By Colby Hochmuth and Camille Tuutti · Tuesday, March 18, 2014
FedScoop highlights the vibrant, talented and forward-thinking women who shape the conversation on technology in D.C. These 50 women are movers and shakers, all with diverse backgrounds, representing government, Congress, the commercial sector, defense and academia. What they all have in common is their passion for using tech as a force multiplier to push government and industry to the next level by leveraging and improving information technology services in unprecedented ways. Read the full introduction here.
Virginia Arreguin Associate chief information officer Energy IT Services Energy Department
"Always remember, the two most important assets are your customers and your people. Without your staff, you can't deliver anything."
Virginia Arreguin is no stranger to leveraging IT as a transformative tool. In her previous role, she spent more than 20 years at DOD, transforming IT service delivery for the department. There, she also led two major IT consolidations, one of which merged disparate networks into one, ultimately slashing costs, enhancing security and resulting in a robust architecture. Arreguin also spearheaded an effort to transform the Pentagon IT backbone, by implementing a Metropolitan Area Network, which enabled the rollout of IT solutions that would not have been possible with the previous capability. Taking all that knowledge to DOE, which she joined in November 2013, Arreguin today oversees the delivery of commodity IT services for the EITS customer base in her role as associate CIO for EITS. In 2014, Arreguin says her focus will be on standardizing technology, processes and services. Her professional accolades include being awarded the Department of the Army Superior Civilian Service Award, Meritorious Civilian Service Award, and the OSD Superior Civilian Service Award.
Kay Kapoor President AT&T Federal
"Customer service is front and center in everything that I do. I have been rewarded over and over in my career to have customers put their faith and trust in me. That doesn't come by my work alone. I never lose sight of the fact that your business is built on the skills and hard work of your team. I put them first."
It was pure serendipity that landed Kay Kapoor in the federal space. She attended college in Maryland, so geography led to an opportunity as a federal contractor. Once there, she fell in love with the commitment to service and mission in the federal market and she dedicated her career to it. Twenty-five years later, her duties have changed but her focus on service and mission has remained constant. Projects that focus on the government's mission have had the biggest impact, not just for the tech community but also for the public and the military, she said. When one focuses on the end goal, technology is seen as an enabler, which ultimately will help move forward customer's goals. And for AT&T, which she says invests heavily in technology innovation, 2014 and beyond will focus on bringing services to the market around cloud solutions, secure mobility solutions, unified communications and big data analytics.
Gwynne Kostin Director Digital Services Innovation Center Office of Citizen Services & Innovative Technologies General Services Administration
"Early in my career, my boss was a great mentor and a great, great manager who saw what people could do and get the best of them. She wasn't a technologist, but what I learned from her is, it's not the tech [that matters]; it's the service it provides. It's really about the delivery."
Gwynne Kostin came to GSA from DHS, where she created the department's first social media strategy as new media director. Today, she heads the Digital Services Innovation Center, where she leads cross-agency efforts to use the power of technology to provide government information and services to citizens, anywhere and on any device. Kostin connects innovators across government, and has spearheaded strategies around public mobile, built a mobile community of practice and piloted apps.gov and launched the contest platform challenge.gov. Recent focus has been to support federal strategies with specific deliverables to move agencies to the 21st century, with how they deliver services to the public. Another big area is mobile application programs, specifically how do agencies plan development and launch of different products, she said. This year, Kostin will add another key element to the equation, focusing on design and how to make good decisions around it.
Lynn Martin Vice president U.S. public sector VMware
"It's amazing how much a spirit of gratitude can create great things with customers, employees, peers, partners, everyone. People remember when you appreciate them -- and when you don't -- so it's a step I don't miss in the hustle and bustle of life and work."
Lynn Martin may only have been VMware's public sector group head since 2013, but her government experience dates much further than that. In high school, she participated in a co-op education program that had her work with DOJ. After college, Martin worked with private sector companies that did business as trusted advisers to the federal and state and local governments, including Digital Equipment Corporation, COMPAQ, Hewlett Packard and now, VMware. As the most impactful project in her career, Martin cites the U.S. Postal Service Advanced Computing Environment, which saved USPS more than $750 million over five years and cut data center infrastructure from 21,900 servers in 3,000 locations to 890 servers in two data centers. The program changed the way new applications were introduced into the environment, how the infrastructure was managed and run, as well as how computing services were offered to end users and supported remotely, she said.
Deborah Diaz Deputy chief information officer & chief technology officer NASA
"What we have to focus on is taking the cost savings as much as we can and putting them toward the innovative technologies that will spring us forward as a country."
In a field that has recently garnered the attention of many fans, Deborah Diaz considers herself lucky for being able to work in open government for the past two years. Diaz has led the space agency's work in open data, open source, social media and overall digital strategy since May 2010 when she was named deputy CIO. Prior to that, she served as associate CIO for architecture and infrastructure at NASA since December 2009. Diaz has also been the director of the Information Technology Integration Program, created to consolidate the $4.3 billion of agency's IT and data services. Diaz said she and her team will spend a lot of time providing services for the NASA community, looking at open code on GitHub, BYOD, cloud computing and improving the agency's security posture and privacy tools. Diaz's public service roles also include CIO at DHS' Science and Technology Directorate, deputy CIO at the Patent and Trademark Office, and deputy associate administrator of citizen services at GSA.
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