Announcing the winners of the 2022 FedScoop 50

Scoop News Group is thrilled to announce the winners of the 2022 FedScoop 50 awards.

Now in their 11th year, the FedScoop 50 awards honor the most impactful leaders in the federal government who strive each day to leverage technology to transform government. Scoop News Group received more than 800,000 votes across the five categories in 2022.

The past year saw a continued focus on transformation across the government and an even deeper emphasis on cybersecurity and associated concepts like the adoption of zero trust, securing the software supply chain and more. Moreover, many agencies intensified their focus on providing better digital services to American citizens and their internal workforces in line with the late 2021 executive order on customer experience.

This year’s recipients for the FedScoop 50 are brilliant leaders, innovative decision-makers and tireless workers dedicated to public service and making the federal government more efficient and effective through the use of technology.

Please join us in congratulating the winners, listed below alphabetically by each category, and sharing the list across social media and other platforms.

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Sonny Bhagowalia

Sonny Bhagowalia

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

Nearly four decades into his career as a federal official and technology executive, Sonny Bhagowalia has spent the past three years leading a $1.8 billion IT portfolio for U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In the role of chief information officer at that agency, he has enhanced the nation’s security through innovation, intelligence, collaboration, and trust. In this role, Bhagowalia oversees a staff of 2,200 federal employees and 3,900 contractors to support CBP’s 24-7 mission. Before this, he spent three years as CIO of the Treasury Department and had a short stint as a senior adviser on tech and cyber with the Bureau of Fiscal Service.

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Ann Dunkin

Ann Dunkin

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

Ann Dunkin returned to federal service in 2021 as the chief information officer of the Department of Energy. In the 18 months in that role, Dunkin has led a transformation of the department’s IT, namely through efforts to scale smaller innovative successes across her highly federated department and the larger federal government. To support the scaling of IT modernization across Energy — and the federal government writ large — Dunkin and her colleague Greg Godbout published a playbook to “help organizations increase the velocity, speed, and scale of modernization efforts, create efficiencies, and make a greater impact.”

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Jen Easterly

Jen Easterly

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

As the director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency for the last year and a half, Jen Easterly has overseen a major transformation in the way the federal government protects its networks — namely through the adoption of zero-trust security practices and better management of its software supply chain. Earlier this year, Easterly and CISA launched a campaign called “Shields Up” through which the agency and its partners aim “to help individuals and organizations defend against cyber intrusions, particularly from Russia.” In an op-ed on CyberScoop, Easterly wrote: “With each of us playing our part, we can make it so that our adversaries will have to beat all of us to beat one of us.”

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Dr. Raj Iyer

Dr. Raj Iyer

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

Army Chief Information Officer Raj Iyer has seen some major wins in 2022. Most recently, his office launched a Google Workspace for soldiers, sunsetting the service’s use of Defense Enterprise Email for a streamlined user experience for active duty members, reservists and guardsmen. The service also recently launched a new bring-your-own-device pilot, allowing soldiers to connect their personal communication and IT devices to Army networks. And finally, the Army is on the path to launching a $1 billion cloud procurement in fiscal 2023. “This is going to become the easy button for the Army to actually move to the cloud,” Iyer said.

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Lauren Knausenberger

Lauren Knausenberger

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger has a laser-focused vision to transform the Department of the Air Force’s IT. In August, her office issued a “CIO strategy” meant to hone the department’s IT efforts through fiscal 2028 across six lines of effort: accelerate cloud adoption; future of cybersecurity; workforce; IT portfolio management; excellence in core IT and mission-enabling services; and data and AI. “This was our effort to publicly go to the next level of detail and say where are we throwing our money and our time and our focus and our effort, and where do we want industry and our community to also focus,” Knausenberger said then. “We’re at the point where we really have to execute and we have to block and tackle, and we have to be able to operate very, very effectively.” In the past year, she’s also been a champion for the personnel who have pushed the Department of Defense to deliver basic computing capability through the “Fix Our Computers” saga. “The department has gotten much more serious about replacing end-of-life equipment, and really cyber hygiene in general,” she said. “Culturally, we’re taking this a lot more seriously.”

