Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

Archive for November 18th, 2008

Microsoft federal names a CTO — a chief transition officer

with one comment

NOTE: Item updated on Dec. 8, 2008. The addition is also in italics.

Microsoft federal’s Teresa Carlson has created a new job — a CTO. No, not a chief technology officer, but a chief transition officer within Microsoft federal. The person heading up that post is Carolyn K. Brubaker, who has been with Microsoft federal for several years.

Carlson told me that the job will look at the priorities of the new administration and then map them Microsoft federal’s products and services. The goal is to ensure that the software giant remains focused on the needs of its customer.

I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Microsoft federal is the first in a trend of organizations that focus on what transition means to them — and their customers. I have heard a lot of companies churning about what the much discussed “change you can believe in” will mean.

Update: We had Brubaker on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris. You can hear that interview here.

Written by cdorobek

November 18, 2008 at 6:59 PM

Posted in Industry, Transition

Tagged with

Obit: Christina Nelson, formerly of the Digital Government Institute

with one comment

Our condolences to the family of Christina Nelson, who passed away late last week. Many remember Nelson because led the Digital Government Institute, which she founded in 1998 and sponsored — well, sponsors — a number of conferences focused on the government market. In 2006, she sold the Digital Government Institute to MikeSmoyer , who had led 1105 Government Information Group’s events team for several years. It had been quietly known that Nelson was battling cancer. She moved toAsheville, where she died last week.

Here is the obit from the Asheville Citizen-Times:

Anna Christina Nelson

Asheville – Anna Christina Nelson, an Asheville resident, died on Monday, November 10, 2008, at the Solace Hospice Center after a return of cancer which she had proudly beaten twice before in her life. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 25 years, Mat, in 1999. A native of Washington, D.C., she founded, managed and sold a successful educational conference business in that city, the Digital Government Institute. She moved toAsheville in 2006, and worked as a consultant and advocate for sustainability issues about which she was most passionate. There will be a celebration of her life at 5 p.m. Monday, November 17, in the fifth floor penthouse of the Grove Arcade, 1 Page Avenue, inAsheville . Memorial contributions are suggested for animal rescue, about which she was also most concerned; to hospice work, and to Trinity Episcopal Church,Asheville.

Published: 2008-11-14

Hat tip to Anne Armstrong of the 1105 Government Information Group for giving me a heads up.

Written by cdorobek

November 18, 2008 at 11:53 AM

Posted in Circuit, community

Obama CTO frenzy: More names in the mix

with 3 comments

So there almost seems to be a frenzy around who might be named the Obama CTO.

The Industry Standard has its selections of 10 contenders (and one real long shot) for Obama’s CTO.

Frankly their list seems like mostly long-shots. Their list includes Microsoft’s Bill Gates, Google’s Eric Schmidt, and’s Jeff Bezos — my good friend — kidding.

Most of these seem like long shots to me. First off, most of them would have to give us some of the best jobs in the world — and some of the highest paying jobs in the world. And most of them are used to being able to do what they want — they create the bureaucracy. Are they really going to have to work within the confines of government — even an Obamaized government? Finally, are those people going to be willing to fill out the Obama team’s job application form, which is seven pages long and has more than 60 questions? (The NYT has a copy of the application here. PDF)

The Industry Standard’s actual long-shot is Yahoo’s Jerry Yang, who just announced that he is stepping down from his post.

The list has some more likely names — Julius Genachowski makes their list. As the DorobekInsider told you, he part of the Obama transition leadership and is one of Obama’s former colleagues from the Harvard Law Review. Genachowski seems one of the more likely. The other candidates in their list is Sonal Shah.

Shah is one of the few rumored contenders to have actually worked in government. She currently heads global development initiatives at Google, but prior to that worked at Goldman Sachs, the Center for American Progress, and the U.S. Treasury Department. She’s also advising Obama’s transition team on the CTO search.

They also have Donald Gips

Gips is the vice president of corporate strategy and development for Level 3 Communications, and served Al Gore. Although Gips didn’t help the former vice president invent the Internet, he was Gore’s chief domestic policy advisor and has a deep understanding of technology and communication policies. He too is advisingObama’s transition team.

The Silicon Alley Insider also has a list of CTO candidates.

And’s list, which has been the buzz around town, includes some government IT luminaries:

  • Cisco’s Alan Balutis, who served as the Commerce Department’s chief information officer
  • Bob Gourley, the former CTO of the Defense Intelligence Agency and now chief technology officer at advisory firm CrucialPoint.
  • Dawn Meyerriecks, a consultant in Washington, D.C., formerly CTO of the Defense Information Systems Agency.
  • Harry Raduege Jr., who was director of DISA and now chairs the Deloitte Center for Network Innovation.

More than the person — we’ll get that when we get it — I’m interested in what role the CTO will play. To that end, this afternoon on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we’re going to talk to CJD-fav Andrew McAfee, an associate professor at the Harvard Business School and the person credited with the term ‘enterprise 2.0.’ He recently post an item on his blog headlined What This Country Needs is a Chief Technology Officer .

Written by cdorobek

November 18, 2008 at 7:36 AM