2022 Year in Review: The Interviews

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Five of our favorite recorded interviews from the year.

The Nextgov staff spoke to a lot of government officials this year, many of whom joined us live at our regular virtual events. As we look back at 2022, here are five of our favorite informative, insightful, engaging and fun interviews from the year.

‘Unreal’ Gaming in Government

Sometimes, even serious business can be fun and games, as Nextgov Managing Editor Jessie Bur discovered in an interview with NASA’s Patrick Estep, human performance engineer at Johnson Space Center. The space agency is using the latest video game technologies—including Unreal Engine 5—to model the future of space exploration.

Climate for Change with Director of GSA’s Green Proving Ground

Nextgov’s first ever Climate Summit, held in August, serendipitously fell just after passage of the Inflation Reduction Act of 2022, which included funding to invest in clean energy technologies. Kevin Powell, director of the General Services Administration’s Green Proving Ground, joined me to talk about how the agency that manages the federal government’s property tests new ideas in efficient and sustainable building technologies, and the kinds of investments GSA plans to make toward a greener government.

Zero Trust in Justice Department Systems

Zero Trust is certainly in the running for this year’s biggest cybersecurity buzzword, making a grounded conversation between Nextgov Executive Editor Frank Konkel and Justice Department’s Jamie Lynn Noble, chief information security officer for the Office of Justice Programs, all the more timely.

Accountable Security with GAO’s Head of Defense Capabilities

As noted in earlier interviews, cybersecurity is an ever-changing front. Brian Mazanec is uniquely aware of this in his position as director of defense capabilities and management issues for the Government Accountability Office, where he keeps tabs on the full spectrum of cybersecurity issues facing the government, from domestic critical infrastructure to international red lines. In this interview, he discussed the carrots, sticks and hammers available to federal officials, including which are more effective and which are more for show.

Spotlight on TMF—$1 Billion Later

Funding remains one of the central challenges to modernizing federal technology, so the $1 billion added to the federal government’s central Technology Modernization Fund—or TMF—earlier this year grabbed everyone’s attention. Halfway through the year, as the TMF Board and GSA worked to disburse those funds, TMF Executive Director Raylene Yung joined Nextgov to talk about where the money was going. GAO’s acting Director of Information and Cybersecurity, Dave Hinchman, joined as well to give a full, 360-degree view of modernization efforts throughout the government.