Who are the best CIO’s in government?

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This topic contains 27 replies, has 11 voices, and was last updated by  David B. Grinberg 7 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #165874

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Someone new to government asked me this question the other day. I really don’t know actually. If you ask me who are some of the greatest CEO’s, I can not only name a few, but I can also give you specific reasons why. That’s largely due to the fact that success is easily measured in the private sector. So now I am on a quest to learn who are the best CIOs in government and what makes them great. So two simple questions for you GovLoop’ers:

    (1) Who are the best CIO’s in government (past or present)?

    (2) Why? Is he/she good at creating a people-focused organization? Good at consistently executing projects on time and under budget? Good at introducing industry best practices? Etc.

    If your biased and think your organization’s CIO is the best, no problem. Put him/her up for nomination. I’m not looking for a dissertation here. Just want to hear your thoughts.

  • #165928

    David B. Grinberg
    Participant
  • #165926

    Megan
    Participant

    I am not sure whether or not Andy is a CIO, but my vote goes to him for his Total CIO blog.

  • #165924

    Henry Brown
    Participant

    Probably the best CIO that I had was while I was working in a DOD office… Said individual had been an IT person in the government for some 30 years prior to becoming a CIO. Fully understood what it took to complete projects in the government world and motivated his staff(including I) to meet all the deadlines.

    The next best one was the CIO at OPM whose background, I believe, had absolutly nothing to do with IT. Where he got his strength was his mindset “The customer is most always right, and the IT staff should be an enabler for the customer’s needs NOT a cause for frustration“.

  • #165922

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    David, that’s pretty smart on her part. If this is an indication of how she conducts business as the CIO, she must be pretty good.

  • #165920

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Looks like Andy is a CTO of a division at the State Department. Anything in particular you like about Andy?

  • #165918

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Well, she certainly had the right philosophy. Interesting how someone with a non-IT background was so successful. Perhaps being non-IT predisposed her to focusing on the right things.

  • #165916

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    I was digging around and came across this top 50 CIO list (2009): http://www.informationweek.com/news/government/info-management/220200135. Interesting how the article notes that some government CIO’s are doing some amazing things, but get little recognition (in some cases because they keep a low profile).

  • #165914

    Andy is the best CIO around. He’s a leader with heart.

  • #165912

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Are you two related!?

  • #165910

    David B. Grinberg
    Participant

    Yes, Chris, it’s a solid indication of one of Govt’s most successful CIOs who often goes without widespread and well deserved public recognition because she works for a small agency — albeit with big results. Saving taxpayers money in these times of fiscal austerity is always challenging. Moreover, doing so while also leading an agency into the new world of mobile technology by embracing and fostering BYOD takes CIO Kimbery Hancher’s success and innovation to an all new level. She is worthy of major recognition, and not just within the EEOC community. Thanks again for the great discussion.

  • #165908

    Megan
    Participant

    From my own experiences, two past CIOs at NASA Ames who were very good were Sylvia Longchamps and Scott Santiago.

    But these standouts are few and far between. Most are not really up to the task. It is a very challenging job.

  • #165906

    Emily Landsman
    Participant

    No full nominee just yet, but right this very second I am at the Technology Summit at the National Association of Counties’ annual conference in Allegheny County, PA (Pittsburgh). Lots of county government CIOs here, and I plan on writing a few profile pieces this weekend to discuss some of the work they are doing at the local level. They face some really amazing challenges. I’ll share my pieces when they’re ready.

  • #165904

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    That’s great. I would be really interested to hear what some County CIO’s are doing given the type of constraints they are facing.

  • #165902

    Martha Garvey
    Participant

    Emily, please keep me in the loop. While I have no CIO’s in my family, I do have a sister who works for Montgomery County, and I am very interested in the challenges of county government.

  • #165900

    Terri Jones
    Participant

    Emily,
    Many choices here for best CIO, vision, leadership and a willingness to help their fellow counties distinguish many of the attendees here at NACo’s Technology meetings!

  • #165898

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    What are the NACo Tech meetings?

  • #165896

    Terri Jones
    Participant

    The National Association of Counties (NACo) Technology Summit at their annual conference.

  • #165894

    Robert Cunningham
    Participant

    I would submit Roger Baker, CIO (Under Secretary of the Office of Information Technology, Department of Veterans Affairs is very competitive with those at the top of the list. His challenges are immense, Congressional oversight is constant (a good thing) and providing our country’s veterans with the best possible secure information technology is challenging.

  • #165892

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    It does seem like the VA is doing some good things on the tech front.

  • #165890

    Robert Cunningham
    Participant

    He certainly practices what he preaches and follows the President’s directives. He’s one of the first I know that conducts monthly reviews with the Press in notifying and updating them of ALL our security breaches. Not to mention taking the necessary steps toward a collaborative effort with DOD in creating a “common” electronic health record for our service members and veterans.

  • #165888

    Jason Schaufele
    Participant

    (1) Who? – Brian McGrath, CIO of the Census Bureau

    (2) Why? – Brian has brought new life to Census IT. When Brian arrived, we were very siloed. Brian has challenged us to link arms and work together, find ways to reduce cost, eliminate redundant efforts, create and follow standards, and innovate, innovate, innovate! Three years since he arrived and we are well on our way to having a Census private cloud. We are using VDI for telework and are planning to expand it to become our internal desktop. We have over 1000 virtual servers in the enviroment. The cost savings for the virtual servers alone is tremendous.

    That’s just the technology side of things. Brian is also challenging us to develop ourselves and the leaders around us. He cares about the staff and demonstrates that. He believes in us. His leadership inspires me and my staff to work hard and we enjoy doing it.

    Here’s some recent articles about what we are doing here at Census.

    http://fedscoop.com/census-begins-move-to-virtual-work-environment-cio-mcgrath-on-mobility-productivity-telework/

    http://fedcloud.wordpress.com/tag/brian-mcgrath/

  • #165886

    Marilyn Langfeld
    Participant

    Someone’s got to add Steve Van Roekel, currently the U.S. CIO, past CIO of the FCC.

    I heard him present on how to move an organization forward step-by-step, from resisting change to actively working with administration to advance, and saw the results in the redesign of FCC.gov completed under his leadership. A massive, innovative project that took all of his skills and leadership to complete.

  • #165884

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Jason, great write-up. It really sounds as if Brian has had a tremendous impact on the CIO organization. Nothing only that, he’s transforming the culture that may sustain itself long after he’s departed.

  • #165882

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    I never knew that he was the CIO of the FCC. I’m glad to hear that he has past experience serving as an agency CIO.

  • #165880

    Emily Landsman
    Participant

    Here is the first of my profiles of local government IT professionals.

    https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/the-local-government-cio-we-serve-the-people-who-serve-the-people

    I chatted with Bill Schrier, former CTO for the City of Seattle and the new Deputy Director at the Center for Digital Government.

  • #165878

    Emily Landsman
    Participant

    Here is the first of my profiles of local government IT professionals.

    https://www.govloop.com/profiles/blogs/the-local-government-cio-we-s

    I chatted with Bill Schrier, former CTO for the City of Seattle and the new Deputy Director at the Center for Digital Government.

  • #165876

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Fantastic! I love to hear about what’s happening at a state & local level.

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