Director of Digital Government
General Services Administration
Since the introduction of the Digital Government Strategy in 2012, few have been as instrumental in its governmentwide adoption as Gwynne Kostin.
As director of digital government within the GSA's Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies, Kostin leads efforts to help agencies and offices around government in supporting their missions with digital technologies.
Kostin uses a playful acronym, SMAC, to describe the four forces she devotes most of her time to: social, mobile, analytics and cloud.
“Those are the four drivers that we’re seeing right now that are really making a huge impact on decisions and the way we’re delivering information,” she said. “The things we wanted to accomplish five years ago are easier to accomplish now, but the change cycle is so much faster.”
I know it sounds corny, but it really is important for me to make the world a better place.
Kostin said her office’s role supporting innovation across agencies is meant “really to help agencies embrace [those drivers] and help to provide specific tool sets so they can actually meet those growing expectations.” An example of that is the Digital Analytics Platform and its recently launched dashboard.
Kostin got to where she is today, she said, by never seeing things as absolute barriers. “‘No’ is not the end of discussion. It actually is frequently the beginning of discussion,” she said.
And when she one day walks away from her career in government, she hopes to have made a difference.
“I know it sounds corny, but it really is important for me to make the world a better place,” Kostin said. “And so when I’m done, and I’m dead and buried and all that’s left of me is a skeleton and old hair, I hope that people will say, ‘Gwynne did help make the world a better place.’”
– Billy Mitchell