Jim Williams in April.

GSA's Kempf

The Federal Acquisition Service is the big buyer for government. It oversees contracts such as the GSA schedule contracts, the multi-billion dollar Alliant contract, and the Networx telecommunications contract.

There were four finalists for the FAS job. Kempf was seen as the front-runner. That surprised that GSA Administrator Martha Johnson would select Kempf, selecting somebody from inside the organization.

That being said, Kempf is well respected both within the procurement community, in industry, and within GSA. And he won high praise for his performance at a recent hearing before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Ad Hoc Subcommittee on Contracting Oversight, which focused on the number of government multiple-award contracts.

In addition to naming Kempf as FAS commissioner, Johnson also announced that Jon Jordan will become the permanent deputy commissioner.

“Jon has worked in GSA and FAS’ budget programs for over 36 years and his deep operational knowledge, commitment to excellence and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be invaluable to FAS’ future,” Johnson said in a note to staff.

Here is the note Johnson sent to GSA staff:

To:  GSA Employees
From: Administrator Martha Johnson
Subject: FAS Commissioner Announcement

Many of you have heard me speak of this as GSA’s moment. We have set aggressive goals and been challenged to play a leading role in key Administration priorities by the White House. We are on the frontline for championing sustainability, open government, acquisition performance, flexible workplace and more. Leadership and enterprise positioning will be key to our success.

Therefore, I am delighted to announce today that Steve Kempf has accepted my offer to be the next Commissioner of GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, one of our most critical leadership positions.

As GSA steps forward, so, too, will FAS be facing a challenge. FAS has expertise, operational know-how, and extensive customer knowledge. Used well, these will position FAS to gain further market credibility by offering customer agencies real value as they strive to meet their missions under constrained resources.  This opportunity is real, and it is now.

At this critical juncture in FAS’ history and as an 18 year veteran of FAS, Steve brings significant expertise to the Commissioner role having served as a contracting officer, lawyer, and business professional. Equally as impressive is Steve’s leadership style. He is collaborative, inclusive and
eager for change. I am confident that Steve will combine his deep roots, loyalty, and enthusiasm for FAS and transform it into our customers’ hands down, preferred, acquisition partner.

For starters, Steve has already made strides in:

•     Revitalizing FAS’ relationships with its customers;
•     Appointing an executive to champion innovation and transformation across FAS;
•     Driving forward on the Zero Environmental Footprint goal and other key enterprise objectives;
•     Building leadership prowess and a workforce positioned for success;
•     Completing and executing the FAS strategic reviews and implementation plans for key programs;
•     Deepening change management capacity; and
•     Communicating constantly with employees, customers, industry, and stakeholders to bolster FAS’ ability to perform with excellence.

In addition, I am delighted to announce that Jon Jordan will become the permanent Deputy Commissioner. Jon has worked in GSA and FAS’ budget programs for over 36 years and his deep operational knowledge, commitment to excellence and good stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be invaluable to FAS’ future.

Please join me in congratulating both Steve and Jon on their permanent appointments and pledge to give them the support they and FAS will need to turbo-charge its future.

Written by cdorobek

July 13, 2010 at 11:22 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Robert Carey joins Navy cyber command

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Federal News Radio told you that Robert Carey, the widely respected CIO for the Department of the Navy, would be leaving that post.

The DorobekINSIDER has confirmed that Carey will join the Navy’s Fleet Cyber Command/U.S. Tenth Fleet, which is responsible for directing the Navy’s cyberspace operations. Carey has been one of the leaders for government cyber-security efforts and initiatives. And Carey mentioned the Fleet Cyber Command in a recent blog post.

No word on a timetable.

Also no word on Carey’s replacement as the Navy CIO, although I’d put money you’ll see a uniformed person in that post. (The almost unnoticed trend among DOD CIOs is that they are shifting from civilian posts to military posts. The notable exception, of course, is the nomination of Teri Takai to be the Defense Department CIO and Defense Department Assistant Secretary for Networks and Information Integration. That being said, no word on where that nomination stands.)

