The 2022 Federal 100

Meet the women and men being honored for their exceptional contributions to federal IT in 2021.

We're a little late, but we're finally publishing to the web the Federal 100 profiles that appeared in our April/May 2022 print edition. Government technology veterans will notice a new look and feel to this list – the result of some new bells and whistles in our parent company's publishing system. 

If you are among the Fed 100 honorees, you can get a link directly to your profile to share with friends, family and colleagues, or post on social media by clicking the paperclip icon on the upper right of each entry.

Every year, it's a tremendous privilege to be able to sift through all these stories. The pool of nominations shows the vast range of important work being done throughout the community, and there are always far more outstanding individuals than even a list of 100 can accommodate. That was certainly the case this time around.

Congratulations to each and every one of the 2022 Federal 100! 

And stay tuned to FCW, because you won't have to wait long to learn about the 2023 Federal 100. The nomination period just closed and our next cohort of honorees will be announced in the coming months.

James T. Abernethy

Acting Director, National Leadership Command Capabilities Management Office, Office of the CIO, Defense Department

Commander-in-IT. It wouldn’t be a stretch to say that Abernethy helped optimize White House communications in 2021. His leadership secured hundreds of millions of dollars to fund needed upgrades to the IT infrastructure and communications systems used by the government’s most senior leaders, including the commander-in-chief, for 2023. But it might not have happened if Abernethy hadn’t formed a coalition of defense and intelligence experts to comprehensively assess those crucial national IT systems. The 2023 budget funds will be used to improve fiber-optic transport capacity and diversity, network management, and cybersecurity resiliency and to expand some systems specific to the CIO’s office.

Gundeep Ahluwalia

CIO, Labor Department

Modernization marathon. Since 2016, Ahluwalia has led a marathon of successful IT modernization initiatives. In 2021, his ability to be resourceful in finding the necessary funding came to the fore. He used the Technology Modernization Fund, a working capital fund and Labor’s IT budget to accomplish the department’s goals. Thanks to his leadership, the department was awarded money from TMF to modernize its data management and analytics capabilities, which laid the groundwork for enterprise data management, and to develop and deploy a new system for temporary work certifications, which eliminated a paper-based process and allowed for a seamless transition during the pandemic.

Jonathan Alboum

Federal CTO and Principal Digital Strategist, ServiceNow

Innovation evangelist. As the COVID-19 pandemic intensified, so did the federal government’s need for technologies to provide new services and capabilities. Agencies turned to the private sector for help. Alboum drew on his past experience as CIO at the Agriculture Department to serve as an advocate for strategic, mission-oriented technology investments. He collaborated on a vaccination reporting tool for the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. that other agencies adapted for their own use, eventually reaching 300,000 feds. Through podcasts, webinars and articles, Alboum evangelized technologies such as low-code development that helped agencies speed innovation.

Chris Alvares

Acting Chief Data Officer, Agriculture Department

Enterprise analytics for USDA. Alvares implemented a data strategy for USDA — an organization of 100,000 employees and 19 agencies — and oversaw the agency’s first enterprise analytics services program while deploying new capabilities for data science, data cataloging and open data. He led a cadre of assistant chief data officers for each USDA mission area to advance data stewardship, visualization, analytics and infrastructure. He also spearheaded the Chief Data Officers Council’s efforts to develop automated comment analysis tools using the latest in natural language processing models and create the first cross-agency diversity profile dashboards in government.

Joseph Arora

Chief Scaling Officer, Platform One, Department of the Air Force

Force multiplier. Arora imagined how the Defense Department could go from a technology buyer to a seller by devising a new contracting structure that allows companies to commercialize Platform One, which is designed to speed authorization for the use of commercial software. He helped streamline and scale Platform One’s DOD operations to open it up to new ways of doing business, especially with small companies. He also co-founded AFWERX, the Air Force’s technology innovation hub, and shaped its small-business strategy. It now funds more than 2,000 companies with over $700 million in contracts.

Scott Beliveau

Acting Chief Data Officer, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office

Innovator among inventors. As the leader of enterprise data governance at USPTO, Beliveau is charged with deploying digital tools that make it easier for inventors and patent-seekers to access the patent system. To construct a successful strategy, he focuses on the customer’s point of view and seeks to understand what the public needs and expects. The agency is a pioneer in using artificial intelligence and machine learning for classification and processing. In 2021, Beliveau was instrumental in replacing a slow manual process with an automated system to classify each innovation that is submitted to USPTO, saving the agency time and money.

Van Patrick Bevill

Chief Information Security Officer, Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board

Risk assessor. Bevill manages cybersecurity risk at the agency that administers the Thrift Savings Plan for over 6 million federal employees and beneficiaries. In 2021, thanks to his leadership, a multiyear project to improve the way the agency manages third-party risks culminated in the release of a new framework for managed services providers that is based on novel uses of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Cybersecurity Framework. The board’s framework was finalized after extensive collaboration with academia and industry to give the agency deeper insight into the cybersecurity posture of its service providers.

David A. Blair

Chief, Transformation Delivery Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security

Leading transformation. Blair runs USCIS’ transformation program, which uses technology to improve business operations. One focus is the development of the Electronic Immigration System to deliver timely, secure immigration benefits to eligible applicants. Blair’s leadership, expertise in change management and understanding of technology have powered his work and helped him lead the transition from paper to digital processing, something that had been attempted before at USCIS with mixed results. The transition has already led to impressive results. For example, the average processing time for applications to renew or replace permanent resident cards has dropped from 120 days to less than 28.

Jude Boyle

Vice President, Public Sector Sales, MuleSoft

Transformation therapist. As the pandemic pressed agencies to accelerate IT modernization, Boyle helped soften the impact of the changes. He jumped in to guide 40 state governments, the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services through the complexity of moving from legacy systems to new capabilities that include cloud, software as a service and modern apps. With Boyle’s help, federal agencies reaped over $1 billion in savings, and state governments developed effective ways to quickly identify pandemic hot zones and coordinate and track COVID-19 response efforts, including vaccine distribution and contact tracing.

Victor Brown

Vice President and CTO, U.S. Public and Federal Market, IBM

Taming cloud complexity. Brown has more than three decades of experience in IT and enterprise architecture, but his focus is on the future. At IBM, he leads a broad range of engagements that touch on technologies as diverse as advanced analytics, quantum computing and zero trust security. In 2021, he worked with leaders at the Defense Department and other agencies to rethink their existing architectures and more effectively enable multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments. Those efforts helped defense agencies generate more value from their data fabric and make higher-quality decisions more quickly.

Sean Brune

CIO, Social Security Administration

Optimizing for change. During the pandemic, Brune took advantage of the opportunity to kick-start technology modernization at SSA. He negotiated IT upgrades and expansions to accommodate the dramatic spike in the demand for telework, and he optimized technology and processes to move more agency services and forms online. In response to a special panel’s report on SSA’s IT modernization efforts, Brune worked closely with other agency leaders to review and then fully endorse the report and its recommendations. He has since helped implement over 70% of those recommendations.

Jarrod D. Bruner

Capture Program Executive, U.S. Marshals Service

Systems tactician. Bruner oversees the Marshals Service’s effort to replace 95% of its mission systems through a multiyear initiative called Capture, which aims to modernize prisoner management, judicial security and investigative operations. Last year, he spearheaded the development of system capabilities that are expected to save over 70,000 hours of labor annually and played a leadership role in automating the ingestion of over 50,000 Customs and Border Protection records into the new system. His team decommissioned three legacy applications, deployed five major modules and issued 49 weekly maintenance releases. All activities were completed on or ahead of schedule and under budget.

