On Leaving GSA

Today is my last day serving the US General Services Administration as the Chief Information Officer. While I am excited about the next step in my journey, I am also sad to leave such an incredible team and an amazing organization working so hard to make a difference in the lives of the people we serve every day.

Serving the American people at GSA for the past four years has been an honor. During this time, I have had the privilege to work side by side with incredibly intelligent and hard working leaders across the agency and the Federal government. Together, we have worked to make GSA a more efficient, transparent and accountable agency for the American people. We modernized GSA’s core systems and operations, reduced annual IT costs by 20%, embraced modern technology paradigms including Cloud computing, Mobility, Big data and Agile techniques, and helped define the future vision of Information Technology across the federal government. I owe a huge debt of gratitude to the GSA IT team, a truly world-class IT organization.

 During my tenure as CIO, I have worked hard to establish a core set of foundational principles to guide the future direction of IT at GSA. We started by establishing our vision, to develop Integrated, Intuitive and Innovative solutions to serve the Federal government. We establish a policy outlining 9 key principles guiding all IT efforts at GSA, including making a commitment to leverage open source technologies wherever possible, and to share any code that GSA owns so others may benefit from it. We also worked hard to bring together various teams from across GSA to streamline IT operations, reduce costs, and improve our products and services. These initiatives led to not only GSA IT reducing our annual budget by over $120M, but allowed us to recruit some of the most talented and innovative individuals, as well as provided new opportunities to our workforce, who have helped revolutionize IT delivery within GSA and across the Federal government.

As I move on to my new role in the private sector, I cannot be more pleased that David Shive will be assuming my responsibilities as the Acting CIO. I have worked with David for many years, in the private sector, city government and the Federal government. David is an innovative, hard working and ethical leader who works tirelessly to improve government operations every day. He has led some of the most challenging projects as part of GSA’s leadership team, and has engendered a great amount of trust from his customers and partners. I have no doubt that the GSA IT team, under David’s direction, will continue to do amazing things.

Before I close, I must take a moment to acknowledge my amazing staff. I am so honored to have been part of their team these last four years. The public servants who are part of GSA’s IT organization are some of the most dedicated, hard working and innovative people I’ve ever worked with. They work hard everyday to improve the lives of their customers and the American people. They never hesitate to challenge the status quo, and constantly identify new and better ways to deliver services. They collaborate with each other and with their customers and partners with the sole focus on improving government operations. They make me so proud, and deserve so much credit. I will miss them most of all.

I cannot be more optimistic about the future of technology in government. We are seeing massive shifts in terms of how the government is acquiring, implementing, securing and leveraging technology to improve public service. Teams such as 18F and USDS bring fresh thinking and new models into Federal IT shops, and a thriving ecosystem of innovative companies engaged in exponentially improving the effectiveness and value of technology within public service. The focus and sophistication of cloud and mobile platforms is improving with frameworks such as FEDRAMP. IT teams are becoming increasingly user and business centric as traditional “back office” functions like hosting and operations are delegated to cloud service providers. I am thrilled to be able to play a role in this ecosystem in my new role within the private sector, and will be actively following all the amazing successes to come within the Federal space.