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Clare Martorana

Clare Martorana

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

As the U.S. federal CIO in the Executive Office of the President, Clare Martorana has overseen the rollout of some of the most important federal IT mandates in recent history during the Biden administration — namely the 2021 cybersecurity executive order, which mandated a more fervent push to zero trust, and the more recent customer experience executive order, which places a higher premium on using IT to improve government services. During her tenure as federal CIO, Martorana has also been a staunch advocate for the federal Technology Modernization Fund as a mechanism for supporting the administration’s top modernization priorities of cybersecurity, digital services and customer experience.

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Anne Neuberger

Anne Neuberger

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

For the past two years, Anne Neuberger has served the White House and the Biden administration as the deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology, in large part leading the National Security Council’s prioritization of cybersecurity as a top issue. Just recently, Neuberger and the NSC announced a new consumer products cybersecurity labeling program intended to improve digital safeguards on internet-connected devices similar to the Energy Star program. This year, Neuberger has also made elevating cybersecurity a top-tier priority with NATO and with international partners, notably focusing on “deterring, disrupting, and responding to further Russian aggression against Ukraine, neighboring states, and in our respective countries.”

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Melinda Rogers

Melinda Rogers

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

Melinda Rogers has spent the last decade as a senior official leading the Department of Justice’s IT portfolio — more than eight years as chief information security officer and more recently as chief information officer. In this role, she oversees a $3.1 billion IT portfolio and leads the department’s cybersecurity program, through which her office is driving a push to zero-trust security. “At Justice, we work hard to continue to improve and not become complacent or rest on our laurels,” Rogers told FedScoop recently, pointing to the department’s work around zero trust as an example of that.

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John Sherman

John Sherman

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

During his time as chief information officer of the Department of Defense, John Sherman has overseen major shifts in the department’s IT portfolio, notably in the move to the cloud, the adoption of a zero-trust security architecture and software modernization. In a recent op-ed for DefenseScoop, Sherman explained the need to get IT modernization “right” for the DOD. “This is a multi-layered challenge that extends from the top of the enterprise all the way down to the post/base/installation level, but it is one that my peers and I are determined to get right,” he said. “It is this user community, both in and out of uniform, who constitute our customer base and why we come to work every day. We have no higher obligation than to get all of this right for them.”

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Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner

Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

In his time as the director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner is responsible for completely restructuring the way the agency conducts business and operates and protects networks on behalf of the Department of Defense. Two notable efforts undertaken during his tenure are DISA’s launch of its zero-trust pilot called Thunderdome and the award of an $11 billion contract to consolidate the networks of non-warfighting defense support agencies called Defense Enclave Services. On top of this, DISA this summer also sunset its hybrid cloud service program milCloud 2.0 as part of Skinner’s Strategic Program Assessment process., instead looking to migrate customers to the commercial cloud or another viable environment.

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Aaron Weis

Aaron Weis

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer Aaron Weis has spent the past year highly focused on modernizing the Navy’s approach to cybersecurity by “pivoting from a compliance mindset to a dynamic model rooted in the philosophy of readiness and currency.” This plan, called Cyber Ready, is backed by a strategic intent memorandum from the secretary of the Navy. “Our assertion is that an approach more rooted in how the military views the problem of readiness is a better approach than compliance. Readiness is a wide aperture look at the state of staffing, training, supply chain and logistics that commanding officers strive for every day. Applying this Cyber Ready approach can use the same mindset to solve for the problem of cybersecurity. Cyber Ready is a better way to strengthen the Navy’s cybersecurity.”

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Donna Bennett

Donna Bennett

Federal Leadership

In the past year, the State Department has taken a much deeper focus on its cybersecurity, and at the heart of that effort has been Donna Bennett, enterprise chief information security officer for the department. Bennett has been instrumental in not only leading State’s implementation of its cybersecurity strategy and the move to zero trust but also in the stand-up of the department’s new Bureau of Cyberspace and Digital Policy.

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Stacy Bostjanick

Stacy Bostjanick

Federal Leadership

As the Department of Defense moves to install a new cybersecurity program for defense industrial base partners through the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), Stacy Bostjanick has been the change agent leading this effort on behalf of the DOD and its Office of the CIO. While Bostjanick has been working tirelessly to prepare the DIB for this inevitable shift, the hard work is really ahead of her and the department as the CMMC interim rule is set to launch next spring, and then DOD will start to hold contractors accountable for meeting a baseline of cybersecurity requirements when handling its controlled unclassified information.