Kerry Buckley

Vice President, Air and Space Forces, The MITRE Corp.

Space guardian. Buckley guides over 1,000 engineers, researchers and scientists in delivering technical capabilities for fulfilling the Air Force’s mission objectives. She led her team in creating a technical roadmap endorsed by stakeholders across the public and private sectors to understand where integration is needed to protect U.S. economic and national security interests in space. Her team also built a simulation environment to model cross-agency and cross-sector integration and operational collaboration. In addition, Buckley oversees MITRE’s Social Justice Platform, which provides data-driven tools and frameworks that help agencies ensure social and racial equity in the federal workforce.

Col. Donald Burton

Project Manager, Defense Integrated Business Systems, Program Executive Office for Enterprise Information Systems, U.S. Army

Cloud maestro. The Army has been moving national-level logistics and financial systems to the cloud to make them more accessible and secure, and under Burton’s leadership, migration time has been cut in half. Last year, he oversaw the successful migration of the Logistics Modernization Program — an enterprise resource planning system for warfighting capabilities — to the in-house cloud environment called cArmy. He also helped transition the Global Combat Support System-Army to the PEO EIS and Defense Integrated Business Systems portfolios. He manages $356 billion in GCSS-Army inventory and another $19 billion in LMP inventory.

Pete Buttigieg

Secretary, Transportation Department

Accelerating change. Buttigieg has served as an effective proponent of emerging and green technologies while encouraging innovation across DOT’s programs. A leader of the Biden administration’s historic infrastructure initiatives, he has guided the department’s work on innovation in transportation based on a set of six principles, calling for flexible policies that can adapt with changing technology and space for experimentation and collaboration. His department will oversee critical technology spending under the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, including $500 million for smart cities over the next five years. As Buttigieg has said: “Transportation and technology have always gone together.”

Kaitlynn Castelle

Project Blue Digital Transformation Lead, Columbia Program Executive Office, Department of the Navy

Cyber maven. Castelle’s leadership in revolutionizing software delivery for submarines has fundamentally reshaped how weapons systems respond to cybersecurity threats. In 2021, she led the deployment of the Navy’s first containerized submarine software solutions in Impact Levels 2, 4 and 5 cloud environments, which demonstrated the first Navy solutions capable of multiple daily deployments in full alignment with the Defense Department’s Enterprise DevSecOps Reference Design. During an accelerated submarine integration test event at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center, she used automation to reduce the testing time for ballistic missile submarines from two months to two days. 

Guy Cavallo

CIO, Office of Personnel Management

Results guy. In less than a year as the top technology official at OPM, Cavallo launched a cloud-first IT modernization program and built up the technology workforce at OPM by reducing staff vacancies by 20%. He also led the effort to replace a legacy contact center for retirement services with a new cloud-based system that has reduced the number of busy signals callers receive from an average of 20,000 a day to zero. In addition, he championed the submission of six proposals for Technology Modernization Fund support, including one that resulted in $9.9 million to accelerate the adoption of a zero trust cybersecurity architecture.

Cameron Chehreh

CTO and Vice President, Pre-Sales Engineering, Dell Technologies

Silo buster. Since the start of the pandemic, Chehreh has played an instrumental role in facilitating major cloud migrations and data center optimization initiatives at federal agencies. His efforts include helping to launch Dell’s Global Recovery Center of Excellence and modernize the Air Force’s intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance platforms. He also provided crucial support for the Defense Enterprise Office Solution — the Defense Department’s largest collaborative effort to boost productivity. It resulted in over $20 million in savings. In addition, Chehreh is a driving force for prioritizing interoperability and providing solutions that help agencies navigate the pandemic’s IT challenges.

Casey Coleman

Senior Vice President, Global Public Sector, Salesforce

CRM for COVID response. Coleman’s job is to tailor Salesforce’s solutions to the needs of governments around the world, and as a former federal agency CIO, she is all too familiar with the complexity those needs can present. In 2021, however, her efforts took on new urgency as governments raced to enhance their COVID-19 response efforts. Early in the pandemic, her team helped the state of Rhode Island launch a contact-tracing system in under a month while bringing new levels of real-time monitoring and digital customer service. Within months, similar capabilities were online for 35 states and multiple governments worldwide.

Sean Connelly

Trusted Internet Connections Program Manager, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security

Trust builder. As manager of the Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) program, Connelly is on the front lines of helping federal civilian executive branch agencies safeguard their networks and assets in an increasingly hostile cybersecurity environment. Last year, he led the team that released three TIC 3.0 use cases designed to support employee telework, cloud computing and the transition to zero trust architectures, which is a key feature of the Biden administration’s executive order on cybersecurity. Overall, the TIC program covers 2.1 million users at 256 civilian executive branch agencies, bureaus and offices. 

Soraya Correa

Chief Procurement Officer, Department of Homeland Security

Procurement pioneer. Before leaving government in late 2021 to serve as a senior adviser at ACT-IAC, Correa capped off her leadership of DHS’ procurement efforts by setting new benchmarks for improved dialogue with industry partners and by championing the Procurement Innovation Lab. Her work helped create faster methods for the government to acquire essential equipment, including low-cost flood sensors that alert first responders and local emergency officials about rising floodwaters. Her efforts were guided by the conversations she had on reverse industry days and during the listening sessions she periodically held with key stakeholders.

James 'Guideaux' E. Crocker

CTO, Business Enterprise Systems Product Innovation, Department of the Air Force

IT ingenuity. Under Crocker’s leadership, BESPIN has saved the Air Force 100 years of programming time to develop secure and mobile-ready applications. In 2021, his vision led to streamlined cloud deployments and helped push applications from idea to delivery in less than three months. Crocker also co-founded BESPIN’s Digital University, which allows airmen to access training materials, classes and certifications through a user-friendly interface. The application was designed to help cyber professionals maintain their coding skills but has since expanded to a broader modernization of how the Air Force provides skills training for all its personnel, including Space Force.

Tina M. Donbeck

Vice President and CIO, U.S. International Development Finance Corp.

Mission enabler. Donbeck fulfilled two roles for most of 2021, working as deputy CIO and acting CIO at the U.S. International Development Finance Corp., which partners with the private sector to finance solutions to critical problems in the developing world. The agency was created by consolidating the functions of predecessor organizations, and Donbeck led a seamless transition of people, processes and applications from the old domain to a new, secure environment without any interruptions. Her work was essential to the agency’s success in attracting over $6.7 billion in new investments — the highest level in over 25 years.

Nicholas E. Douglas

Assistant Director, Office of Energy, Minerals and Realty Management, Bureau of Land Management, Interior Department

Mining data. In 2021, the Bureau of Land Management launched its modernized Mineral and Land Records System (MLRS), a geospatial database that documents land status and mining claims for the 245 million surface acres that BLM oversees. Douglas championed the effort to launch the new system, which has reduced data errors and helped more than 10,000 customers search and access information about federal lands. MLRS is expected to process about 1 million transactions annually. Douglas also used the project to create opportunities for his team members at BLM to expand their agile development skills.

