DorobekInsider.com

Focusing on six words: Helping government do its job better

DorobekINSIDER: Cisco’s Brubaker to join upstart Synteractive

leave a comment »

Paul Brubaker is leaving networking giant Cisco to become the chief operating officer of up-start Synteractive, the company behind Recovery.gov.

Paul BrubakerBrubaker has a storied career in both the public and private sector, having worked as the Defense Department deputy CIO and as one of the primary authors of the Clinger-Cohen Act, the bill that created federal CIOs back when he worked for Sen. William Cohen (R-ME). Brubaker joined Cisco about two years ago.

Brubaker will be working with Synteractive CEO Evan Burfield, who just happens to be a winner of the 2011 Fed 100 Award. The Fed 100 Gala just happens to be tonight.

Below, read the release… and Brubaker’s bio:

The release:

Synteractive names former Cisco Executive Paul Brubaker as Chief Operating Officer

(WASHINGTON, DC, March 28, 2011) – Synteractive, a leader in providing solutions that combine social and technological innovation for the public and private sectors, announced today that government and industry veteran, Paul Brubaker, will serve as the new Chief Operating Officer.  Working out of the Washington, DC headquarters, Brubaker will be supervising Synteractive’s business growth and execution strategies.  

“This is an important move to accommodate our recent substantial growth,” said Evan Burfield, Chief Executive Officer of Synteractive. “Paul’s experience leading complex, growing organizations over the past twenty years and his long-standing passion and commitment to driving technology-enabled transformation as well as his dedication to reform and innovation in the public sector are a perfect complement to Synteractive’s culture of enabling new and effective business models.”

Brubaker comes to Synteractive from networking giant, Cisco Systems, where he led the North American Public Sector’s Internet Business Solutions Group. Prior to that, he held a number of senior level positions in industry and government. Notably, he served as subcommittee staff director in the U.S. Senate, as the Deputy CIO of the U.S. Department of Defense for the Government Accountability Office and Administrator of the Research and Innovative Technology Administration at the U.S. Department of Transportation.  

In the private sector, Brubaker served as Chief Marketing Officer of SI International, was the CEO of two successful small businesses and engineered a management buyout of the public sector division of Commerce One where he served as division President.   He was also Chairman of Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology.    

“I look forward to helping Synteractive build upon successes such as the groundbreaking cloud platforms of Recovery.gov and Treasury.gov, and overseeing the development of applications and platforms that drive efficiencies through crowd sourcing, collaboration, and enterprise migration to the cloud,” says Brubaker. “I’m exceptionally impressed with Synteractive’s unique vision, innovation and people and very excited to be a part of this rapidly growing organization as it moves to the next level and beyond.”

Brubaker’s bio from Cisco [PDF]

In his earlier days on Capitol Hill, where he was an auditor for the U.S. General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office), Paul Brubaker became intrigued by the use of IT to transform and dramatically improve business processes and operations. Brubaker observed that the software development process for the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) missile program was cumbersome, antiquated, and slow—and therefore costly. He realized that software development was nothing more than a business process, and therefore it could be automated and streamlined to create a dramatic reduction in the time and money required for development. He and his team began looking at how these processes could be modernized and automated, referencing the best practices of leading organizations to identify proven ways to streamline the process and save money.

From that point on, Brubaker was a devotee of achieving transformation through technology, but (belying his intensity of purpose) he has always employed what he terms “the lazy man’s methodology”: studying other organizations’ best practices to draw upon the successful experiences of others. “I first look to other organizations that have had analogous problems, and see what they have done,” he comments. “There has never been a situation where I couldn’t find best practices somewhere and apply them to the challenges at hand.” To illustrate, Brubaker talks about how he and others at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approached enabling smart vehicles so that they could detect and avoid each other. He discovered that the Department of Defense (DOD) had faced a similar problem enabling mobile communications among troops on the move. They met with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn best practices,