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Douglas Bush

Douglas Bush

Federal Leadership

As the head of acquisition for the U.S. Army, Doug Bush plays a critical role in the direction of the service’s technology modernization. Bush since taking his role as assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology has prioritized getting more software in the hands of soldiers, namely through using newly granted acquisition authorities for software. Bush has also of late made it a top focus of his office to field new technology to defeat kamikaze drones, as well as things like hypersonics, the move to Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2), and more.

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Guy Cavallo

Guy Cavallo

Federal Leadership

Guy Cavallo has now been the chief information officer of the Office of Personnel Management for going on two years. During that time, he has prioritized driving digital transformation within the agency, notably by shifting the agency’s security architecture to a zero-trust model and delivering better digital services for OPM’s federal customers. The agency in late 2021 received money through the Technology Modernization Fund to support its zero-trust journey and Cavallo said that made it easier to take the steps needed to get OPM where it needed to go for better cybersecurity. “We were going to do zero trust even without that money,” Cavallo told FedScoop this year. “It just would’ve taken me longer because — you know the budget cycle in government — I inherited a budget when I got to OPM that had been decided two years earlier without zero trust.”

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Chris Cleary

Chris Cleary

Federal Leadership

Chris Cleary capped what has been a big year as principal cyber adviser for the Department of the Navy with the release of the service’s Cyberspace Superiority Vision, which features three main pillars: secure, survive and strike. The new document, Cleary said, is meant to show “the people who don’t consider this their core business space why these things are important — [and] more importantly, why it’s important to their mission.” He continued: “What the vision really talks about is we need to talk about those three things in concert. One doesn’t outweigh the other.”

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Kurt DelBene

Kurt DelBene

Federal Leadership

Department of Veterans Affairs Chief Information Officer came to the agency at a time when it has been challenged to roll out the besieged electronic health record system. DelBene has been responsible for not only working to right that ship but also to deliver digital transformation across the greater VA enterprise by “getting back to basics.” He told FedScoop earlier this year what he’s learned in the role so far in developing a vision for transformation: “All of the work that we do needs to accrue to a core vision of what we’re trying to deliver for veterans themselves and key stakeholders in the VA.”

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Chris DeRusha

Chris DeRusha

Federal Leadership

As the federal chief information security officer, Chris DeRusha has been instrumental in leading the unified push to enhance and modernize the cybersecurity defense of federal civilian branch networks as mandated in the 2021 cybersecurity executive order issued by the Biden administration. Speaking in October at CyberTalks, DeRusha said the executive branch agency is focused on introducing measures that will codify long-term cultural change, such as listing costs associated with the cybersecurity approach as a specific budget line item. On the topic of zero trust, while OMB issued memorandum M-22-09 in January this year to provide a roadmap for the implementation of zero trust by 2024, it’s not meant to be the end-all-be-all. “We didn’t seek to write the pure end-state document for zero trust,” DeRusha said.

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Jennifer Ewbank

Jennifer Ewbank

Federal Leadership

As the Deputy Director of CIA for Digital Innovation, Jennifer Ewbank is the agency’s chief digital officer, overseeing the CIA’s chief information officer and other key tech roles, and is responsible for accelerating the development and integration of digital and cyber capabilities across all of CIA’s mission areas, including enterprise IT, cybersecurity, cyber operations and analysis, data strategy and artificial intelligence, open source collection and reporting, and much more. “Risk is the defining characteristic of the CIA,” Ewbank said recently. “If the CIA cannot manage risk, the CIA cannot be the CIA,” she said of her job in the cyber and digital space.

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Dr. Kelly Fletcher

Dr. Kelly Fletcher

Federal Leadership

After serving in the very important role of principal deputy chief information officer for the Department of Defense, reporting to CIO John Sherman, for several years, Kelly Fletcher got the call recently to join the State Department as its CIO. Now with State, Fletcher is tasked with establishing the technology strategic direction and providing oversight for $2.5 billion of technology programs across the department, including the development of State’s potential $10 billion IT modernization acquisition dubbed EVOLVE, which is set to be solicited in the near future.