Jared Dunnmon

AI/ML Technology Director, Defense Innovation Unit, Defense Department

AI maestro. Dunnmon co-wrote DIU’s “Responsible AI Guidelines,” a blueprint with detailed worksheets and instructions for each phase of developing artificial intelligence systems. The two-year effort resulted in actionable guidance on how to incorporate AI ethics into commercial technology and prototypes. Under his leadership, several DOD partners implemented the guidelines’ principles on AI prototype projects that addressed predictive health, underwater autonomy, predictive maintenance and supply chain analysis. Released in November 2021, the guidelines are based on the expertise and best practices of a range of government, nonprofit, academic and industry partners.

Lynn Parker Dupree

Chief Privacy Officer, Department of Homeland Security

Putting privacy first. Dupree joined DHS as chief privacy officer in March 2021 and in short order rebuilt the Privacy Office’s infrastructure and integrated it into policy and operational processes throughout the department. She is deeply involved in the development of new initiatives and protocols and has worked aggressively to embed privacy protections into DHS activities while also ensuring appropriate public access to the department’s records. Her work on the Privacy and Civil Liberties Oversight Board and the expertise she developed in previous positions at DHS and the White House make her invaluable to the department.

Kevin Duvall

CTO, Administration for Children and Families, Department of Health and Human Services

Mission-supporting tech. Duvall led the design, development and deployment of numerous technology solutions in support of the overall mission of the Administration for Children and Families and its Office of Refugee Resettlement. In spring 2021, those efforts intersected with a significant influx of unaccompanied children at the U.S. border. Duvall traveled to an intake center so he could oversee the implementation of technology solutions such as network services, virtual translation and electronic fingerprinting. Thanks to his efforts, the process of placing unaccompanied refugee children in foster care was reduced to 33 days.

Jen Easterly

Director, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, Department of Homeland Security

Cyber quarterback. Every good team needs a great quarterback, and cybersecurity is no exception. Easterly has recruited an ever-growing network of problem-solvers across the public and private sectors since she was unanimously confirmed by the Senate in July 2021. Under her leadership, the agency launched the Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative, issued emergency directives guiding agencies and the public to safety amid historic cyberthreats such as the Log4J vulnerability, and launched new initiatives to bolster national cybersecurity. At an unprecedented moment in cyberspace, CISA continues to publish new insights that help critical infrastructure owners guard against foreign threats.

David Egts

Chief Technologist and Senior Director, North America Public Sector, Red Hat

Guidance giver. Egts has been a vocal advocate for open-source innovation throughout his 15-year tenure at Red Hat. Leaders at government agencies consistently look to him for advice on deploying and using cloud solutions and sought out his expertise on challenging technology topics such as maintaining productivity in a remote work environment, attracting and retaining talented employees, and accelerating digital government initiatives. One example of his influence can be found at the IRS. Egts helped the agency improve employee engagement during the transition to a flexible new environment that supports a blend of remote and in-office work.

Patrick Evans

IT Project Manager, Office of Management and Budget

Data collector. Evans gives both technical direction and leadership on projects at OMB. Last year, he used his skills in data collection and analysis and his gift for cross-agency collaboration to support COVID-19 vaccination efforts in the federal government. He and his team deployed tools that played a fundamental role in collecting data on the vaccination status of federal employees. The time needed to generate reports based on new data was eventually reduced to less than one hour. The information has been critical for decision-making on the reopening of government offices and has been leveraged in White House publications.

Steve Faehl

Security CTO, Microsoft Federal

Security guru. Faehl combined 13 sales, services and customer success teams at Microsoft Federal to help agencies comply with mandates in the Biden administration’s executive order on cybersecurity. Through those efforts and based on his conversations with federal CISOs about where funding might have the most impact, Faehl designed a $150 million program at Microsoft that has helped over 40 federal agencies raise their security baselines. In addition, his research and development work on using artificial intelligence to detect vulnerabilities in the software supply chain has been credited with identifying a significant supply chain attack in the government.

Rich Forsht

Chief, Global Service Desk Management Office, Defense Information Systems Agency

Help-desk hero. Forsht orchestrated a plan that revolutionized DISA’s IT support through a one-click process that enhances the user experience. He helped devise a solution that eliminates the need for human-to-human communication when reporting IT incidents, and it is expected to save the Defense Department $45 per issue ticket. Because of his success in improving the user experience, Forsht now leads 20 consolidation efforts for geographically dispersed sites that manage more than 108 environments. The result will be a unified framework with single systems for ticketing, service requests and call management; a quality assurance plan; and a more robust knowledge-centered support structure.

Robert Fortner

Deputy CIO, Transportation Security Administration, Department of Homeland Security

Workforce champion. In three years, Fortner created the TSA Digital Services Team and expanded it to over 200 advisers, which has helped decision-makers achieve quick wins and incremental success in the face of projects with long timelines and large budgets. He has revolutionized some of TSA’s most critical systems by modernizing its human resources processes, improving travel screening at transportation hubs and introducing a new scheduling platform that supports COVID-19 protocols. Although his recent contributions have focused on internal processes, Fortner’s next goal is geared toward improving the integration and optimization of data to enhance intelligence across the agency.

Angela Gant-Curtis

IT Program Manager, Innovation and Emerging Technologies, Office of the CTO, Department of Veterans Affairs

Continuity of care. A 35-year veteran of federal service, Gant-Curtis plays a key role in driving collaboration across VA and with the Defense Department by establishing and empowering VA’s centers for technology innovation in the department’s Innovation Unit. In 2021, she helped lead a joint effort with DOD to digitize the process of validating military experience and help speed the process through which veterans enter the VA’s health care system. She was also instrumental in giving veterans the ability to complete clinical screenings from any connected device, which has reduced pre-appointment wait times and enabled patients to report symptoms to clinicians remotely.

Bob S. Genter

President, Defense and Civilian Sector, SAIC

Cloud for all. Genter’s agenda was busy enough as he led SAIC’s acquisition and integration of two large IT businesses with a newly remote workforce. But he also helped SAIC’s government customers support their own physically dispersed employees. Under his guidance, one large Defense Department component used a Unisys-built cloud tool to increase the migration speed of 178 applications into public cloud environments, obtain 64 authority-to-operate designations and store 3,700 terabytes of data. Genter is also active on the philanthropy front and led SAIC in raising $385,000 for Feeding America.

Amy Gilliland

President, GDIT

The people president. Gilliland oversees an $8.5 billion global technology firm that operates in 30 countries and employs nearly 30,000 professionals to serve defense, civilian and intelligence agencies. Recognizing that the ongoing pandemic put unique strains on those professionals, she redoubled her focus on employees in 2021. GDIT, which has a reputation for broad-based recruiting and employee upskilling, launched a mental health campaign called “How Are You, Really?” Gilliland urged company leaders to erase the stigma often associated with seeking mental health support, especially for employees with security clearances. 

Wendy Ginsberg

Staff Director, Government Operations Subcommittee, Oversight and Reform Committee, U.S. House of Representatives

Quiet oversight. Behind the scenes at the influential Government Operations Subcommittee, Ginsberg orchestrates the drafting of legislative proposals and plans key oversight hearings to advance policies that affect the federal workforce, IT and cybersecurity. She helped drive discussions about the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act scorecard, election integrity, the technology challenges facing state and local governments, and the future of the federal workforce. In 2021, she also shared recommendations with the House Select Committee on Modernization for improving oversight and institutional knowledge at congressional research agencies.

