Chief Technology Officer
Department of Transportation
Maria Roat is championing a plan that calls for the Department of Transportation to form a digital service team to work on a series of high-profile projects designed to modernize and streamline business processes across multiple modes of transportation.
So far, Roat has developed a list of 18 projects that she plans to assign to the new digital service team. They range from the agency's geospatial initiatives to digitizing DOT's hard copy library and automating toll collections along the St. Lawrence Seaway.
“These 18 projects run the gamut," Roat said. “Some are looking at how we do things across the department where there are 30 different modes [of transportation] that do a similar function, but they're all using different technology. How about if we look at the platform, tailor it for the user, but behind the scenes we have a common platform so that we can report on all of those different functions."
My advice would be to take the hard jobs … be confident in what you can do.
Roat is no stranger to technology and transformation. She's worked in the field since the mainframe era, served in the U.S. Navy and even experienced a brief stint in the private sector. But among her biggest roles was her previous position as the director of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program, known as FedRAMP – one of the most significant federal IT programs in recent history.
“I've been hands on in IT my entire career, always networking and engineering," she said. “My advice [to young leaders] would be to take the hard jobs. Don't be unsure of yourself, be confident in what you can do and take those jobs on."
– Dan Verton