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Mike Galbraith

Mike Galbraith

Federal Leadership

The department of the Navy has been doing more to use data as a strategic asset, and Chief Digital Innovation Officer Mike Galbraith has been at the lead of that effort for the service. He recently told FedScoop recently everything the Navy does regarding IT is “all about the data.” He continued: “Moving data via our networks and transports, whether it’s with 5G, wide-area networks, other cellular capabilities; storing the data in the cloud; processing the data with quantum computing — it’s all about the data.” And all of those efforts, he said, will be foundational to creating an environment that supports next-generation technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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Mark Goodge

Mark Goodge

Federal Leadership

As the chief technology officer of the Defense Health Agency (DHA), a role he’s served in for nearly two decades, Mark Goodge has been instrumental in closing out the historical DOD healthcare merger unifying six military service networks, synergizing 50 hospitals and 671 clinics, and supporting the new multi-billion-dollar electronic health record for 9.6 million beneficiaries located in 74 countries. He also led NATO and partner nations to design, build, and test interoperability into command-and-control capabilities, and prototyped a connect anywhere “hospital-in-a-box” technology.

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Eric Hysen

Eric Hysen

Federal Leadership

Department of Homeland Security Chief Information Officer Eric Hysen spoke recently at FedTalks about the array of work he’s driving at the department. At the top of his priorities was a hiring spree as the agency looks to bring in further product management, customer experience and design expertise in support of the Biden administration’s recent customer experience executive order. Along with that, Hysen told FedScoop, because DHS interacts with more members of the American public than any other federal agency, it has really “embraced” the intent of the EO. “We’ve made this a top priority to modernize our services and improve those experiences.”

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La’Naia Jones

La’Naia Jones

Federal Leadership

La’Naia Jones was named the chief information officer of the CIA in March of 2022, a role in which she will have responsibility for the agency’s IT systems, as well as its global communications network. At FedTalks in August, Jones told FedScoop she will be able to build off her background in the intelligence community, as acting IC CIO and deputy CIO at the NSA, to boost the CIA’s IT modernization efforts. There are “three big things” she said she’s focused on in her role: the expanded focus on cybersecurity in everything the agency does; changing the culture and using technology as a transformative force multiplier; and promoting transparency.

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Wanda Jones-Heath

Wanda Jones-Heath

Federal Leadership

As the principal cyber adviser for the Department of the Air Force, Wanda Jones-Heath always has cyber on her mind. And a major part of that is bringing fresh, new cyber talent to the Air Force to support its expanding mission in cyberspace. “You need the people,” Jones-Heath said earlier this year. “The human piece will always be there … If you don’t have that human that understands what’s really going on, then you’re going to be behind the 8 ball when it comes to cybersecurity … I can’t do anything I want to do without that human interaction.”

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Bill LaPlante

Bill LaPlante

Federal Leadership

Bill LaPlante stepped into the role of undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment at a time when the Department of Defense has taken major strides in a number of critical arenas. Not only has his office served an important role in support of Ukraine and working with the defense industrial base to provide aid to the nation in its defense against Russia, but LaPlante’s acquisition and sustainment component has also been the driver for the Pentagon’s development and procurement of many critical advanced technologies, like hypersonics, unmanned vehicles, the technologies behind Joint All-Domain Command and Control, and much more.

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Michael Madsen

Michael Madsen

Federal Leadership

Michael Madsen is no stranger to federal leadership, having served as the deputy director and director of strategic engagement for the Defense Innovation Unit since 2018. But recently, he took that leadership to the next level, assuming the role of DIU’s acting director when Mike Brown, his former boss, stepped down in the early fall. Now, Madsen is helping lead the search for the next DIU director with Deputy Secretary of Defense Kathleen Hicks. At the same time, he remains focused on leading DIU’s mission of accelerating the adoption of commercial technology for defense and national security.

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Craig Martell

Craig Martell

Federal Leadership

Craig Martell is new to federal leadership, and he has a major task in front of him to unify the Department of Defense’s sprawling digital, data and artificial intelligence ecosystem under a single office — the Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office. Martell brings with him experience as the head of machine learning for Silicon Valley carshare company Lyft, and he has quickly decided that in his new role he wants to be deliberate in confronting the Department of Defense’s complex software development and implementation challenges as quickly and thoroughly as possible, as so much of what his office was created to do is built on that foundation of software.

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Karl Mathias

Karl Mathias

Federal Leadership

Karl Mathias joined the Department of Health and Human Services as its chief information officer in March, the eighth such person to take the role in the past seven years. Mathias brought with him to the role a deep background in senior federal IT leadership roles as CIO of the U.S. Marshals Service, and other senior IT roles at the Pentagon, including as deputy director of headquarters Air Force information management. In the early going, Mathias has been focused on departmentwide IT strategy and aligning the work of HHS’s many component CIOs, as well as boosting the department’s cybersecurity and recruiting talented technologists to serve at HHS.