Lattrice R. Goldsby

Robotic Process Automation Center of Excellence and Branch Manager, Office of the CIO, Agriculture Department

Bot builder. Goldsby oversees the development and governance of labor-saving RPA bots across USDA. In 2021, the 64 bots in production supported functions ranging from contracting to human resources and saved an estimated $5.4 million and 156,000 work hours. Under Goldsby’s expert leadership, USDA is developing even more bots. In just one example, one bot promptly and efficiently processes invoices sent from aviation vendors that are involved in fighting wildfires, which are becoming more frequent and intense. The automated solution replaced a manual process that took 5,000 to 10,000 personnel hours each year.

Darlene K. Gore

Director, Identity, Credential and Access Management, Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration

Credentialing champion. When agencies began closing credentialing offices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Gore acted fast. She partnered with the U.S. Postal Service to create a shared-services pilot project for federal employees and contractors to obtain new or updated credentials in person at a select number of USPS locations. The USAccess Point’s seven pilot sites provided 120 customer agencies with over 20,000 credentials and demonstrated that federal services can take advantage of USPS’ service delivery infrastructure. GSA and USPS are poised to expand the program nationwide in an additional 15 cities this year.

Matthew Graviss

Chief Data Officer and Managing Director, Center for Analytics, State Department

State’s data strategist. In the past year, Graviss distinguished himself as the State Department’s first permanent chief data officer and managing director of State’s Center for Analytics. He delivered and implemented the department’s first enterprise data strategy during a year that came with significant additional hurdles. 2021 began in the thick of a global pandemic and a presidential transition and ended with round-the-clock analytics to support the largest evacuation in U.S. history. Graviss proved himself as the State Department’s authoritative voice for data, an effective change agent and a go-to leader for tackling major departmentwide challenges.

DeEtte Gray

President, Business and Information Technology Solutions CACI International

Paying it forward. Gray leads an organization of 9,000 people at CACI who focus on helping agencies transform their IT environments and the business processes that drive those efforts. Building the workforce of tomorrow is also a key goal for her. During her three-year tenure as chairwoman of AFCEA International’s board of directors, the organization expanded its focus on promoting cybersecurity education, providing grants for teachers and funding scholarships for students pursuing degrees in the fields of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Her passion for STEM dates back to her first job — as a middle-school teacher of math and science.

Donna M. Gregg

Asymmetric Operations Sector Head, Applied Physics Laboratory Johns Hopkins University

Academic and defender. Gregg leads four key mission areas at Johns Hopkins University’s Applied Physics Laboratory, the Defense Department’s largest university-affiliated research center: cyber operations, homeland protection, national health and special operations. She has enabled the introduction of advanced cyber technologies into warfighting and critical infrastructure systems, and last year, her efforts helped block adversaries that attempted to disrupt U.S. military operations, including Navy ship systems and nuclear command. She also helped deploy the lab’s cutting-edge technology to produce a cybersecurity platform that secures electrical industrial control systems at U.S. Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command Southwest.

Tonye Gross

Chief of Staff to the Assistant CIO, Agriculture Department

Vaccination validation. Gross led an effort to improve USDA’s vaccination tool to comply with the executive order requiring federal employees to obtain vaccinations against COVID-19. The agency had developed a tool to collect vaccination records but needed to pivot to a system of validation and verification, which necessitated urgent updates. Gross volunteered to help tackle the updates even though the effort was being managed in another part of USDA. Colleagues said her timely leadership was the key factor in preventing the failure of the largest human resources data-collection effort in the history of USDA.

Deidre Harrison

Acting Controller, Office of Federal Financial Management, Office of Management and Budget

Fraud fighter. Harrison led efforts to use technology and data analytics to promote payment integrity in pandemic relief programs. Her strategy included partnering with the Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency’s Pandemic Response Accountability Committee and communicating extensively with agencies to ensure that they were positioned to mitigate payment integrity risks. She also encouraged agencies to automate processes such as verification and apply machine learning and algorithms to detect abnormal entries. In addition, she pushed agencies to standardize and digitize data elements for better traceability and analytics and led cross-agency information-sharing efforts to assist victims of identity theft. 

Dr. Leonie K. Heyworth

National Director of Synchronous Telehealth and Staff Physician, Veterans Health Administration, Department of Veterans Affairs

Fine-tuning telehealth. The COVID-19 pandemic placed unprecedented stresses on VA’s telehealth system. In 2021, several custom applications needed improvements to reach veterans in remote parts of the U.S. via multiple platforms. Heyworth, who previously won a Rising Star award for her work on telehealth, led enhancements to three key systems that support 10 million appointments annually. She balanced participation in software delivery meetings with delivering patient care and leading a team focused on adding new telehealth capabilities. In December 2021, Heyworth was appointed to the position of clinical deputy director of VA’s telehealth services.

William Hilsman

Senior Vice President, Booz Allen Hamilton

Market force. As co-chair of the General Services Administration's Federal Industry Acquisition Council, Bill Hilsman played a key role in 2021 advocating for IT assisted acquisition services. The ease of use and efficiency of assisted acquisitions would be impossible without industry-government partnerships and Hilsman was at the nexus of these relationships and communications channels. Assisted acquisition services enjoyed a record year in 2021 with over $7 billion in IT acquisitions, and also launched ASTRO – an acquisition platform for ordering drones and robotics to help meet national security mission needs.

Kenneth W. Howard

Director, Division of Engineering and Architecture, Center for Clinical Standards and Quality, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services

Engineering the mission. Howard directs the division charged with providing engineering services that enable CMS to manage value-based care programs. In 2021, he delivered process and technological capabilities to enable quick response to the pandemic. Under his leadership, the Center for Clinical Standards and Quality launched a dashboard that gives real-time insights into the performance and stability of enterprise systems. He also led the rapid integration necessary to support COVID-19 reporting requirements at nursing home and other care facilities, and he oversaw an initiative to increase access to data and hire 1,500 data scientists, researchers and analysts.

Eric Hysen

CIO, Department of Homeland Security

Driving transformation. As soon as he was appointed CIO, Hysen began adapting agile and digital services to scale at DHS. His years of experience in delivering digital services for the federal government helped drive IT modernization forward, with a focus on transforming IT infrastructure and building the next generation of cybersecurity workers. Hysen, who was a key player on the Biden-Harris transition team, worked closely with DHS’ chief human capital officer to put the finishing touches on a new personnel system that enables the department to better recruit, develop and retain top cybersecurity professionals across the country.

Hilary Ingraham

Director, Refugee Processing Center, Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, State Department

Refugee-supporting tech. When the Taliban regained control of Afghanistan in 2021, the U.S. military airlifted at-risk Afghans out of the country, particularly those who had worked as interpreters for the U.S. or at its embassy. Resettling those refugees would not have been possible without Ingraham’s work. During a rapidly changing crisis, she oversaw the creation of new digital resources and kept modernization efforts on track. Her work culminated in replacing a 20-year-old case management system with a flexible, scalable cloud-based solution for the State Department’s U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. It is playing a key role in the resettlement of over 70,000 Afghans worldwide.

Nasheb Ismaily

Principal Solutions Engineer, Cloudera

Innovation master. Nasheb led a massive effort to create a new way for the IRS to analyze every tax report ever collected and use artificial intelligence and machine learning to identify and predict fraudulent activity. The project marked the first time an organization had run parallel GPU processing along with AI and machine learning, which multiplied the speed of data analysis by a factor of 10 and cut the IRS’ infrastructure costs in half. Thanks to Ismaily’s efforts, IRS datasets that used to take months to analyze can now be processed in a matter of days, hours or even minutes.

