Archive for March 2009
There is now a replacement: GSA’s Ed O’Hare will become the new Assistant Commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services, which oversees some of the government’s biggest and most important contracts including the GSA schedule contracts, GSA’s governmentwide telecommunications contracts such as Networx , and GSA’s governmentwide acquisition vehicles , including the just announced Alliant.
A number of other changes detailed in a memo from GSA Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Jim Williams:
After 33 years of federal service, John Johnson, Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Integrated Technology Services (ITS), has decided to retire effective May 2, 2009. We here atFAS will miss him greatly.
While John’s retirement leaves large shoes to fill, I am grateful that several FAS leaders have agreed to help FAS and ITS transition to its next phase. Effective May 2, 2009, the following leadership changes will occur:
Edward J. O’Hare, the present FAS Chief Information Officer (CIO), will become the ITS Assistant Commissioner; Elizabeth F. DelNegro, the Acting Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Strategic Business Planning and Process Improvement (QP), will become the Acting FAS Chief Information Officer; and Amanda G. Fredriksen, Deputy Assistant Commissioner for the Office of General Supplies and Services (QS) will become the Acting Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Strategic Business Planning and Process Improvement. Amanda will also continue her work as the primaryFAS leader working with PBS on FAS support to PBS’s $5.5 billion portion of the Recovery Act. Joe Jeu will fulfill the duties of the Assistant Commissioner and Deputy Assistant Commissioner until such time as an acting person is named to fill behind Amanda.
Ed, Liz, Amanda and Joe’s extensive GSA and FAS knowledge and expertise will help ensure a seamless transition, continued full support to FAS’ Recovery Act roles and support to President Obama’s new IT initiatives. I am extremely confident of their abilities to successfully lead and manage these organizations but also appreciate your support of these leaders in their new positions.
The GSA press release is now out:
GSA’s Johnson Announces Retirement Plans
WASHINGTON — The U.S. General Services Administration’s (GSA) Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) announced today that John C. Johnson, Assistant Commissioner for the Integrated Technology Services (ITS), will retire on May 2, 2009 after 33 years of distinguished federal service.
“John’s leadership and deep industry knowledge have been critical to GSA’s ability to respond and adapt to customers’ rapidly changing information technology (IT) needs,” said GSA Acting Administrator PaulProuty. “He will be missed.”
As Assistant Commissioner of ITS, Johnson oversaw the largest “fee for service” IT procurement and services operation in the U.S. government. During Johnson’s tenure, the ITS portfolio grew rapidly to include the IT schedule 70, network services, ITgovernmentwide acquisition contracts (GWACs), and trusted Internet connections (TIC) programs.
Johnson also led the development and award of some of the government’s most crucial information technology and telecommunications contracts, including:Networx enterprise and Networx universal, Alliant, Alliant small business, and the Veterans’ governmentwide acquisition contract (VETS-GWAC).
“John’s commitment to ensuring the federal government has access to cutting edge technology has been critical to securing our nation’s IT infrastructure at the best value possible,” saidFAS Commissioner Jim Williams. “His work will pay dividends to the federal government and the American taxpayer for years to come.”
A recognized leader in the data center optimization, cloud computing, and green IT fields, Johnson spearheaded the development of the ITS energy use and greenhouse gas emissions management tool that will help GSA and government customers evaluate and reduce their carbon footprints.
Prior to joining GSA, Johnson had an active tour in the U.S. Navy, and served as a civilian employee at the Department of Defense in the Office of the Secretary of Defense. In 1994, he co-led the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) strategy analysis team that identified the Department of Defense’s Defense Information System Network (DISN).
Johnson is a recipient of the Association for Federal Information Resource Management’s (AFFIRM) Leadership Award for Acquisition and Procurement, the 2007 Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service, and the 2007 Government Computer News Civilian Executive of the Year award.