More on the mission of the Fleet Cyber Command and the U.S. Tenth Fleet:

The mission of Fleet Cyber Command is to direct Navy cyberspace operations globally to deter and defeat aggression and to ensure freedom of action to achieve military objectives in and through cyberspace; to organize and direct Navy cryptologic operations worldwide and support information operations and space planning and operations, as directed; to direct, operate, maintain, secure and defend the Navy’s portion of the Global Information Grid; to deliver integrated cyber, information operations cryptologic and space capabilities; and to deliver global Navy cyber network common cyber operational requirements.

U.S. TENTH Fleet Mission:

The mission of Tenth fleet is to serve as the Number Fleet for Fleet Cyber Command and exercise operational control of assigned Naval forces; to coordinate with other naval, coalition and Joint Task Forces to execute the full spectrum of cyber, electronic warfare, information operations and signal intelligence capabilities and missions across the cyber, electromagnetic and space domains.

The Fleet Cyber Command is led by Vice Admiral Bernard J. “Barry” McCullough III, and his deputy, Rear Admiral William E. Leigher.

Written by cdorobek

June 30, 2010 at 8:36 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Treasury’s Gross to be deputy CIO at Interior

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Lawrence Gross, the Treasury Department’s associate CIO for e-government, is moving to the Interior Department.

Gross will leave Treasury at the end of this week. Starting June 28, Gross will be the Interior Department’s deputy chief information officer.

Prior to his tenure at Treasury, Gross served at the Energy and Justice Department. He also served as the Chief, Information Technology and Telecommunications at United States Navy Reserve.

Last month, Interior named Bernard Mazer to be its new chief information technology officer. Mazer, who has been CIO at Interior’s U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), will start his new post June 7. That came after Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia left to become the deputy associate administrator for innovative technologies at GSA.

Written by cdorobek

June 21, 2010 at 11:49 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Commerce quietly names Szykman as the new CIO

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Very quietly, the Commerce Department has named Simon Szykman as the agency’s new CIO.

Szykman previously served as the CIO of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)… and before joining NIST, he was the director of the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD).

Commerce Department sealSuzanne Hilding had been serving as the Commerce Department CIO since March 2008. Commerce Department officials were not immediately available with information about where Hilding had gone. Hilding never granted many interviews or spoke publicly often and therefore was not very well known within government IT circles.

Here is Szykman’s bio as posted on the Commerce Department OCIO Web site:

Simon Szykman
Chief Information Officer

Simon Szykman was named the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Department of Commerce in May, 2010. Prior to moving into this position, Dr. Szykman served over three years as the CIO of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Before joining NIST as CIO, Dr. Szykman served as the Director of the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD), where he was responsible for the coordination of planning, budget, and assessment activities for the Federal NITRD Program. In this role Dr. Szykman reported directly to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science and Technology Council.

Dr. Szykman arrived at the National Coordination Office from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, where he served as the Department’s first Director of Cyber Security R&D. At DHS he led the development of cyber security R&D plans, programs, and budgets in support of the Department’s mission, and led the development of the Government’s first interagency Federal Plan for Cyber Security R&D.

Dr. Szykman joined DHS after an 18-month assignment at OSTP. In the role of Senior Policy Analyst, his portfolio included a variety of information technology-related issues, including cyber security, high-end computing, and functioning as liaison for the NITRD Program, among others. Prior to joining OSTP, Dr. Szykman spent several years as a member of the technical staff at NIST.

Dr. Szykman received Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master of Engineering Management degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rochester.

Written by cdorobek

May 18, 2010 at 9:32 AM

DorobekINSIDER: Former GSA CIO Piatt returns — but at OGP

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We told you that Bill Piatt had left his post as the chief information officer at the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation — and we suggested that he might be back in the federal world. In fact, he is coming home again — kind of.

Kathleen M. Turco, who just took the helm as Associate Administrator of GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy told staff Wednesday that Piatt will be joining OGP as the Director of the Office of Technology Strategy.

Piatt had previously served as GSA’s chief information officer.

Here is Turco’s note to staff:

To All OGP staff,

I am happy to announce that on May 24, 2010, Mr. Bill Piatt is joining the Office of Governmentwide Policy as the Director of the Office of Technology Strategy (ME). Mr. Piatt brings with him a wealth of extensive practical experience in delivering business results through information technology and strategic direction in both public and private sector institutions. He is noted for delivering breakthrough performance in large and small businesses as well as large and small federal agencies. Throughout his career, he has implemented robust programs and project management disciplines and revamped functions to streamline decision making and enhance accountability.