From that point on, Brubaker was a devotee of achieving transformation through technology, but (belying his intensity of purpose) he has always employed what he terms “the lazy man’s methodology”: studying other organizations’ best practices to draw upon the successful experiences of others. “I first look to other organizations that have had analogous problems, and see what they have done,” he comments. “There has never been a situation where I couldn’t find best practices somewhere and apply them to the challenges at hand.” To illustrate, Brubaker talks about how he and others at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approached enabling smart vehicles so that they could detect and avoid each other. He discovered that the Department of Defense (DOD) had faced a similar problem enabling mobile communications among troops on the move. They met with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn best practices,

In his earlier days on Capitol Hill, where he was an auditor for the U.S. General Accounting Office (now the Government Accountability Office), Paul Brubaker became intrigued by the use of IT to transform and dramatically improve business processes and operations. Brubaker observed that the software development process for the Advanced Medium Range Air to Air Missile (AMRAAM) missile program was cumbersome, antiquated, and slow—and therefore costly. He realized that software development was nothing more than a business process, and therefore it could be automated and streamlined to create a dramatic reduction in the time and money required for development. He and his team began looking at how these processes could be modernized and automated, referencing the best practices of leading organizations to identify proven ways to streamline the process and save money.

From that point on, Brubaker was a devotee of achieving transformation through technology, but (belying his intensity of purpose) he has always employed what he terms “the lazy man’s methodology”: studying other organizations’ best practices to draw upon the successful experiences of others. “I first look to other organizations that have had analogous problems, and see what they have done,” he comments. “There has never been a situation where I couldn’t find best practices somewhere and apply them to the challenges at hand.” To illustrate, Brubaker talks about how he and others at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approached enabling smart vehicles so that they could detect and avoid each other. He discovered that the Department of Defense (DOD) had faced a similar problem enabling mobile communications among troops on the move. They met with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn best practices,

From that point on, Brubaker was a devotee of achieving transformation through technology, but (belying his intensity of purpose) he has always employed what he terms “the lazy man’s methodology”: studying other organizations’ best practices to draw upon the successful experiences of others. “I first look to other organizations that have had analogous problems, and see what they have done,” he comments. “There has never been a situation where I couldn’t find best practices somewhere and apply them to the challenges at hand.” To illustrate, Brubaker talks about how he and others at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) approached enabling smart vehicles so that they could detect and avoid each other. He discovered that the Department of Defense (DOD) had faced a similar problem enabling mobile communications among troops on the move. They met with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to learn best practices, and incorporated these into their smart vehicle initiative.

“Creating an ad hoc, mobile, peer-to-peer wireless network on the road will do more than reduce the tragic 40,000 car crash fatalities in the United States every year. It will also deliver a raft of benefits, from the ability for first responders to get rapid data from traffic incidents, to enhanced communications abilities for drivers,” he says. “It will literally transform transportation at every level.”

Brubaker’s interest in best practices and in technology experienced a happy marriage when he came up with a concept that eventually became the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, while he was working as a subcommittee staff director on Capitol Hill. The Clinger-Cohen Act mandates that government be operated exactly as an efficient and profitable business would be, by automating processes where possible, and treating acquisition, planning, and management of technology as a capital investment. “The objective was to use technology to find more efficient ways of collaborating, especially in automating standard processes,” Brubaker explains. “There never before was an explicit link between IT and improvements in operations, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and so forth. Clinger-Cohen mandated a link between IT and improvements in mission performance in the federal government.”

Brubaker’s personal hero, Winston Churchill, also had a farsighted vision of technology. During his tenure as Great Britain’s First Lord of the Admirality, Churchill was one of the first military leaders to understand the potential power of tanks in warfare, and is credited with their adoption by England—thus changing the face of warfare in the 20th century. Noting that Churchill was “an imperfect man,” Brubaker says that the former British prime minister made many mistakes during his life—as a soldier, author, Member of Parliament, husband, father, mason, investor, and ultimately Prime Minister—but he never failed to learn from his mistakes and successfully apply that knowledge as he evolved. Brubaker is active with the Churchill Centre, the international focus for study of Winston Churchill, his life and times, and has been instrumental using technology to reach and develop new generations of Churchillians and working to make the Churchill archives at Cambridge University available online.

