Get to know the 2019 Rising Stars

FCW profiles 21 early-career phenoms who are driving change in government IT.

Government Innovation Awards Logo

Each year, the Rising Star Awards recognize individuals who are early in their federal IT careers yet already are having an outsized impact. The women and men listed below have been selected both for their accomplishments over the past year and for their leadership potential in this community.

As this year's list makes clear, there's tremendous talent coming up through the ranks. You can learn more about each of the 2019 Rising Stars via the links below.

  • Brecken W. Auchterlonie
    Business Development Manager
  • Kevin E. Brisley
    Manpower Analyst / Senior Human Resources Manager
    Command, Control, Communications and Cyber Systems Directorate, U.S. Transportation Command
  • Kaitlin I. Bulavinetz
    Managing Director
    Washington Cyber Roundtable
  • Will Cahoe
    Projects Coordinator, 10x
    General Services Administration
  • Gilberto Castro
    Global Networking Manager
    Georgetown University
  • David Catanoso
    Director, Enterprise Cloud Solutions Office, Dept of Veterans Affairs
    Department of Veteran Affairs
  • Taylor K. Chott
    Data Scientist
  • Anna Cordrey
    Deputy Program Manager
  • Mahtab Emdadi
    Regional Sales Director
    Dell Technologies
  • Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi
    Acquisitions Lead
    Centers of Excellence, General Services Administration
  • Ryan V. Hendricks
    USA Performance Product Development Supervisor
    Office of Personnel Management
  • Dr. Leonie Heyworth
    Director of Synchronous Telehealth, VHA Office of Connected Care/ Telehealth Services
    Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Michelle Johnson
    Communications Manager, Senior Research Analyst
    Section 809 Panel, Defense Acquisition University
  • Samer Madarani
    Partner Account Director - Partnership Development
    Dovel Technologies
  • Ellen Nadeau
    Deputy Manager, Privacy Framework
    National Institute of Standards and Technology
  • Lt. Jason A. Pawlak
    Cyber Battle Captain
    U.S. Transportation Command
  • Jonathan Riksen
    Associate Partner & Client Leader
  • Christopher Rorvig
    Senior Consultant, Consulting Services
    CGI Federal
  • Blake M. Scates
    Digital Program Manager
    Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Robert G. Sheldon
    Head of Technology Strategy, Public Sector
  • Travis Sorensen
    Oddball, Inc.