Maria Roat – 2020

Deputy Federal CIO, Executive Office of the President

Maria Roat left her job as CIO of the Small Business Administration in May, bringing her experience developing a secure, modern, data-driven IT environment to the White House. In her final months at SBA, the agency rapidly developed two loan systems for disbursing pandemic stimulus funds. “If you look at COVID-19 right now, everyone is online,” Roat said. “Our American public, our citizens expect us to be digital, and you have to have that transformational leadership to really drive that and understand the business of government — not just technology.” While at SBA, Roat found herself taking on leadership roles within the CIO Council, where she co-chairs the Innovation Committee, and the board of the Technology Modernization Fund. The most important part of leadership for her is providing for her employees. “For anybody who’s been in any military branch of service, it’s always about taking care of your people,” Roat said. “You take care of them, and they will take care of you. And they’re the experts.”

Philip Reynolds

Written by Philip Reynolds

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