His extensive work background includes: Chief Information Officer for the International Finance Corporation in Washington, DC; Vice President of the Global Public Sector Marketing for CGI in Montreal, Canada; Chief Information Officer at General Services Administration (GSA); and Country Director for the Peace Corps as a Country Director in Prague, Czechoslovakia and Bratislava, Slovakia, and Lome, Togo.

I ask each of you to join me in welcoming Bill Piatt and know that each of you will provide him with outstanding support.

Kathleen M. Turco
Associate Administrator
Office of Governmentwide Policy
U.S. General Services Administration

Written by cdorobek

May 13, 2010 at 7:17 AM

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: Turco to lead GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy

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GSA Administrator Martha Johnson continues to get her leadership team in place — today, Johnson announced that Kathleen Turco, GSA’s current chief financial officer, will lead GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy.

GSA has issued a statement from Johnson:

Kathleen Turco has been a responsible, effective Chief Financial Officer for GSA for the past eight years,” said Martha Johnson, Administrator of General Services. “She knows the importance of providing exceptional services to the federal government at best value to the taxpayer and will use this experience well in leading the Office of Governmentwide Policy as we continue to develop and implement management and internal operations policies across government.

Turco will start on May 3, the same day that Michael Robertson will take over as GSA’s chief of staff.

Micah Cheatham, GSA Budget Director, will take over as GSA’s acting CFO, according to Sahar Wali, GSA’s deputy associate administrator for communications and marketing.

Robertson will continue to serve as the chief acquisition officer and White House liason until replacements are found, Wali said.

Insiders tell the DorobekINSIDER that Turco is very excited about the opportunities with GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy. OGP has been widely seen as directionless for awhile, and Turco has told friends that she is excited about working on important policy issues that can help government operate better.

Turco has received kudos for her work as GSA’s chief financial officer, including the recently issued “citizen report,” which explains GSA’s budget. Turco joined Federal News Radio’s Tom Temin from IRMCO earlier this month. Hear that conversation here.

The Office of Governmentwide Policy was created in December 1995 to consolidate its policy functions into a single organization. “OGP’s policymaking authority covers the areas of personal and real property, travel and transportation, information technology, regulatory information and use of federal advisory committees. OGP’s strategic direction is to ensure that governmentwide policies encourage agencies to develop and utilize the best, most cost effective management practices for the conduct of their specific programs,” the OGP web site says.

Meanwhile, here is Turco’s bio:

GSA's Kathleen Turco

Kathleen M. Turco – Chief Financial Officer

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.

Here is GSA’s description of the Office of Governmentwide Policy:

In December 1995, GSA created the Office of Governmentwide Policy (OGP) to consolidate its policy functions into a single organization. OGP’s policymaking authority covers the areas of personal and real property, travel and transportation, information technology, regulatory information and use of federal advisory committees. OGP’s strategic direction is to ensure that governmentwide policies encourage agencies to develop and utilize the best, most cost effective management practices for the conduct of their specific programs.

To reach the goal of improving governmentwide management of property, technology, and administrative services, OGP builds and maintains a policy framework, by (1) incorporating the requirements of federal laws, Executive Orders, and other regulatory material into policies and guidelines, (2) facilitating governmentwide reform to provide federal managers with business-like incentives and tools and flexibility to prudently manage their assets, and (3) identifying, evaluating, and promoting best practices to improve efficiency of management processes.

Guided by the principles of the President’s Management Agenda and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), some of OGP’s recent efforts have been devoted to providing leadership in the development of a policy environment and key enablers for electronic government, and supporting OMB in the implementation of various E-Gov initiatives to standardize and streamline government processes. The new model calls for involvement of other federal agencies, the private sector, interested parties, and other stakeholders from the very onset of policy review and/or formulation. Such collaborative efforts are seen to offer numerous advantages, not least of which is to ensure “buy-in” from the policy customers.

Written by cdorobek

April 26, 2010 at 1:57 PM