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Peace Corps CIO Dorine Andrews

Peace Corps CIO Dorine Andrews

Peace Corps Chief Information Officer Dorine Andrews jokes that her $16 million annual IT budget is a rounding error for most federal departments; but with a decentralized agency that has 77 posts worldwide, nine recruiting centers and the agency headquarters, she knows all about stretching a dollar to support the agency’s mission.

“We budget down to the hundred dollar mark,” Andrews tells us, “so we have to be incredibly disciplined in everything we spend.”

That isn’t always easy considering the unique nature of the Peace Corps where about one third of the posts are happy to have electricity eight hours of the day and staying online can be a challenge; but staff and volunteers still need access so Andrews’ CIO organization must be innovative and agile.

The Peace Corps CIO shop has spent the past 3+ years putting in a global network that connects all posts, most importantly giving them access to the headquarters office share drives and giving the CIO shop remote diagnostic capabilities. The next step is reinventing how HQ interacts with the posts, using more web-based applications where it can.

“We can’t afford to be state of the art,” said Andrews, who spent 25 years doing major systems consulting work and 12 years at Bell Labs and AT&T before that, “but technology is now giving us some cost effective options to move us along faster. We’re reaching a point where we can get more done for less, which is good because we have to.”

Andrews says the Peace Corps CIO office with its some 70 employees and a handful of contractors is a very skilled team of people. They are highly focused on managing operations of the datacenter, keeping posts connected, upgrading post technology, and supporting recruiters in addition to delivering applications. But everything isn’t just focused on just keeping the lights on: Andrews said the agency is starting a SharePoint pilot project to learn how to “go to the cloud,” become a greener organization and modernize its operations both in the US and around the world.

Prior to coming to the Peace Corps, Andrews consulted, taught, and did considerable research in the areas of managing organization and technology change, knowledge management, enterprise systems implementations, and online community development. She has co-authored books on IT organization management and business process re-engineering and published many articles in these disciplines

  • Taylor93936

    Completely untrue.  Words around DC is that her orgainzation and more specifically, her entire department, is falling apart and all of her upper management directors abandon ship and left the agency.  Her decisions are undecisive, unrealistic, and directionless.

  • Tom Fung

    Andrews is a joke and she’s run the agency into the ground. Shame on her.

  • Ralphing Now

    She has no clue about IT operations…while continuing to let go of her technical staff she hires senior directors to manage customer relationships. Get real…what will she do when everything breaks,

  • Max Headroom

    Sad appointment from the administration. She has driven down and let go of every single technical resource to her department. At the same time she has hired numerous non technical managerial folks and project manager types. What will happen when the Peace Corps network comes crashing down? Will her customer relationship managers fix it?