Dr. Camille T. Jones

Assistant Division Chief, Enterprise Resource Services, Administrative Customer Service Division, Chief Administrative Office, U.S. Census Bureau

Counting on blockchain. On the heels of the 2020 census, Camille Jones looked for a way to improve the bureau's connection with the half-million enumerators for safety purposes. Camille tapped the Small Business Innovation and Research sole-source authorities to make the Census Bureau's first-ever Phase III contract, acquiring a system that leverages blockchain and AI technologies to reduce the time it takes for a worker to report an on-the-job injury from 72 hours to two minutes. The system is on tap to be fielded in the 2030 census and will be tested in other bureau activities before that.

Col. Joy Kaczor

Commander, White House Communications Agency

Communications commander. During the pandemic, Kaczor oversaw the rapid deployment of robust virtual capabilities — including modernized videoconferencing, mobile chat and mobile applications — across the White House. She led the relocation of an $8 million data center to a new facility while synchronizing with presidential IT community stakeholders and vendors to ensure zero operational disruptions. Under her leadership, the agency also onboarded 177 senior staffers, facilitated over 500 calls with global heads of state and supported a virtual G7 summit. Her efforts have positioned the agency to provide assured information services for the president and other White House officials anywhere and anytime.

Kavita Kalatur

Founder and Chairperson, NetImpact Strategies

Voice for the mid-tiers. Kalatur’s vision in founding NetImpact more than a decade ago was to be a trusted adviser to federal agencies on digital transformation via the company’s consulting and technical services. That notion of partnership extends to mentoring small to midsize companies and their entrepreneurial founders. Kalatur took a leadership role in creating the Professional Services Council’s Mid-Tier Working Group to address common issues and communicate with government customers on approaches and solutions. She also participated in a working group focused on career development and opportunity in support of the ACT-IAC Executive Committee’s diversity and inclusion goal.

Susan Kalweit

Senior Associate for Culture and Leader Excellence, National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency

Enabling excellence. It is often said that federal IT consists of people, process and technology — in that order. At NGA, Kalweit prioritizes her efforts accordingly. After years of focusing on the ways artificial intelligence and “ubiquitous data” could strengthen national security, she stepped into her current role in January 2021 and set about ensuring that NGA’s workplace culture reinforces the agency’s core values and creates “the best environment possible where all teammates can thrive.” The goal, she told FCW, is to optimize “the human side of the human-machine team.”

Mark Kim

CEO, Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board

Bond hero. The congressionally chartered Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board exercises regulatory authority over the $4 trillion market in U.S. municipal bonds. In 2021, pandemic relief legislation helped spark a resurgence in the bond market, and Kim led the push to move MSRB activities into the cloud so that it became a data-centric organization for the first time. Thanks to his efforts, the updated MSRB leveraged more robust computing power to develop new products and services, offer richer insight for stakeholders, and incorporate environmental, social and governance data into its market transparency platform.

Theresa Kinney

Deputy Director for Operations and Communications, SEWP Program Office, NASA

Sage solutionist. Kinney manages the strategic direction and day-to-day operations of Solutions for Enterprise-Wide Procurement, a key governmentwide acquisition contract that gives federal agencies access to the latest IT solutions. Her vast knowledge of supply chain risk management and her stewardship of an Advanced Technology Academic Research Center working group on the topic led to the first known cross-walk between commercial standards and the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s guidance. Her work resulted in a new methodology to assess the government’s use of commercial standards to the maximum extent possible.

Kevin Kivlan

Director, Office of Customer and Stakeholder Engagement, General Services Administration

Innovation expert. When he discovered that agencies seldom use solicitation information beyond their immediate contracting needs, Kivlan launched GSA’s Market Research as a Service initiative to tap into the potential strategic resources in contracting data. He led a team of Federal Acquisition Service associates to define, design and implement a tool that leverages data analytics and helps agencies visualize the responses they can expect to receive through GSA contract vehicles. Last year, 29 agencies and over 100 bureaus and departments used the robust market research tool to generate over 2,400 analyses.

Lauren Knausenberger

CIO, Department of the Air Force

Digital superhero. Knausenberger’s laser focus on delivering useful capabilities to warfighters has elevated crucial initiatives such as the adoption of zero trust and DevSecOps methodology. She has also accelerated migrations to the Air Force’s state-of-the-art Cloud One platform and championed two new initiatives for Air Force personnel: the 21st Century IT Store, which consolidates IT gear and services into a single catalog, and the Digital University, which provides centralized access to top-notch digital education. Simultaneously, she has helped improve the way the Air Force acquires technology, including the Ground-Based Strategic Deterrent intercontinental ballistic missile system. 

Jason Knudson

CEO, Vyzva Lab

Researcher extraordinaire. Other transaction authorities have been used to fund IT projects, cloud migrations, the development of emerging technologies such as blockchain and the Army’s COVID-19 vaccine efforts. Last year, Knudson co-authored an in-depth analytical report on the popular but often criticized rapid contracting method. “Other Transactions Authorities: 60 Years On, Hitting Their Stride or Hitting the Wall?” caught the attention of Congress, which led to several recommendations regarding data and transparency being incorporated into the annual defense policy bill. The report has also become part of the curricula at 50 colleges and universities.

Ryan L. Korn

Senior Cloud Architect and Product Manager, Bureau of Industry and Security, Commerce Department

Game changer. Prior to leading technical architecture work and export control data curation at the Bureau of Industry and Security, Korn helped drive the Small Business Administration’s advanced data and cloud-based solutions. His efforts last year at the height of the pandemic breathed new life into the nearly $16 billion Shuttered Venue Operators Grant program, which provided emergency assistance to live entertainment venues. Thanks to his leadership, the agency stabilized the program’s IT system and began issuing grants 100 times faster than it had in the previous month. Nearly 12,000 grantees receive over $9.5 billion by September 2021.

Ann Lewis

Senior Advisor for Delivery, Small Business Administration

Small-business savior. SBA was at the forefront of the federal government’s efforts to save companies from economic ruin during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Lewis was front and center on those initiatives. In 2021, she worked on technical strategy and program delivery for several American Rescue Plan Act programs, which involved creating processes to manage and negotiate with vendors, triage problems, and streamline delivery of much-needed grant dollars. As the crisis eased, Lewis gathered lessons learned to ensure that SBA can respond even more quickly and effectively in the future.

Lee J. Lofthus

Assistant Attorney General, Justice Department

Unshakable authority. From managing IT resources to overseeing Justice’s annual financial statement and budget formulation, Lofthus has taken on a world of new initiatives since joining the department nearly four decades ago. As the designated agency ethics official, chief financial officer and assistant attorney general, his work throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and other emergency situations has kept the department’s 42 components up-to-date on developments in real time. He also helped the department become one of the first federal agencies to migrate to a single financial management system while overseeing 16 years of clean financial audit opinions.

Matt Mandrgoc

Head of U.S. Public Sector, Zoom

Zooming ahead. Mandrgoc serves as the lead for Zoom’s federal, state, local and education business, and in 2021, he built on the shift to videoconferencing technology during the pandemic to show agencies how they can navigate the change and use Zoom as a solution post-pandemic. For example, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s daily briefings on the pandemic were broadcast to over 20,000 people using Zoom. Mandrgoc also fostered internal growth in Zoom’s public-sector business and worked with Amazon Web Services to offer government customers a single cloud solution. So far, over 30 agencies have authorizations to operate for Zoom technology. 