As executive vice president and chief marketing officer of SI International, a provider of mission-critical IT and network solutions (primarily to the federal government), Brubaker automated the firm’s entire set of marketing processes—a feat unheard-of in a company the size of SI. As a result, SI International increased their proposal throughput by 300 percent without adding any staff, resulting in dramatically increased sales. .

As a result of his successful transformation of SI International, Brubaker founded his own company, Procentrix. “I wanted to use technology to enable new and more efficient ways of collaborating, especially around automating standard processes,” he says. In essence, Brubaker automated the entire project management body of knowledge, using off-the-shelf software widely licensed by enterprises and government. This meant that organizations did not have to purchase new software to use the firm’s advanced project management tools and incorporated these into their smart vehicle initiative.

“Creating an ad hoc, mobile, peer-to-peer wireless network on the road will do more than reduce the tragic 40,000 car crash fatalities in the United States every year. It will also deliver a raft of benefits, from the ability for first responders to get rapid data from traffic incidents, to enhanced communications abilities for drivers,” he says. “It will literally transform transportation at every level.”

Brubaker’s interest in best practices and in technology experienced a happy marriage when he came up with a concept that eventually became the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996, while he was working as a subcommittee staff director on Capitol Hill. The Clinger-Cohen Act mandates that government be operated exactly as an efficient and profitable business would be, by automating processes where possible, and treating acquisition, planning, and management of technology as a capital investment. “The objective was to use technology to find more efficient ways of collaborating, especially in automating standard processes,” Brubaker explains. “There never before was an explicit link between IT and improvements in operations, cost savings, customer satisfaction, and so forth. Clinger-Cohen mandated a link between IT and improvements in mission performance in the federal government.”

Brubaker’s personal hero, Winston Churchill, also had a farsighted vision of technology. During his tenure as Great Britain’s First Lord of the Admirality, Churchill was one of the first military leaders to understand the potential power of tanks in warfare, and is credited with their adoption by England—thus changing the face of warfare in the 20th century. Noting that Churchill was “an imperfect man,” Brubaker says that the former British prime minister made many mistakes during his life—as a soldier, author, Member of Parliament, husband, father, mason, investor, and ultimately Prime Minister—but he never failed to learn from his mistakes and successfully apply that knowledge as he evolved. Brubaker is active with the Churchill Centre, the international focus for study of Winston Churchill, his life and times, and has been instrumental using technology to reach and develop new generations of Churchillians and working to make the Churchill archives at Cambridge University available online.

As executive vice president and chief marketing officer of SI International, a provider of mission-critical IT and network solutions (primarily to the federal government), Brubaker automated the firm’s entire set of marketing processes—a feat unheard-of in a company the size of SI. As a result, SI International increased their proposal throughput by 300 percent without adding any staff, resulting in dramatically increased sales. .

As a result of his successful transformation of SI International, Brubaker founded his own company, Procentrix. “I wanted to use technology to enable new and more efficient ways of collaborating, especially around automating standard processes,” he says. In essence, Brubaker automated the entire project management body of knowledge, using off-the-shelf software widely licensed by enterprises and government. This meant that organizations did not have to purchase new software to use the firm’s advanced project management tools.

As the second-highest-ranking official at the Department of Defense (DOD), Brubaker again used technology to automate the department’s processes and operations, including personnel, logistics, finance, and command and control. His success in improving efficiency and driving down costs earned him the Distinguished Public Service Medal.

Even in his personal life, Brubaker is always looking for ways to collaborate, automate processes, and apply best practices. He and his wife are active in Autism Speaks, a non-profit organization dedicated to changing the future for all who struggle with autism spectrum disorders. Brubaker has created ad hoc collaborative capabilities so that parents of autistic children can informally exchange ideas and information.

And when he isn’t trying to make the world a better place for people to live, work, learn, and play through the transformative power of technology, Brubaker enjoys being with his two young sons. After all, his sons will be the ones to live in tomorrow’s world, and he’s not taking any risks that it won’t be a better one.

Written by cdorobek

March 28, 2011 at 2:09 PM

Posted in Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: