DC’s Top 50 Women in Tech - Page 7

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.

Lakshmi Grama Senior digital content strategist National Cancer Institute National Institutes of Health

"Part of our mission at NCI is to disseminate the results of our cancer research to the world at large, and that includes making the content more usable and accessible for people everywhere."

Lakshmi Grama didn't apply for the role of senior digital strategist -- it was created for her. She started as a contractor for HHS and made the transition to being a federal employee at the National Cancer Institute. First, as a branch manager, Grama managed the largest cancer information database at NCI, where she made data standardization a focus. That eventually led her into the field of content and digital strategy. Grama has worked to discover all of the different channels with which to reach people and how to make the agency's content more searchable and available via social media. She is also very involved in an HHS content services working group that focuses on implementing and developing shared framework.

Sondra Barbour Executive vice president Information Systems & Global Solutions Lockheed Martin

"It's all about the team; you cannot be successful if you do not have a strong team in place to support the mission and vision. I pride myself on making sure the team has what they need so we can roll up our sleeves and get to work."

Sondra Barbour's message is clear: Don't short change the future by forgoing innovation during these tight budget times. As executive vice president of information systems and global solutions for industry giant Lockheed Martin, Barbour's call is one that's heeded. In her 28 years with the company, Barbour has worked extensively to expand its cybersecurity posture, help customers protect their systems and collaborate to improve internal cyber-systems. Prior to her current role, Barbour served as Lockheed Martin's senior vice president of the Enterprise Business Services organization and the corporation's CIO, charged with all internal IT operations, including safeguarding the company from cyber-threats.

Jennifer Gray Cloud enterprise architect Department of Health and Human Services

"It's important to have an open mind and listen to what our people are trying to accomplish; what is the overall goal and what do they believe in? Being open to that and then correlating it to advancing technologies and being able to identify alternative solutions, if necessary."

Jennifer Gray knows a thing or two about managing complex transitions. Before coming to HHS in 2012, Gray worked at Walter Reed Military Medical Center where she was instrumental in the base realignment. She also played a key role, as part of the Wounded Warrior unit, to reorganize and redesign a new hospital facility at the Walter Reed Medical Center. She has brought the same level of dedication to her role as cloud enterprise architect for HHS. As the point person for HHS' adoption of Amazon Web Services, Gray helped the agency become the first to conduct agency authorization for a cloud service provider with FedRAMP, which resulted in massive cost savings for the agency.

Casey Coleman Client executive vice president AT&T Government Solutions

"I always look to attract the best people to join the team, bring people who are smart and can make everyone else better. I admire those people who are unconventional thinkers."

As CIO for GSA, Casey Coleman played a key role in the Obama administration's cloud-first policy. But that's hardly the only "first" Coleman shepherded through the agency during her tenure. While at GSA, Coleman also oversaw the agency's migration to cloud-based email, worked to develop an aggressive mobility strategy by expanding use of tablets, mobile devices and phones for GSA employees and helped consolidate the agency's seven buildings into one to save an estimated $24 million in rent. In her new role at AT&T, Coleman wants to acquaint herself with the needs of her customers and the agencies she will be supporting. For Coleman, she says it's an opportunity to work with a broader array of agencies and help drive AT&T's technology innovations. Coleman is also very active in philanthropy, including the annual Heroines in Technology gala.

Margie Graves Deputy chief information officer Department of Homeland Security

"Development of a diverse team is so important, people coming from different backgrounds and disciplines and putting those people together, brainstorming, asking ourselves the tough questions, and knowing the answers exist in that room."

At a mid-point in her private-sector career, Margie Graves decided to join the government to make a difference. She has been with DHS since its infancy, growing the Office of the Chief Information Officer and keeping the mission in line with rapidly evolving technology. Throughout the years, she has worked to establish cloud capabilities at DHS, to keep up with and secure an increasingly mobile workforce and consolidate the agency's collection of data centers. Graves has also worked on the enterprise as a whole, leveraging enterprise services to bring the agency to the point where infrastructure becomes a commodity so people can stay mission focused. In addition, Graves plays a key role in carrying out the open data executive order at DHS, understanding the data the agency has and improve information sharing with stakeholders.

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