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Dave McKeown

Dave McKeown

Federal Leadership

The Department of Defense’s networks and weapon systems are under daily attack. Dave McKeown, DOD chief information security officer, oversees the implementation of initiatives of the DOD’s cybersecurity initiatives — both for internal DOD networks and systems and for our industrial base partners (DIB). McKeown leads the delivery of the Cyberspace Maturity Model Certification (CMMC), is driving the more efficient and secure continuous Authority to Operate policy, and stood up the Zero Trust Portfolio Management Office to drive and synchronize Zero Trust implementation.

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André Mendes

André Mendes

Federal Leadership

Andre Mendes has been a beacon of leadership for the Department of Commerce since April of 2020, overseeing an IT budget of nearly $4 billion across the department and its bureaus. In August, going into the new fiscal year, Mendes shared his top priorities with FedScoop, which include the evolution and journey to zero-trust security, unifying the IT strategy of the bureaus across the department, and better recruiting and retaining IT talent to support this innovative work the department is focused on. With that latter point, in particular, Mendes said recently the shortage of cyber talent has created a sort of talent war within the federal government, where agencies often are forced to “poach” IT professionals from each other.

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Adele Merritt

Adele Merritt

Federal Leadership

Adele Merritt took on the critical role of chief information officer of the intelligence community in March. Really, it was a return for Merritt, who had held several leadership roles with intelligence agencies earlier in her career, including with the National Security Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and as acting senior director for intelligence programs on the National Security Council Staff at the White House during the Obama administration. As IC CIO, she is responsible for the ongoing modernization efforts to transform the IC Information Technology Enterprise, as well as the ongoing move to a multi-cloud environment under the multibillion-dollar Commercial Cloud Enterprise (C2E) contract.

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Danielle Metz

Danielle Metz

Federal Leadership

Danielle Metz has spent much of 2022 leading the charge in the Office of the Secretary of Defense to drive a digital enterprise transformation for all OSD components. Metz was recently named director of the Information Management and Technology directorate in OSD, working with the office’s new CIO Michael Donley to focus on “identifying and integrating IT requirements across Principal Staff Assistants, speaking with a unified voice in coordinating OSD IT requirements with the Joint Service Provider, and providing for regular cybersecurity and technology updates.” At CyberTalks in October, Metz said her biggest focus in the early going to establish that IT enterprise for OSD is developing a governance structure.

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Drew Myklegard

Drew Myklegard

Federal Leadership

After serving as executive director of product engineering at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Drew Myklegard got the call to serve as acting deputy federal CIO in early 2022, after joining the Office of the Federal CIO as associate deputy federal CIO a few months before that. Then just recently, the Office of Management and Budget made that role a permanent one for Myklegard. As deputy federal CIO, Myklegard has a wide-ranging portfolio of responsibilities, including high-level management and day-to-day oversight of the federal CIO’s strategic objectives, effectively acting as a chief of staff for the federal CIO, taking on the management of keystone projects and to an extent for managing relationships with service providers. 

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Paul Puckett

Paul Puckett

Federal Leadership

Paul Puckett, director of the Army’s Enterprise Cloud Management Agency since 2019, is an advocate for innovation in the Army, the Department of Defense, and the federal government. In 2022, his agency has made huge strides to support the Army’s enhanced adoption of cloud and plans to launch a new $1 billion cloud procurement. “We think ubiquitous and global access to compute and storage is really paramount for the amount of information we’re generating today in order for us to be able to get access to information, make sense of that information, and then make decisions at the speed of need when it comes to fighting and winning wars,” Puckett told DefenseScoop recently.

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Jane Rathbun

Jane Rathbun

Federal Leadership

As deputy assistant secretary for Navy information warfare & enterprise services and chief technology officer, Jane Rathbun serves as the point person on a more than $8 billion portfolio of “systems for information-centric capabilities, services, processes, and security, including Command and Control; Communications; Networks; Cloud; Cyber; Intelligence; Meteorology and Oceanography; Spectrum; Position, Navigation and Timing; Productivity; Logistics; Personal; Acquisition; Financial; and many other enterprise services,” per her bio. In particular, as CTO, she is responsible for driving the modernization of key elements of the Navy’s IT infrastructure, including the establishment of a unified network architecture, movement to a culture of enterprise cloud services and execution of zero-trust principles.

