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Archive for June 18th, 2009

DorobekInsider: Women In Technology – Government Leaders at the Helm: A New Era — the liner notes

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For the past few days on Federal News Radio 1500 AM’s Daily Debrief with Chris Dorobek and Amy Morris, we have had an ongoing feature — Women In Government. It has been an opportunity to look at government in a different way. Those reports were leading up to an event tonight hosted by Women In Technology called Government Leaders at the Helm: A New Era. Qwest’s Deirdre K. Murray pulled together a stellar panel:

  • Linda Cureton, the NASA Goddard CIO
  • Cindy Moran, DISA’s Director of Network for Services
  • Lisa Schlosser, Director of EPA’s Office of Information Collection
  • Kathleen Turco, GSA’s chief financial officer
  • Kate Hudson Walker, President, Young Government Leaders and Senior Analyst for Strategic Issues, GAO
  • Molly Wilkinson, Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee, Minority Staff Director, Sen. Susan Collins (R-ME)

Lisa Wolfe, the program director for Federal News Radio 1500 AM, was slated to be the moderator, but literally hours before the event, she lost her voice — she got laryngitis. So Wolfe asked me if I could step in… and I was honored to be a part of the program.

We had a wide-ranging discussion — from cloud computing to leadership to the government hiring and workforce issues. Federal News Radio’s Jason Miller was there and he will be filing a report in the coming days.

A few quick observations:

Over all — Wow! What a remarkable group of people — each one of them with unique skills.

* Cloud computing: We had a good discussion about cloud computing and what it means for government. There still seems to be some question about what will be the ultimate driver of cloud computing. In general, most agencies are interested in the potential cost savings, but Moran noted that it also enables agencies to be much more agile There was a question from the audience about whether the government was going to set cloud standards so industry could know what to propose and build. Cureton pushed back suggesting that setting a cloud standard isn’t the point. The goal is to have a better tool that helps agencies carry out their missions, and that a federal standard — which would likely take… a long time — would delay that shift.

* Workforce: A lot of discussion about workforce issues, particularly younger people and how to attract them into government jobs. Kate Hudson Walker noted that, the federal government job posting site, is… not up to speed. And she said that OPM Director Barry has met with YGL and other groups to get their insights on what can — and needs — to be fixed. (This is the second event I have moderated where we have had a young government leader — the other was the AFFIRM emerging issues round-table that included PTO’s Jonathan Bennett — and in both cases, these young feds have added significantly to the discussion and added dimentions that would not have been discussed otherwise.)

There was much more, but… but I’ll have to see if there is time later.

One quick aside: Turco mentioned that her father, who lives in California, had sent her a note asking about the WIT conference. Turco asked how he knew about it. Apparently he follows me on Twitter… and I had posted about it.

Meanwhile, links of some of the items mentioned during the session:

If I promised other links, let me know and I’ll get them posted.

Written by cdorobek

June 18, 2009 at 11:36 PM