DC’s Top 50 Women in Tech - Page 5

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.

Denise Wofford Deputy director & chief technology officer U.S. Copyright Office Library of Congress

"[My secret to success] has been seeking exposure -- to different and diverse organizations, people, management styles, cultures, ideas, political beliefs, philosophies, etc. The more exposure to different things, the greater my ability to find solutions, set direction and long-term strategy."

After joining LOC 3.5 years ago, Wofford's focus has been on management and oversight of federal staff and contractors. She leads major technology initiatives that sustain business operations and technology to meet strategic goals. In 2014, her office continues to maintain existing Copyright systems until it can complete the groundwork for adopting a modern-day Copyright system. Another effort is the Born Digital Proof of Concept, which will bring digitally produced TV shows and films electronically into LOC. Wofford's secret to success has been taking stock of lessons learned in her technical, professional and personal life and recognizing the difference between those who are enablers versus inhibitors, she said. Wofford cites U.S. scholar Edwards Deming as a role model and says she lives by many of his quotes. The one she says she loves the most is, "In God we trust, all others must bring data."

Marilyn Crouther Senior vice president & general manager U.S. public sector HP Enterprise Services

"Growing up, my mother was my role model. Her ability to always find the good in every situation really helped me to keep a positive attitude in life. My mother never met a stranger, and there was never a problem she couldn't solve."

In 1989 when Crouther first joined the company, it was known as EDS. Since then, both Crouther and the company have evolved significantly: The firm is now known as HP Enterprise Services and Crouther today leads the U.S. public sector division as senior vice president. Last June, HP became one of the first vendors to achieve provisional approval to offer cloud services under FedRAMP. That pATO granted to HP Enterprise Cloud Services – Virtual Private Cloud for U.S. Public Sector will make it easier for agencies to put enterprise-grade workloads on HP's public cloud infrastructure. Another success in the past year was when the Department of Navy chose the team led by HP to restructure its IT operations under the Next Generation Enterprise Network contract, Crouther said. The contract covers a wide array of IT services and support for more than 800,000 sailors, Marines and civilians in the continental United States, Hawaii and Japan.

Audrey Chen Creative director Consumer Financial Protection Bureau

"As someone interested in design, I pay a lot of attention to how experiences can be improved and started noticing how many public services could benefit from some design and technology elbow grease. There's a huge opportunity to bring digital experiences that are common in the private sector into the public sector -- where the impact is so much greater."

When Audrey Chen heard about a new consumer financial protection bureau being created in government, she jumped at the opportunity to work at an incubator in the federal space. However, she says the federal recruiting process in government hasn't caught up yet to the digital times, which is why she co-created a fellowship process to interest those who never previously considered working in government to join CFPB. Her No. 1 project at CFPB has been to create what she describes as a "world-class design and technology team," and building out a group that can develop transformative products. She and her team just launched the CFPB Open Tech on GitHub in an effort to be transparent about the work they are doing and to get input from the community. They also use GitHub to showcase their open source policy and projects such as eRegulations.

Amy Edwards Director Government Performance Task Force Senate Budget Committee

"Listening is so critical. As a staffer on the Hill, trying to find bipartisan agreement, listening to all sides of an argument, can be the most important skill."

Data reform has been in Amy Edwards' cross hairs over the past three years, as she has championed for the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act and the Government Performance and Results Act. Edwards, who came to the Senate Budget Committee from Pew Center on the States, said the DATA Act has been one of the most exciting bills she has worked on. Currently in the Senate, the DATA Act aims to overhaul and improve spending data transparency in government. She hopes the bill will spur other movements, including IT procurement reform. Edwards' interest in data started shortly after working on the Recovery Act when she saw the potential of what data can do in government. At the Pew Center on the States, Edwards produced a 50 state report card in government management.

Jill Vaughan Deputy CIO deputy & deputy assistant administrator Office of Information Technology Transportation Security Administration Department of Homeland Security

"I don't really have a game plan; my philosophy is, I work really hard and I have a pretty positive attitude. I've never said no to anything anyone has asked me to do. It's pretty basic stuff. There's no secret sauce."

With 15 years' IT experience, Jill Vaughan knows a thing or two about security. In her current role, she ensures mission-critical information technology products and services are provided to more than 60,000 TSA employees. But the project she remembers as most impactful involves internal work. Taking a page from the private sector's playbook, Vaughan worked with the Office of Public Affairs to involve employees in cybersecurity awareness training to meet FISMA requirements. It was an opportunity to turn a mandate into "something fun," she said. The team transformed a 1,000-page awareness training into a viral video Vaughan calls "pretty game changing. Vaughan considers relationship building within the agency and with customers, as well as having a handle on business, as key factors to a successful career.

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