There is also a lot of quick speculation about who might follow Johnson. One name coming up early is Ed O’Hare, who GSA FAS chief information officer. O’Hare is widely respected. He helped GSA’s efforts with the transition team and has a long time association with GSA.
Each Monday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we have a feature we call “Meet the Innovators,” where we get to have a conversations with somebody who is doing something… well, innovative. And we’ve had the opportunity to talk to a wide range of very smart people — EPA’s Jeffrey Levy, GSA CIO Casey Coleman, and Stanford University Law professor Lawrence Lessig.
Today, we get to talk to one of the real stars in innovation, collaboration and Web 2.0: Anthony D. Williams . People here in DC think of Williams as a former DC mayor, but in Web 2.0 circles, there is only one Anthony Williams. He is the co-author of the Web 2.0 bible, Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything along with Don Tapscott… and he is one of the smartest people in this arena that I know.
UPDATE: You can hear our conversation with Williams here.
And coming up on April 16, Williams will be here Washington, DC to talk about Government Services in the 21st Century: Harnessing Technology and the New Workforce to Improve Performance as part of Georgetown University’s Pubic Policy Institute Dialogue Series. The details:
Presented by: Anthony D. Williams, Internationally-acclaimed speaker and co-author of the international bestseller Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything (Portfolio 2007)
Anthony Williams has lectured and written extensively about the impact of new technologies on business, government and society. He is an international thought-leader in transparency, collaboration, technological innovation and intellectual property and a strategic advisor to fortune 500 firms, governments and international organizations such as the World Bank.
Founder and CEO of the Toronto-based firm Anthony D. Williams Consulting, Anthony was recently named Senior Fellow at nGenera Insight, where he led a global investigation into the impact of Web 2.0 and wikinomics on the future of governance and democracy.
Anthony holds a Masters in Research in Political Science from the London School of Economics, where he graduated with Distinction and is a Ph.D. candidate in the Department of Government. Anthony is currently writing the follow-up book to Wikinomics due out in early 2010.
600 New Jersey Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20001
5:30 PM – 8:00 PM
You can register by going here.
We told you earlier that GSA’s John Johnson was expected to announce his retirement — as soon as today. And… it is today. While the public announcement isn’t expected for a few hours with some commentary coming during a afternoon press briefing about GSA’s award of the Alliant governmentwide acquisition contract, Johnson sent the following note to his staff:
First let me say that it was indeed a pleasure to meet with all of you at our Integrated Technology Services (ITS) All Hands meeting held March 17th in Crystal City. You can not imagine the immense pride I had looking out into the audience and realizing that together we have formed what I believe to be the strongest and most capable Information Technology Services organization in the Federal government.
In looking back, I realize exactly how tremendous our achievements have been: we transitioned from the legacy FTS and FSS environment while concurrently developing and awarding some of the most comprehensive and capable Telecommunications/IT contracts in our government’s history — SATCOM-II, Networx Enterprise, Networx Universal, HSPD-12, the Veterans GWAC, Alliant SB, and Alliant. As if that weren’t enough, we also ran a steady and growing business that represents nearly one third of the federal government IT market. None of the aforementioned could have been accomplished had it not been for our very diverse and capable team consisting of administrative, technical, and contracting expertise, accounting professionals, program managers and other skills and abilities that constitute a winning formula. It was very tough at times and we had a lot of work to complete with both limited resources and competing pressures but, together we did it!
Now that ITS is firmly situated on a path to success and the bulk of our contracting activity is complete, it is time for me to think about what new challenges lie ahead for me personally and the many ways that I can continue to serve my country. I have been blessed with a wonderfully rich suite of experiences that have helped shape who I am today. From my start as a young sailor in the Navy to my current position, I have realized that there really is no greater honor than the opportunity to serve ones country. It has therefore been a difficult decision to make, but I have decided to retire effective 2 May 2009.
As I indicated to you in my closing comments at the All Hands meeting, “YOU GET IT”. You recognize the opportunities and challenges that face ITS and are moving forward as a unified team to fulfill our vision of “Great Government Through Technology.” I take great pride in knowing that, during my tenure as your Assistant Commissioner, we built the foundation for continued future success.
