Hey there. I’m Christopher Dorobek — the DorobekINSIDER — and welcome GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER… where we focus on six words: Helping government do its job better.
Work ever feel hard? Tired of ‘the beatings will continue until morale improves’?
Remarkable work done by passionate and persistent public servants was recognized Monday night in the annual Service to America Medal award dinner sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service.
The event is always awesome — and they get A-list people to hand out awards: OMB Director Shaun Donovan, Attorney General Eric Holder, and Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell of the Department of Health and Human Services.
I think anybody who attends — or anybody who takes time to meet any of the finalists — will come away proud of the work public servants are doing — and the challenges that they are working to overcome… both external and internal.
We are lucky enough to get to talk to many of the finalists… and if you’re ever having a terrible day and wondering why you’re doing what you’re doing, take a few minutes and listen to one of these remarkable people. It will redouble your commitment and passion.
Some of our most memorable interviews:
- Sara Meyers of the Department of Housing and Urban Development for her work creating a system to understand the effectiveness of disaster recovering programs post-SuperStormSandy;
- Alan Lindenmoyer, Program Manager, Commercial Crew and Cargo Program Agency at NASA’s Johnson Space Center, who took the risk of getting the government out of the space race — and putting it out for competition. At the SAMMIES awards, he specifically thanked SpaceX for the successful launch just days ago or “these remarks would be uncomfortable.”
- Patrick DeGroodt, an Army engineer, played a pivotal role in the creation and deployment of a new state-of-the-art mobile tactical communications network now being used in Afghanistan that commanders refer to as their “digital guardian angel.”
- Marcia Crosse, director at the Government Accountability Office for the health care team, directed congressional attention to the Food and Drug Administration’s increased global role in the regulation of drugs and medical devices leading to reforms to better protect public health.
Those are just a few. You can find all of our SAMMIES interviews here. (We have a few more to go.)
- Partnership for Public Service honors feds with Service to America Medals for outstanding work [The Washington Post]
- Feds honored for great dedication to public service [FederalTimes]
- Partnership names CDC team Federal Employee of the Year [Federal News Radio]
Congratulations to the winners!
The DorobekINSIDER #MustRead list:
- Pentagon’s new version of Better Buying Power focuses on ‘technical excellence’ [FederalNewsRadio]
- Intelligence Community ‘All In’ on New Technology Plan [Nextgov]
- BREAKING via @FedNewsRadio: TechAmerica dismisses Mike Hettinger as head of public sector practice http://www.federalnewsradio.com/130/3707801/TechAmerica-dismisses-Mike-Hettinger-as-head-of-public-sector-practice-
DorobekINSIDER water cooler fodder:
Before we finish up… a few items from the DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder… yes, we’re trying to help you make your water-cooler time better too…
- The DorobekINSIDER Book Club – Join us in reading Frans Johansson’s book: The Medici Effect: Breakthrough Insights at the Intersection of Ideas — and then join the discussion about what the concepts mean for government. More information about how it works here.
- In one of his last interviews as federal CIO, Steve VanRoekel on the digital service and the challenges of government IT [Michael J. Keegan (@mjkeegandc). Host, Producer, & Editor, The Business of Government Hour & Magazine on GovLoop]: What were your top say three challenges that you faced in your position? I came to the administration from the private sector. Having this perspective shapes the way I see the challenges being faced in federal IT. Challenge 1: Pace of Technological Change and Government Culture. The culture and systems in government aren’t set up to keep pace with that dynamic change in technology. This is a big challenge on thinking about how government can better keep pace with technology trends. Challenge 2: Government Attracting the Best Talent. Along with keeping up with the pace of technological change, the government must find ways to attract and hire the best technical people…so how government can be competitive in this space is a really big challenge. Challenge 3: Government Budget Cycle and IT. The government budget cycle also presents a significant challenge when attempting to implement technology in a somewhat turbulent environment. The three significant challenges centers around the timing of how budgets are done, the pace of technology, and the federal agency’s ability to hire the right talent to do technology.
- You Can’t Just Hack Your Way to Social Change [Harvard Business Review] HT @HallM13 “Any data scientist worth their salary will tell you that you should start with a question, not the data”