Stephanie Mango

President, CGI Federal

Principled leader. Mango took on the leadership of CGI Federal in early 2021, and from the start, she elevated diversity, equity and inclusion as guiding principles for management as she reorganized the company to reflect shifting federal priorities and position it for growth. Last year’s execution front for CGI Federal saw the company work with the Department of Veterans Affairs on the launch of a new financial system that will expand to other components. She contributes additional time and energy to the broader technology community as a member of the IAC Executive Committee, Shared Services Leadership Coalition and several other organizations.

Jason Martin

Director, Digital Capabilities and Security Center, Defense Information Systems Agency

Security champion. DISA made news this year with multiple program awards, including an identity, credential and access management contract for securing Defense Department applications and DISA’s approach to zero trust architecture, called Thunderdome. Although those announcements came this year, Martin’s leadership and expertise in 2021 made them possible. He has championed DISA’s use of other transaction authorities to ensure that the agency can quickly deliver new capabilities and other challenging component acquisitions, while ensuring that program needs are met regardless of which acquisition strategy is used. 

Patrick H. Mason

Deputy Program Executive Officer, PEO Aviation, Department of the Army

Acquisition visionary. While still adapting to the pandemic’s impact on Army operations, Mason led several key aviation initiatives, beginning with creating a consistent hybrid work platform for the office’s more than 3,000-member workforce by implementing the Adaptive Work Environment and establishing the infrastructure needed. He also led crucial modernization initiatives, such as using data as a combat capability and advancing the adoption of unmanned systems. He was able to foresee and execute the integration needs of the Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft ecosystem, which relies on a combination of manned and unmanned systems.

Steven M. McAndrews

Director of Federal Civilian Cybersecurity, Office of Management and Budget

Cyber visionary. When the Biden administration released its executive order on cybersecurity last year, McAndrews immediately began leveraging the latest in enhanced network visibility, zero trust, machine learning and artificial intelligence to assemble new processes and policies that now serve as a model for the federal government. He collaborated with other agencies to address the impact of the SolarWinds-based attack by identifying resourcing gaps, securing financial resources and drafting policy memos. McAndrews has also been instrumental in delivering improved cybersecurity strategies through smaller projects that focus on critical areas such as logging, multifactor authentication and endpoint detection.

Ryan E. McArthur

Senior Technical Advisor, Office of the CIO, Defense Department

Cloud collaborator. The COVID-19 pandemic showcased DOD’s ability to adapt using commercial technology, but without McArthur’s leadership, the race to adopt Microsoft Office 365 for nearly 3 million users would have taken much longer. He led several cross-functional teams in assessing component agencies’ Office 365 efforts and identified critical shortcomings and the elements needed to standardize authentication, access, cybersecurity protections and interoperability. He translated leadership guidance into actionable tasks, shaped pilot projects, conducted tests and mitigated risks with a transformative 90-day plan to deploy essential cybersecurity tools and rebuild the network security approach to enable direct internet connections to the cloud.

Shannon McCullar

Director, Financial Systems Modernization, Department of Homeland Security

Steady success. For two years, McCullar has been leading efforts to modernize the outdated financial management and procurement systems at DHS. He has already helped the department achieve milestones in this decade-long effort by shepherding the migration of DHS’ financial management system out of an on-site data center and into the cloud. He led a similar migration and implementation for the Coast Guard in 2021. Now 40% of DHS spending has moved to an integrated financial, procurement and asset management system. The project will ultimately help DHS give timely and complete financial information to stakeholders and expand business intelligence capabilities.

Beth McGrath

Global Leader for the Government and Public Services Industry and Managing Director, Deloitte

Mentor and advocate. McGrath’s deep expertise in strategic planning and program management has supported crucial technology initiatives at the Defense Counterintelligence and Security Agency, Defense Manpower Data Center and other key federal agencies. Equally important, however, has been her ongoing attention to mentoring future government and industry leaders at Deloitte and across the public-sector community. McGrath’s colleagues say her support for the Partnership for Public Service, National Academy of Public Administration and AFCEA International has been especially valuable in developing the next generation of leaders.

Robert McQuade

Executive Director, Headquarters Cyberspace Capabilities Center, Department of the Air Force

Cyberthreat slayer. McQuade was instrumental in managing the Air Force’s pivot to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic. One effort involved launching the Air Force’s first bring-your-own-approved-device pilot project. It saved over $1 million and revolutionized the service’s mobility program, which can now scale to 100,000 users. McQuade also directed an initiative to produce technical guides that resulted in the elimination of a multitude of cyberthreats while securing command, control, communications and computers/cyber for seven major commands. In addition, he helped redesign the organization’s Palace Acquire internship program for engineering and program management with a focus on cybersecurity.

Joe Mitchell

Director of Strategic Initiatives and International Programs, National Academy of Public Administration

Agile advocate. Mitchell is executive leader of NAPA’s Agile Government Center, which serves as a hub for government, nonprofit, academic and private-sector organizations. The center gives those entities the ability to develop agile government principles and case studies as a resource for those who want to adopt agile methodology for public goods and services. His coworkers say Mitchell’s efforts helped the center mature considerably in 2021. He guided the production of a major report that provides guideposts for implementing agile practices in federal programs, and he set in motion the development of a curriculum for use in government and academia.

Mark Montgomery

Senior Fellow, Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and Executive Director, Cyberspace Solarium Commission

Cyber policy coordinator. With Montgomery at the helm, the Cyberspace Solarium Commission has emerged as a key resource for cybersecurity policy and produced guidance that Congress has passed into law. The commission proposed a strategy of layered cyber deterrence that has served as a guiding light for the federal government as it seeks to enhance its cybersecurity posture. Under his leadership, the commission offered more than 80 recommendations under six key pillars. Those recommendations include establishing a new Office of the National Cyber Director in the White House, which took effect in 2021.

Dan Morgan

Chief Data Officer, Transportation Department

Governmentwide data guru. As vice chairman of the Chief Data Officers Council, Morgan leveraged his unparalleled knowledge of federal data policy to develop the council’s foundational operating model, which oversees governmentwide working groups on data sharing, inventory and workforce. He also provided critical leadership in implementing the government’s first executive branch-wide hiring action to recruit data scientists into public service, oversaw the development of best practices to advance the federal CDO profession in creating data-driven impact at agencies and ensured that the CDO Council engaged with the public on how the government can improve its data practices.

Kevin M. Mulvihill

Principal Director to the Deputy CIO for Command, Control and Communications, Defense Department

Integration manager. Mulvihill has continually worked to improve the processes and architecture for DOD’s networks. His investment recommendations have added nearly $3 billion to military service budgets to meet the Pentagon’s goals for modernizing command, control and communications and facilitating the move to Joint All-Domain Command and Control. He brought focused, innovative approaches to enterprisewide positioning, navigation and timing (PNT) and satellite communications efforts while leveraging commercial research investments to bring cutting-edge technology to warfighters. Mulvihill also created a strategic modernization campaign plan that has accelerated the rollout of PNT equipment.