John C. Johnson
Assistant Commissioner for
Integrated Technology Services
U.S. General Services Administration
The rumor has been buzzing for days, but it is seeming increasingly true: GSA’s John Johnson may just retire from government service. I have all-but confirmation coming from both industry and government sources.
Johnson is GSA’s Assistant Commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services, which oversees some of the government’s biggest and most important contracts including the GSA schedule contracts, GSA’s governmentwide telecommunications contracts such as Networx , and GSA’s governmentwide acquisition vehicles , including the just announced Alliant, which Jason Miller broke first on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris on Friday.
I’m hearing that Johnson’s last day will be May 1. No word on where he might be going. The official announcement is expected during the GSA press briefing this afternoon about the Alliant contract award.
Johnson has played a powerful role at GSA in recent years — and not only because ITS oversees some of GSA’s biggest contracts. Having worked at the Defense Department’s procurement organization for 24 years — not so coincidentally DOD is GSA’s biggest customer — so Johnson had a keen awareness about what its customers were looking for.
That being said, Johnson has had to overcome some significant hurdles in recent years. The creation of the GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service — the combination of the former Federal Technology Service and the Federal Supply Service — has been difficult at times. And there have also been issues with some ofGSA’s big contracts: Networx, while seemingly on a roll now, took much longer to get rolling then expected and was delayed several times, and Alliant was famously protested before being awarded this week.
That being said, Johnson is credited with making security a significant part of the Networx telecommunications contract, in particular, creating Networx contracts for the Trusted Internet Connection initiative.
Johnson has undoubtedly had an enormous influence on government IT and government contracting specifically. In 2007, Government Computer News named Johnson the civilian Executive of the Year.
“What constantly strikes me about John is that he is always out to do the right thing,” said Steve Kempf, deputy assistant commissioner at ITS. “Once we decide on what exactly the right thing is, we all become thoroughly committed to getting that done. “
Part of the focus for Johnson and his staff is keeping the customer experience in mind. “This reorganization has allowed us to offer our customers a wide array of solutions to meet their needs,” said Johnson, who recalls his days as a frustrated GSA customer, when the agency was unable to present a holistic set of offerings. “We can offer agencies several different channels to reach the market, and we can be more objective in the recommendations we make. We are now able to determine best how we can satisfy our customers’ needs.”
Johnson’s experience has paid off for agency customers who look for GSA’s help in making megapurchases, said John Grimes, DOD’s chief information officer. “John understands both sides ” DOD and GSA. He listens and remains customer-focused. He realizes that he is not buying this stuff for his own internal operations. “
I couldn’t find Johnson’s bio on GSA’s Web site anywhere, so… here is his bio as published by AFFIRM when he spoke there last year:
As the first official Assistant Commissioner for the Federal Acquisition Service’s Integrated Technology Services (ITS) organization, Mr. Johnson manages the largest “Fee for Service” IT procurement and services operation in the United States Government.
Mr. Johnson leads a highly skilled and diverse workforce that manages more than five thousand contracts providing products, services, and solutions to nearly 135 federal agencies and departments in approximately 190 countries. ITS is responsible for development, planning, management and operations of all GSA customer-facing Information Technology and Telecommunications contracts. The organization’s portfolio consists of the IT Schedule 70 program, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) -chartered ITGovernmentwide Acquisition Contracts (GWACs) Program, the Office of Network Services Programs, and several strategic Governmentwide initiatives such as Homeland Security Presidential Directive-12 (HSPD-12), E-Authentication, the Smart-Buy software program, and the Information Technology Line of Business (ITLOB) initiative. ITS actively works with GSA’s customers and industry partners to ensure that its array of Information Technology and Telecommunications offerings are relevant and timely in support of the broad-ranging missions of federal, state and local customers.
