Federal CIO, Executive Office of the President
Suzette Kent has one of the most important leadership roles in all of federal IT. As federal CIO, she’s responsible for guiding and coordinating CIOs from across government in their management of more than $90 billion in IT budgets annually. Kent told FedScoop that being a leader in the federal government means many things — listening to constituents, being collaborative and communicative — but particularly, it means being bold, she said. “In many cases, you’re going to have to make choices. And it’s almost guaranteed you’ll never choose the thing that 100% of the involved individuals like — but you have to stay focused on the greater good.” On top of this, the federal government is one of the largest enterprises in the world, compounding the difficulty of that leadership. “You have to manage the risk of change and moving that apparatus against the importance of the outcomes you’re trying to drive,” Kent said.