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Maria Roat

Deputy Federal CIO, Executive Office of the President/Office of Management and Budget

Deputy Federal CIO, Executive Office of the President/Office of Management and Budget

“The resilience of the federal technology workforce was incredible,” Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat said of the past year. “Not only did they handle disruption in their personal lives, but stepped up and responded to the myriad of demands placed on them as a result of the pandemic.” Roat, too, was resilient as a leader, adapting her leadership style to the new largely virtual work model. No longer could she “do ‘drive-bys’ when I have free time and talk with people about their projects and what’s on their mind,” she said. And as virtual work is likely to continue to a large degree after the pandemic, leaders are going to have to get used to leading people both in the office and out of it, Roat said. “We have to be cognizant and of how we interact, maintain relationships and reach out to people that may not be in-person as frequently as others. This requires conscious action to not exclude people just because they’re not in-person.”

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