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
Anna Eshoo Representative California's 18th congressional district House of Representatives
"Success is born out of hard work, collaboration with your peers and sheer tenacity."
Since Rep. Anna Eshoo was elected to Congress in 1992, the state of technology has drastically changed. But the congresswoman has kept her legislation in time with that evolution, working tirelessly on bills that would overhaul the federal IT procurement system and institute a White House office of IT procurement and give U.S. innovators a fair shake at competing for federal IT contracts by lowering the burden of entry. Eshoo has also championed legislation for a continued free and open Internet, to open up more spectrum, and establish standards for digital signatures. In addition, Eshoo has been involved in STEM education, co-chairing the first congressional app challenge for high school students nationwide to promote engagement in STEM education fields.
Lovisa Williams Senior policy adviser State Department
"When I was in school, I didn't know what being in government really meant. I always thought of it as a way to make an impact. When I got to the State Department in the technology office, I saw technology as a way to make everyone's work more exciting, and saw how we can use technology to make people's lives better in some way."
Lovisa Williams spends a lot of her work thinking about how technology and tools can be used to empower and enable diplomats and other State Department officials. She wrote the first social media use policy for the State Department, which took 2.5 years to get drafted and cleared -- no easy effort. Working in digital diplomacy, Williams creates connections and gets people thinking about how digital tools can be used to improve diplomacy around the world. She also created the first Facebook page for the State Department, developed the first social network for a cabinet agency, as well as crafted a Terms of Service Uses template. In addition, Williams is actively involved in the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, and serves as a member of the leadership team.
Maria Roat FedRAMP director Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies General Services Administration
"It is really about the team: taking care of your staff and making sure they have the tools to get the job done, and then stepping back and letting them do their jobs."
Maria Roat has never done the same job twice in IT, a testament to her willingness to take on new challenges. Her latest venture involves one of the most massive federal contracting operations in recent history -- FedRAMP. Roat said she adopted a "crawl, walk, run" timeline for the program that provides a governmentwide approach to cloud security. Before GSA, Roat worked at DHS and FEMA. All told, she has been working on FedRAMP for about 13 months, including the early stages of initial operations to implementing the processes and standards to make the program fully operational.
Kaitlin Devine Senior developer Sunlight Foundation
"Read anything and everything you can about the thing you want to change or improve. It's easy to stumble into a space and think you have a bright idea that nobody else has ever had. You'll quickly earn respect and cooperation if you demonstrate a depth of knowledge and perspective that only comes with research."
Kaitlin Devine threw herself into federal spending data, and is now considered by many to be one of the top experts in the country about federal spending data transparency. At the Sunlight Foundation, Devine leads the procurement and spending research and has worked on projects like the Sunlight API Portal, Clearspending and Politwoops. ClearSpending.com is the only evaluation of USASpending.gov and is the only site that actually tests the accuracy of all the data on the grants side. She has been a strong voice in demanding accurate data from government and has published several pieces on healthcare.gov, the DATA Act and the Freedom of Information Act.
Sandy England Director Enterprise IT architecture & strategic infrastructure Federal Student Aid Education Department
"Surrounding yourself with smart, dedicated and supportive people is key. Creating a work environment that is open to change, and incorporating some humor and lightness."
Sandy England didn't plan to stay at the Education Department for long. But the mission -- helping students get through school -- kept her there. Now, as director of enterprise IT architecture and strategic infrastructure, she's helping build a new IT framework for the Federal Student Aid. This initiative includes building out an enterprise portal, standardizing and consolidating applications and consolidating the agency's SharePoint environment. She is conducting a cloud-infrastructure assessment to determine which types of cloud choices would be most beneficial to the agency.
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