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Archive for January 13th, 2009

Read FEMA’s Tweeter adventure for yourself

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We told you earlier that FEMA — or, in Twitter lingo @femainfocus — was answering questions using the microblogging site Twitter. And they got a lot of questions.

FEMA officials have pulled together the questions — and answers. You can read them for yourself… FEMA has posted the document from here… and I’ve posted it below.

There are a lot of people asking, ‘What is this Twitter thing anyway and why and how should I use it?’ On Friday on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s InDepth with Francis Rose, we are going to have the third class in Chris Dorobek’s College of Web 2.0 Knowledge — Rose’s name for it, not mine. We will be talking about Twitter. If you have questions, let me know and we’ll get them answered… Friday between 1-3p ET on Federal News Radio 1500 AM. And you can follow me on Twitter at

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Written by cdorobek

January 13, 2009 at 3:33 PM

Posted in Government 2.0

Narrowing the Obama CTO list — one big name comes off

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We’re all following the speculation about who will be the Obama chief technology officer. Well, the list is being winnowed — one of the big names is taking another job. Julius Genachowski, who has been a senior technology adviser — in fact, the man credited with Obama’s technology agneda, including the CTO post — will reportedly be named by President-elect Barack Obama will name Genachowski to be the chairman of the Federal Comunications Commission.

The broke the story about Genachowski this morning:

President-elect Barack Obama intends to nominate his technology adviser, Julius Genachowski, to head the Federal Communications Commission, a Democratic source close to the Obama transition team said.

Mr. Genachowski, 46 years old, is a former Harvard Law School classmate of Mr. Obama. He previously worked at the FCC during the Clinton administration. More recently, he co-founded LaunchBox Digital, a Washington, D.C.-based venture capital firm. He worked at Barry Diller’s IAC/InterActive Corp. in various executive positions for eight years after leaving the FCC. has more:

Genachowski helped draft Obama’s technology plan, which includes support for creating more widespread and affordable Internet access, and more diverse media ownership rules. He was long thought to be on the short list of candidates to head the FCC.

Genachowski was also thought to be one of the top candidates to fill Obama’s planned chief technology officer position. That position, a novelty for the government, involves as-yet unspecified duties. It’s widely thought that other candidates for the CTO job could include current members of Obama’s technology team, including former FCC chief of staff Blair Levin, and Sonal Shah, of Google’s philanthropic arm Candidates for the CTO position have also been thought to include Inc. CEO Jeff Bezos, Chief Executive Eric Schmidt. Schmidt has publicly indicated that he isn’t interested in leaving Google.

The FCC, which oversees the sprawling networks and airwaves used to provide access to the Internet, television and radio, is poised to see a host of challenges in the near future.

Read more from

The move removes one of the most often mentioned names on the Obama CTO list… and many insiders speculate that it could clear the path for DC CTO Vivek Kundra — one of the CJD favs. (James Rogers on called Kundra “a relative unknown” — part of the ongoing touting of big names like’s Jeff Bezos, Google’s Eric Schmidt, or Microsoft’s Steve Balmer. As I said earlier, I actually think those tech luminaries would be very frustrated in what is essentially a government job — a high-level, high-profile government job, but… it’s a government job… and I mean that in the best sense. You need somebody who knows how government works and can get something done. My ongoing joke is that Balmer’s head will actually explode when he’s told about the government’s budgeting process.)

As you might imagine, Genachowski’s “shares” on Matthew Burns’ Obama CTO prediction market plumeted this morning… Essentially ‘none of the above’ was in the lead when I last checked.

After the break, more Obama CTO readings.
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Written by cdorobek

January 13, 2009 at 12:26 PM

German named acting NASA CIO, Pettus returns to Marshall

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German named acting NASA CIO (NASA photo)

Bobby German named acting NASA CIO (NASA photo)

There is a new CIO at NASA — at least in an acting capacity.

Back in November, the DorobekInsider reported that NASA CIO Jonathan Pettus was giving up that job to return to be CIO at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center down in Alabama. The NASA CIO post is a career job, so there was no requirement that it change on Jan. 20 as is the case at the departments of Transportation, Labor, Agriculture, or the Environmental Protection Agency. Pettus literally was commuting from Alabama for the past several years and he finally decided that he wanted to be with his family. (Here in Washington, DC, we just so often hear people ‘going to spend time with their family,’ it’s hard not to be cynical, but… having met Pettus several times, if there is a cynic in there, I sure didn’t see it.)

The NASA CIO job had been posted, but… on Monday, NASA officials named Bobby German as the acting CIO as they evaluate the candidates for the CIO slot. German is currently the deputy CIO and has been in that post since July 2007.

Read his full bio.. after the break. [Photo credit: NASA/Renee Bouchard.]
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Written by cdorobek

January 13, 2009 at 7:30 AM

DorobekInsider poll: The Bush administration — an insider’s assessment

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White House photo

White House photo

So there are only 7-days left in the Bush administration. President Bush offered his own assessment of his administration during his final meeting with reporters yesterday. [Read the transcript hereRead the administration’s self-assessment here…  So, after nearly eight years, what do you think? This is your chance to grade your boss… and to offer insights to the new team coming in about what went right — and what didn’t.

I’ll post my over all assessment next week, but… I’d love to see your review and critique. We are grading the Bush administration as manager. As we know, most management issues transcend politics — and event, to a significant degree, transcend policies. Some of our best bosses are people that we disagreed with.

I’ve created a poll for you — feds — to grade the Bush administration on the management issues of the past eight years. There is a lot to review and complie… IT policies… how the Bush administration led OMB… did it link OMB’s “M” to OMB’s “B”… the e-government initiatives… the lines of business… competitive sourcing…

There are so many issue…

But I ask you to give an over all assessment… grade away… and post your thoughts as comments… what did the Bush administration do well — and what did not go well…

Written by cdorobek

January 13, 2009 at 6:30 AM