Rasha Nahas

Managing Director, Accenture Federal Services

Solutions guru. Nahas oversaw the Commerce Department’s deployment of COVID-19 dashboards that monitored current and projected trends for reopening government offices. The data-driven enterprise solution was developed and deployed within weeks. Her efforts also resulted in a $341 million contract to modernize business applications across the department. And when the results of the first primarily digital decennial census were released, Nahas supported multiple programs to improve access to the information, which included deploying advanced analytics to encourage public participation and a customer relationship management solution that enabled partnership initiatives — all while maintaining the security of the applications.

Adam Nucci

Deputy Director for Strategic Operations, Department of the Army

Multi-domain master. Nucci’s strategic efforts enhanced the Army’s ability to use automation and analytics to identify, respond and reorient in a cyber-contested environment. He developed a blueprint so the Defense Department can meet requirements for continuous assessments on supply chains with the goal of mitigating third-party vulnerabilities, and he demonstrated how to effectively evaluate risk remotely. He tapped commercial partners using nontraditional acquisition methods to help the Army leverage open-source data and integrate it with advanced mission analytics to illuminate risks to U.S. assets. Those novel capabilities are fundamentally changing how the Army assesses the risks associated with nontraditional IT.

Stacy O’Mara

Director of Government Affairs, Mandiant

Trusted adviser. O’Mara helped advance federal IT programs and initiatives that enabled cyber resilience during a historic year of nefarious cyberthreat activity. She participated in nearly 60 briefings with congressional committees on the global threat landscape and served as a resource for members of Congress. O’Mara leverages 20 years of experience in policymaking to help lawmakers tackle critical cybersecurity issues such as ransomware, incident reporting and election security. She also advocated for funding in the 2022 National Defense Authorization Act to support the hardening of Defense Department networks.

Sen. Gary Peters

Chairman, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, U.S. Senate

Cyber legislator. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s focus and accomplishments on federal IT and cybersecurity oversight issues have dramatically improved since Peters (D-Mich.) took over as chairman of the committee in 2021. He worked with colleagues across the aisle to ensure support for critical digital infrastructure initiatives, which included securing an unprecedented $1 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund, leading the Senate in introducing landmark cybersecurity legislation, safeguarding water systems and securing funding for the Office of the National Cyber Director, among other cybersecurity investments.

Richard M. Press

Acting Deputy Director, National Leadership Command Capabilities Management Office, and Director, NLCC Programs (National Security/Emergency Preparedness), Office of the CIO, Defense Department

Cable guy. Press made groundbreaking progress on modernizing the country’s antiquated IT infrastructure and communications systems, supporting the U.S. president and senior leaders. His achievements significantly improved DOD’s continuity-of-operations communications and IT capabilities while enhancing cybersecurity and data access and storage capabilities. Press increased undersea transport capacity tenfold and connected the United States to countries in Europe while eliminating strategic choke points with enhanced undersea cable diversity. He also successfully blocked hostile adversarial maritime activities, enabling the U.S. and its allies to maintain undersea cable dominance in strategically significant areas.

Paul Puckett

Director, Enterprise Cloud Management Agency, Department of the Army

Cloud visionary. The Army’s vision to adopt cloud computing as an enabling capability became a reality under Puckett’s stewardship. He and his team devised three strategic initiatives: creating a global cloud ecosystem, developing a DevSecOps framework and environment, and establishing a data-sharing model. Thanks to his efforts, the Army can now deliver overwhelming digital capabilities at the speeds required for operational relevance. The agency has also created a unique program for scalable, secure procurement of as-a-service capabilities to better achieve the Army’s mission objectives. His leadership translates into millions of dollars in cost savings and months shaved off development times.

Brig. Gen. Stephen G. Purdy Jr.

Commander, Space Launch Delta 45, U.S. Space Force

Launch party. When a space mission lifts off from Cape Canaveral, Purdy is the man in charge. In 2021, he oversaw 223 launch requests, 170 launch approvals and 35 launch missions — including 30 space launches — while simultaneously spearheading IT modernization of all facilities under his command. Within three months, he deployed a new platform to increase real-time communications during launches by a factor of five. He also created a cyber mission defense team for communications and a zero trust pilot project to secure the management of launch systems from remote locations, support additional launches and protect various systems, such as weather tracking and telemetry.

Tarik Reyes

President, Global Health and Financial Solutions Sector, Peraton

COVID fighter. Under Reyes’ leadership, Peraton helped equip the federal government and vaccine makers with cloud-based platforms that were vital in the effort to track and combat COVID-19. The platforms helped officials more efficiently and effectively identify the disease’s weaknesses and find ways to defeat it. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health and vaccine makers used Peraton’s cloud solutions to manage vaccine logistics, share information about the disease and vaccines, and codify and evaluate symptoms and cases. Peraton’s technology was instrumental in delivering daily vaccine information to the White House and critical partners.

William R. Roberts

Acquisition Chief, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Defense Department

AI ambition. Roberts took DOD’s artificial intelligence acquisition to the next level by facilitating the creation of five major pathways to support critical infrastructure solutions. Those tools include the Joint Common Foundation, an enterprisewide, cloud-enabled AI platform based on DevSecOps practices. The pathways, which are expected to be fully available this year, will help DOD cultivate a robust AI ecosystem of public/private partners. Roberts’ leadership helped advance “over-the-horizon” AI capabilities, including cutting-edge neural network technologies and natural language processing, through the use of rapid contracting solutions while also incorporating ethical AI principles into acquisition requirements.

Katherine M. Rollins

Lead Program Manager for Modernization, General Services Administration

Change manager. Rollins led multiple technology modernization initiatives and was a driving force behind the multiyear effort to streamline and unify the federal award process, including the integration of the System for Award Management into the new environment that was completed in 2021. She personally reviewed over 1,000 pieces of training materials and provided dozens of training and product demonstrations for several thousand customers. Her work on defining requirements and coordinating the transition of users and data away from legacy systems involved over 30 development teams and affected over 1.2 million users.

Alan Rosner

Program Manager, Electromagnetic Battle Management System and Global Electromagnetic Spectrum Information System, Defense Information Systems Agency

Signal achiever. Rosner’s dynamic leadership is essential to the Defense Department’s dominance in electromagnetic spectrum. He paved the way for the Electromagnetic Battle Management System to have its first iteration released after just eight months of development by using the software pathway in DOD’s Adaptive Acquisition Framework. That success allowed DISA to meet and perhaps exceed the electromagnetic battlespace awareness needs required by Congress. Rosner’s team also reached full operational capability for Increment 2 of the Global Electromagnetic Spectrum Information System — a cloud-based system of systems for spectrum-reliant capabilities for combatant commands.

Erick Royle

Acting Deputy Director, Data Analytics and Systems Group, Center for Program Integrity, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Department of Health and Human Services

Data aggregator. Royle led efforts to bring the Center for Program Integrity’s pilot project for an application programming interface gateway into production in 2021. The system enables the center to connect disparate data sources and present them via a user-friendly dashboard that facilitates analysis and eliminates the need to log into three different systems. The gateway also performs automated data checks and provides unified case management for other agencies, including the FBI and the Justice Department. Thanks to Royle’s efforts, the center has created a model for API development across government.

Elanchezhian Sivagnanam

Chief Enterprise Architect, National Science Foundation

Launch leader. Sivagnanam helped lead efforts to create a standardized approach for agencies to collect data on the COVID-19 vaccination status of federal employees, which eventually included more than 15 agencies. He was instrumental in bringing together government and private-sector stakeholders to brainstorm solutions and create a shared service to collect and monitor employees’ vaccination status. Additionally, he helped launch two new platforms at NSF. One includes a data dashboard that tracks NSF grants across the country while giving staff the opportunity to post innovative ideas. The other portal enables industry to respond to NSF’s broad agency announcements.