Mr. Johnson’s experience includes active duty service in the United States Navy, industry computer systems field engineering, and assignments in several other Government IT organizations such as the United States Army Signal Center, Ft. Gordon, GA; Headquarters 7th Signal Command, Ft. Ritchie, MD; the Department of the Army Staff (DCSC4); the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA); DISA Liaison to the CINC Forces Command; and the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Command, Control, Communications and Intelligence (OASD-C3I).
Mr. Johnson holds a Bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Science (Business Management), and a Master of Science degree in National Resource Strategy. He is a graduate of numerous military schools to include the Industrial College of the Armed Forces, the Armed Forces Staff College, and the Army Signal Officer Advanced Course. He also has Level III certifications in Program Management & Communications and Computer Acquisition from theDoD Acquisition Corps. He currently serves on the DoD Defense Science Board for Interoperability, the National Communications System Committee of Principals, GSA’s Senior Environmental Working Group, and the Committee for National Security Systems.
Mr. Johnson has been recognized with the following awards: The Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM) Leadership Award in Acquisition and Procurement, the Federal 100 Award, the Consumer ElectronicsShow’s Government Technology Leadership Award, the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Senior Professionals and Executives, and the Government Computer News 2007 Civilian Executive of the Year award.
I mentioned that I got to attend the 1105 Government Information Groups/Federal Computer Week’s 20th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala last night.
Each year for the past few years, I have asked GTSI’s Leslie Barry to be our photographer… and she does such a great job.
Last night was Federal Computer Week’s 20th annual Federal 100 Awards Gala recognizing the 100 people who have made a difference in government IT in the past year. You can read the profiles of the winners from FCW here.
Each year, FCW selects two people — one government, one industry — as the firsts among equals are given FCW’s Eagle Award. These are the two people who have gone above and beyond among those who have gone above and beyond.
The government Eagle Award winner is somebody who I nominated for the award : former EPA CIO Molly O’Neill. O’Neill has been simply remarkable at EPA. As I mentioned earlier, EPA has been really innovative in how it uses technology to reach out to its multitude of constituents. They really were out when Peacock was the first government official to post a blog… there with the Puget Sound initiative two years ago… and they have only pressed further. The most remarkable thing about EPA — and EPA’s leadership — is they fostered an innovative environment where people were not afraid to try something new. O’Neill was awarded the Eagle by Defense Department Deputy CIO Dave Winnergren, and it was nice to hear that his comments mirrored my thoughts. [On Federal News Radio 1500 AM's Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we spoke to O'Neill as part of our "exit interview" series. You can hear that conversation here.]
An excerpt of O’Neil’s FCW write-up:
She is best known for her role as a Web 2.0 visionary, helping her colleagues at EPA and elsewhere to understand how that emerging technology might apply to government. But in 2008, she also served as chairwoman of the CIO Council’s Architecture and Infrastructure Committee. Among other tasks, she played a critical role in getting agency support for the concept of developing segmented architectures.
The industry winner of the industry 2009 Eagle Award is Brad Boston, Cisco Systems senior vice president of Global Government Solutions and Corporate Security Programs. Here is a part of Boston’s write-up in FCW’s 2009 Fed 100 issue:
Boston advises governments on best practices and technologies and has campaigned to improve government certification of information assurance tools.
He led an effort at Combined Endeavor 2008 to develop new international standards that support radio interfaces, and he helped develop space-basedIP networking to improve communications among space assets.
The 1105 Government Information Group President’s Award was awarded to Dinah F.B. Cohen, the Defense Department’s director of the computer/electronic accommodations program. A part of her FCW write-up:
Cohen created DOD’s first online service to provide needs assessments and assistive technology for disabled federal employees.
Cohen developed the program to serve as a one-stop shop for those who need the services. It also serves wounded members of the military.
Photos thanks to GTSI’s Leslie Barry, who did a great job being the DorobekInsider photographer. I’ll get the rest of them posted next.