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Bobby Saxon

Bobby Saxon

Federal Leadership

As a senior IT leader with nearly 30 years in the federal government and other private sector technology roles, Bobby Saxon has served a variety of missions, most recently as the deputy CIO of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, supporting the agency’s ongoing IT modernization and cybersecurity efforts. Prior to that, he spent three years at the health care insurance agency as director of CMS’s Office of Emergency Preparedness & Response Operations, a role that was key during the agency’s early response to the coronavirus. He also spent time during his career serving the Army as assistant deputy CIO for operations and plans.

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Heid Shyu

Heid Shyu

Federal Leadership

As the Department of Defense’s undersecretary for research and engineering, Heidi Shyu essentially serves as the chief technology officer of the DOD. In this role, she has a long list of priorities for the department’s adoption of advanced and emerging technologies, including artificial intelligence, cybersecurity, hypersonics, next-generation telecommunications networks like 5G, microelectronics, network-of-network systems, quantum computing, and others. “Successful competition requires imagining our military capability as an ever-evolving collective, not a static inventory of weapons in development or sustainment,” Shyu said in early 2022.

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Renata Spinks

Renata Spinks

Federal Leadership

Renata Spinks is the foremost cybersecurity leader in the U.S. Marine Corps as the assistant director for IC4 and chief information security officer of the military service. Though cyber is her biggest focus, Spinks is a major advocate for the move to the cloud and enhanced data sharing, both of which she told FedScoop drive better cybersecurity outcomes. “It was so necessary to take a look at industry and see what kind of commercial opportunities do we have to migrate our data to the cloud,” she said in early 2022. “We took it from a perspective of security, but also there’s a fiscal area of focus where we were looking at efficient ways of spending funds…”

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Melissa Vice

Melissa Vice

Federal Leadership

Melissa Vice heads up the Vulnerability Disclosure Program in the Department of Defense’s Cyber Crime Center. The VDP in DC3, as it’s called, has had a banner year under Vice, successfully running the first bug bounty within the Department of Defense in which the department paid white hat hackers who reported flaws in the department’s public-facing systems. In total, the DOD paid out $75,000 in bounties recently to ethical hackers who discovered nearly 350 bugs inside its networks. On top of that, DC3, in partnership with HackerOne, also successfully concluded a yearlong Defense Industrial Base-Vulnerability Disclosure Program (DIB-VDP) Pilot in which it invited members of the defense industrial base to accept vulnerability disclosures on the public-facing systems.

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Eileen Vidrine

Eileen Vidrine

Federal Leadership

Eileen Vidrine is well known in the federal technology community for her leadership as chief data officer of the Air Force. But in January, she was tapped by the Federal CIO Clare Martorana to be her senior strategic adviser for data. “I was honored to be asked by our Federal CIO … to lead data innovation at a federal level,” Vidrine said on FedScoop’s Let’s Talk About IT podcast. “This is really an opportunity to leverage the lessons learned and the proven state-of-the-art practices of bringing together data experts with our functional leaders to drive what I call data insights into that decision-making process. Tactical to strategic, it’s all about the art of the possible and then scaling data-driven decisions across the federal government.”

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Raylene Yung

Raylene Yung

Federal Leadership

Raylene Yung has been tasked with leading the administration of the federal Technology Modernization Fund since the Biden administration in 2021 received a $1 billion injection for the program. Since then, the TMF has been rapidly awarding funds to agencies most in need of money to kickstart their modernization efforts. In fact, in May of this year, Yung testified before Congress that the TMF planned to grant the more than $750 million left in the fund’s reserves to agencies by the end of the year. And at the same time, the TMF is seeing surging demand. “In the past eight months, the TMF has received and reviewed more proposals and made more investments than in the previous three-and-a-half years combined,” Yung said then. Because of that unprecedented demand, “we have really had to kind of change the way that we operate. It’s a very different story to look through and carefully review 130 proposals and ensure that in the end, we’re being responsible stewards of taxpayer dollars.”

