Brian Whittaker will be the new acting executive director of 18F, FedScoop has learned.
Whittaker steps into the role that Angela Colter left vacant on Friday when she concluded her time leading the digital services consulting group situated within the General Services Administration‘s Technology Transformation Services.
Whittaker has been with GSA since 2016. Most recently, since November 2017, he has worked as deputy executive director of the Centers of Excellence initiative. Whittaker told FedScoop he’s looking forward to building on the “foundation” that Colter built.
“The 18F team has a strong vision and strategy, and I will continue to work with our colleagues and leadership at the Technology Transformation Services to bring the full set of capabilities available to achieve the best outcomes for our agency partners,” he told FedScoop in an emailed statement. “In this new leadership role, I will begin by getting a better idea of the needs of 18F employees, collecting feedback from partners, and identifying areas in government where we can make the biggest impact.”
During her years at the helm of 18F, Colter worked to move the organization’s focus away from building products for client agencies and toward building capacity with client agencies. “Usually if a partner or a potential partner wants to have 18F just build something for [them], there’s usually better options,” she told FedScoop in a recent conversation.
In September 2019 TTS Director Anil Cheriyan “restructured” the GSA component into two “pillars”: “clients and markets,” which will include 18F, the Centers of Excellence and the Presidential Innovation Fellows program; and “solutions and products,” which will house TTS Solutions as well as other digital tools like login.gov and cloud.gov that are currently under 18F.
Colter told FedScoop this change could lead to more collaboration between 18F and the newer CoE initiative in the future, but what that might look like remains to be seen.