Powerhouse digital service team taking shape at VA
May 27, 2015
As the beleaguered agency confronts personnel and staffing challenges, its plan to attract the best tech talent is beginning to materialize.
David Stegon was a staff reporter for FedScoop and StateScoop from 2011-2014.
Information technology may have once been seen as a male-dominated field, but there are countless women leading the federal government’s IT direction, from civilian and research agencies to national security, intelligence and defense.
Here's 10 influential women who are shaping the future of government technology.
The Pentagon’s chief technologist has a tricky task: disassemble the Networks Integration and Information office and create a small and more focused CIO office. Never mind the fact that DoD is seeking budgets cuts for the first time in years, not to mention the scaling down of two military theaters of operation. We’d say this seems daunting, but Takai has plenty of experience in tough fiscal environments as her previous two posts as the state CIO for California and Michigan – two of the most cash-strapped states in the country.
Along with heading a $10 billion IT budget, Lawrence is busy leading the Army’s network modernization effort, a task she has identified as her top priority since taking the post earlier this year. She’s also overlooking the Army’s shift to an enterprise email system and building up the Army Cyber Command.
Swart is undertaking a network consolidation of her own, creating the State Department’s Foreign Affairs Network (FAN) that will consolidate the more than 45 networks used by foreign affairs agencies into just one. The project aims to make information sharing among the different foreign affairs agencies easier than ever before – a common theme after she spent the previous few years implementing a new agency-wide messaging system.
Schlosser is well-respected throughout the government IT community, especially for her knowledge of cybersecurity. As Deputy Federal CIO, she was Vivek Kundra’s pick to help him lead the nation’s IT direction and now she’ll aide new Federal CIO Steve VanRoekel in further implementing Kundra’s plans, along with providing VanRoekel with her deep reservoir of knowledge with his own initiatives.
Cureton has the ever-challenging task of getting NASA’s 10 centers to act as one while trying to make the agency more efficient. She’s a proponent of cloud computing, but with restrictions as she recently said at a FedScoop event that the technology is not a silver bullet to fix all your problems.
Its not an easy task being the CIO at one of the world’s most secretive places, but Tisinger makes it work. Her time these days is spent on data management, trying to find ways to organize, manage and distribute some of the nation’s most secretive data.
When it comes to finding ways to get more for less in acquisition, Davie is the person. She leads a highly skilled and diverse workforce that manages more than 7,000 contracts, totaling more than $3.5 billion in procurement.
The agency’s temporary headquarters while the old building gets refurbished has turned into Coleman’s playground as she’s gotten to test out a number of wireless and collaboration projects on the space. She’s also been leading GSA’s push into the cloud, become the first agency to fully migrate its email system to the heavens – a project that will be used as a guideline for the rest of the federal government.
One of government’s true rising stars, Coggins was the Acting Program Manager for the Federal Enterprise Architecture Program Management Office (FEA PMO) at the Office of Management and Budget and the Department of the Interior’s First Knowledge Officer before taking her current position at the NHTSA.
Singer is one of the intelligence communities leaders when it comes to all things IT, especially when it comes to cloud computing, saying it’s a “faster, better, cheaper, and safer” Information Technology solution. She’s been called by former CIA CIO Al Tarasiuk as one of the brightest people he’s ever worked with.