Tim Smith

President, OnPoint Consulting

Community collaborator. Tim Smith was active in helping steer the federal IT community back to in-person collaboration in 2021 with his leadership role in planning for the ACT-IAC's flagship conference, Imagine Nation ELC. Smith helped bring in new ideas and new speakers to this important event. In his role as a member of the ACT-IAC Institute for Innovation, Smith helped to redesign both the business model and priorities for the institute's work and developed a series of roundtables on top innovation challenges facing government. He also devoted significant time and energy to mentoring the next generation of leaders.

Stan Soloway

CEO, Celero Strategies

Thought leader. Well known as a former senior Defense Department official and trade association chief, Soloway is still shaping the discussion about federal technology, acquisition and management through writing and speeches. In 2021, he co-authored a seminal report on the use of other transaction authorities in government acquisition and guided the launch of the new Center for Accountability, Modernization and Innovation, which supports thought leadership that seeks to improve government performance. Soloway also helped shape trends in government technology and management via his contributions during the Biden-Harris transition. He serves as a leading, reliable voice on innovation, good government and acquisition modernization.

Renata Spinks

Assistant Director, Command, Control, Communications and Computers Department, and Senior Information Security Officer, U.S. Marine Corps

Game-changing MVP. Spinks led large-scale efforts for cyber testing and design in deploying the Marine Corps Enterprise Network, which supports business operations and warfighters. She is also steering a massive commercial cloud migration of approximately 150 legacy applications to boost the Marine Corps’ operational capabilities and security while reducing the on-premises IT footprint. In addition, she oversaw the migration of more than 145,000 users to Microsoft Office 365 in seven months while concurrently upgrading network infrastructure. The project’s speed and efficacy set a precedent and prompted other defense agencies to seek guidance from Spinks on cloud and infrastructure modernization.

Lt. Col. Ron Synakowski

Director of Data Capabilities, Chief Data Office, U.S. Air Force

Instrumental impact. Under Synakowski’s leadership, the Air Force reduced the number of data silos while simultaneously expanding users’ access to data. He was instrumental in developing the Data Fabric initiative, a federation of five platforms that creates interoperability across new solutions and enables rapid data analytics. One of those platforms is VAULT, an open-architecture, self-service analytics platform. Now service members have access to a range of tools and technologies to put data to use to increase mission effectiveness. Synakowski also launched a program called Palace Acquire that cultivates future talent by offering internships to recent graduates in data science, computer science and engineering.

Cheryl A. Thornton-Cameron

Executive Director, Office of Acquisition Operations, Information Technology Category, Federal Acquisition Service, General Services Administration

Strategic change-maker. Thornton-Cameron leads GSA’s portfolio of premier IT contract vehicles through which federal, state and local agencies spend over $31 billion annually on IT products, services and solutions. She oversees an acquisition workforce of more than 300 professionals while serving as a strategic acquisition adviser to senior leaders at defense and civilian agencies on the development and execution of technology acquisition strategies. In 2021, her efforts resulted in the award of the $50 billion 8(a) STARS III vehicle for small, disadvantaged businesses and the $4 billion 2nd Generation IT blanket purchase agreements.

Erik Torres-Jacquez

Chief, Branch of Information Technology and Resource Management, Division of Fire and Aviation Management, National Park Service

Fighting fire with tech. In 2021, Torres-Jacquez made it his mission to ensure that all National Park Service personnel on wildfire assignments had the technology that would enable them to efficiently manage those emergencies, which often happen in remote areas. His efforts included implementing the FirstNet wireless broadband network to provide secure, stable internet and mobile phone services for wildland fire responders. He also executed a $2 million interagency agreement and contract to support authority-to-operate efforts that will facilitate progress on over a dozen technology systems and applications.

Dan Voce

Senior Vice President, Enterprise and Cyber Solutions, Leidos

Cyber leadership. The IT portfolio that Voce oversees at Leidos includes the Navy’s Next Generation Enterprise Network Service Management, Integration and Transport contract, which kicked off in 2021 and represents the biggest win in the company’s history. His team also delivers critical cyber technology and analysts for some of the most critical components of the Defense Department. They defend heavily attacked networks and have helped modernize three of the largest federal security operations centers so they can stop breaches before they take place. Voce was also a key player in the acquisition of the 1901 Group, which closed in early 2021.

Meredith 'Memi' Whitehead

Deputy Assistant Commissioner, Integrated Award Environment, Federal Acquisition Service, Office of Systems Management, General Services Administration

Modernization superstar. Under Whitehead’s leadership, the Integrated Award Environment team delivered on new products in a challenging year. She served as a thought leader and business process engineer in developing technical solutions to support grant-making under the American Rescue Plan Act and established an approach to engage with agencies applying agile development processes. Her team also built a new website to support the “made in America” executive order and launched the modernized website for the System for Award Management, which reduces taxpayer costs and the burden on industry by providing interagency APIs and data services.

Tony Williams

Associate Commissioner for Technology and Survey Processing, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Labor Department

Cloud champion. Williams leads all computing technology services for the Bureau of Labor Statistics and is responsible for the nation’s most critical economic data, including monthly employment and price statistics. In 2021, he followed up on the bureau’s efforts from the start of the pandemic to ensure employees could operate remotely and continue releasing critical employment data. The on-site location of the bureau’s data center had been a long-standing risk, so Williams led the successful establishment of an off-site data center in June 2021, positioning the agency for robust, secure use of cloud computing.

Patrice C. Wilmot

Director, Identity and Access Management, IRS

Identity opportunity. When the American Rescue Plan Act was signed into law, the IRS was directed to rapidly create the Child Tax Credit Update Portal. Wilmot and her cross-functional team of over 150 employees knew they needed to accelerate their schedule for modernizing the identity proofing and authentication solution for public-facing IRS applications. To meet legislative timelines for the new portal, they shaved nearly 23 months off their development plan for the new solution, called Secure Access Digital Identity. Since going live, the solution has been used by over 5 million accounts and over 20 taxpayer-facing activities.

Lt. Cmdr. Joshua A. Wymer

Chief Nursing Informatics Officer, Naval Medical Center San Diego, and Chief Health Information Officer, San Diego Market, Defense Health Agency, Defense Department

Deployment expediter. Wymer played a key leadership and coordination role in the highly complex deployment of the Military Health System’s new electronic health record solution. His efforts in managing governance, processes, training and more helped make the largest MHS Genesis deployment wave so far one of the smoothest and safest, without a single patient safety event during the go-live period. In addition, his push to prioritize training resulted in more than 17,000 hours in saved staff time and a speedy transition to the normal pace of clinical operations after the transition to the new system.

James Yeager

Vice President of Public Sector, CrowdStrike

Cyber sentinel. As cybersecurity threats to the U.S. public sector and critical infrastructure increased, Yeager positioned CrowdStrike to meet the challenge. Under his leadership, the company’s product team initiated 500 new deployments weekly and 100 product releases throughout 2021. Additionally, the company established a partnership with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency to provide endpoint security services across federal civilian agencies. He also helped position CrowdStrike to serve as a launch partner of CISA’s new Joint Cyber Defense Collaborative and used his bully pulpit to raise awareness across the public sector about the evolving threat landscape.