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Robert Carey

Robert Carey

Industry Leadership

Rob Carey, former Department of the Navy CIO and Department of Defense Principal Deputy CIO, leads the public sector team at Cloudera Government Solutions. Recognizing that digital transformation, cybersecurity and the hybrid data movement are of ultimate importance to accelerate objectives in the federal government, Carey uses his over three decades of federal experience to deliver solutions supporting federal agencies’ mission success. He supports Cloudera’s customers across the U.S. public sector by providing technology solutions and insights that allow the respective agencies to navigate data-driven challenges and work to meet mission-critical objectives.

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Carl De Groote

Carl De Groote

Industry Leadership

As Area VP for U.S. Federal at Cisco, Carl De Groote focuses on solving the most complex technology challenges facing federal agencies. Over the past year, Carl successfully implemented a new support software service for the DOD under the Joint Enterprise License Agreement (JELA) for Cisco Global Enterprise Modernization Software and Service (GEMMS), transforming how the department does business. Earlier this year, Carl participated in a fireside chat during FedScoop’s ITModTalks, where he shared insights on digital transformation. Carl was also named Leukemia & Lymphoma Society Person of the Year Advisor in 2021 and serves on the United Service Organizations board.

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Cameron Chehreh

Cameron Chehreh

Industry Leadership

Cameron Chehreh serves as a trusted advisor to the government helping it to modernize, digitally
transform and unlock the value of existing IT investments — all with a laser focus on the mission.
Chehreh and his team help their clients to reimagine their IT capabilities on-prem, off-prem, in
the cloud, and at the edge. He works closely with customers across civilian and defense
agencies to deliver a higher level of citizen service and keep ahead of near-peer adversaries.
Chehreh also serves as an evangelist for the importance of U.S.-based semiconductor
production and a resilient supply chain.

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Michael Cole

Michael Cole

Industry Leadership

Michael Cole, GDIT’s chief technology officer for the Federal Civilian Division, is driving transformative solutions for federal agencies on the path to modernizing their mission capabilities. Notably, Cole has spearheaded partnerships with emerging tech platforms to develop automated process and simulation capabilities that have strengthened agencies’ operating efficiency and improved overall customer experience. In the last year, he’s partnered with federal agencies to collaborate on future of work assessments to support their return-to-work strategic roadmaps. Cole manages a team of solution architects who are delivering workshops and services to government customers — powering digital innovation and enabling significant cost savings across the federal civilian space.

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Phil Fuster

Phil Fuster

Industry Leadership

As federal vice president for Proofpoint, Phil Fuster works tirelessly to provide federal agencies with mission-critical cybersecurity and modernize their network defense in line with the recent cybersecurity executive order. Fuster is a trusted advisor that understands federal priorities and the need for visibility across the threat landscape, driving with leadership that values three things: being intelligent, supportive, and kind. In particular, Fuster is a champion for Proofpoint’s people-centric approach to risk mitigation at scale.

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Nathan Jones

Nathan Jones

Industry Leadership

With over 25 years of experience in the government market, Nathan Jones drew on his expertise to launch TaxBit’s public sector business in 2022. In his first six months, Jones has already made a significant impact in expanding TaxBit’s government presence, nurturing contracts with the IRS, seeking a GSA schedule, and maximizing strategic partnerships with Huan Ventures and Deloitte. Jones and his team have quickly made waves in the public sector landscape, helping educate the systems integrators and financial agencies at the state/local and federal level on the intricacies of cryptocurrency, the Web3 market opportunity and the evolving regulatory landscape.

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Katy Mann

Katy Mann

Industry Leadership

Katy Mann, vice president of federal for Okta, is pioneering efforts to drive the adoption of zero trust, multi-factor authentication, and modern citizen services while securing the identities of 24+ million federal workers and citizens. In partnership with Mann’s Okta team, agencies are moving from processing paper and expensive legacy technologies to secure digital services aligned with the Biden administration’s customer experience and cybersecurity executive orders. Mann’s team is helping a DOD agency secure the identities of 5 million personnel through MFA and unifying 200+ applications in the cloud. Mann has also supported the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services in providing equitable healthcare access to vulnerable communities. Her team helped build the cloud-based Quality Payment Program; today, 15% of Medicare claims are submitted via Okta-enabled API.

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Lynn Martin

Lynn Martin

Industry Leadership

After spending the better part of a decade leading VMware’s expansion in the public sector space, Lynn Martin was recruited by Google to help stand up its new public sector organization. In her new role, she is responsible for Google Public Sector’s expanding partnerships with federal, state and local government and education organizations and helping drive digital transformation across those markets.

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Max Peterson

Max Peterson

Industry Leadership

Max Peterson last year stepped into the role of vice president of worldwide public sector for Amazon Web Services with more than 30 years of experience focused on providing cutting-edge technology solutions to the government, healthcare, education and nonprofit sector. During his tenure in this role, Peterson has helped lead AWS’s efforts to launch a healthcare accelerator and a health equity initiative, the cloud company’s advancement in the space sector, and the introduction of DoD Cloud Infrastructure as Code for AWS to “help defense mission owners build out secure and scalable cloud environments faster.” 

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Paul Tatum

Paul Tatum

Industry Leadership

Paul Tatum draws on his more than 25 years of experience to lead Salesforce’s solution engineering organization, personally advising his government customers as they prioritize digital transformation and cloud modernization initiatives. Tatum has helped shape technology roadmaps for every U.S. cabinet-level agency as they navigate complex, large-scale technology deployments needed to uplevel constituent services. His expertise and track record uniquely position him to advise CIOs across agencies, arming them with a five-year vision and enabling their continued digital transformation success. Prior to Salesforce, Tatum was at Oracle and Sun Microsystems, focused on DOD, Civilian, State & Local and Canadian Public Sector markets.

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Bryan Thomas

Bryan Thomas

Industry Leadership

With over 20 years at World Wide Technology, Bryan Thomas leads federal, state and local government, and education teams with clarity, direction and accountability to public service. Through Thomas’ visionary leadership, WWT’s Washington, D.C. Innovation Center has expanded to 22,000 square feet, connecting virtually to WWT’s unprecedented Advanced Technology Center, a proven high-value asset to help public sector agencies assure optimal suitability for mission requirements. Passionate about giving back, Thomas is deeply involved with several organizations, including the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, for which he raised more than $1.2 million in 2021 through the Man & Women of the Year campaign.

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Juliana Vida

Juliana Vida

Industry Leadership

A retired naval officer and CIO, Juliana Vida has seen the government’s technology challenges firsthand and uses her expertise to inspire customized solutions for agencies at Splunk. She provides consistently innovative and provocative thought leadership and opens the door for richer, art-of-the-possible discussions about a data-driven future. With first-hand familiarity with leaders’ data challenges, she encouraged modern, creative approaches leading to smarter solutions that better serve citizens. Always putting the government customer first, she projects authority and builds trust, inspiring new thinking on how advanced data gathering, analytics, and automation solutions can make a real difference to government missions.

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Rick Wagner

Rick Wagner

Industry Leadership

Rick Wagner’s intuition, insights and innovative mindset drive the ongoing delivery of Microsoft Federal’s greatest achievements. Led by Wagner, Microsoft Federal’s 3000+ team members have pushed the boundaries of computing with the launch of Azure Government Top Secret and Office 365 Secret enabling safe, secure, cloud-based solutions for mission-critical work. Public-private partnerships have flourished, ramping up security for the U.S. government cybersecurity executive order as well as bolstering Ukraine’s defense against Russia, among others. His leadership catapulted Microsoft Federal into outer space making it possible for astronauts to perform safety checks on space gloves after spacewalks with Azure Cognitive Vision.

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Zachary Whitman

Zachary Whitman

Most Inspiring Up & Comer

As Chief Data Officer at Census, Zachary Whitman has been sharing his vision to unlock the wealth of data about the nation’s population/economy through one of the government’s largest data portals in a modernized and easy-to-use way. He’s emphasized the importance of the user by grounding improvements in research and feedback from wide-ranging customer groups. The platform’s innovation continues through Whitman’s strategic plan to include features like customizable tables/map views, data visualizations, and solutions developments with open API. His focus on providing trustworthy public information has pushed our teams to consider Census data in ways that are exciting, and most importantly, usable.

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U.S. Digital Corps

U.S. Digital Corps

Innovation of the Year

The U.S. Digital Corps is an innovative new program bringing the next generation of federal tech and IT leaders into government, and is led by Chris Kuang, Caitlin Gandhi, and Masha Danilova, and housed at the General Services Administration. Launched in 2021, the program received over 1,000 applications from recent graduates across the country in just one week and just recently hired its first cohort of 40 fellows, who are majority women. The federal tech workforce has fewer than 5% of its employees under 30 — the Digital Corps fills this critical gap in the talent pipeline with the potential to scale.

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