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GITEC 2023 Emerging Technology Award NOMINATIONS

9:30 AM - 1:00 PM ET December 19, 2023
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Join us on Tuesday, December 19th, 2023 for our annual GITEC virtual award presentation event.  

This year’s awards will focus on recognizing Government teams and their initiatives that have made significant contributions in the advancement and implementation of technology innovations.



9:30 AM

Introduction and Welcome

John Sprague

John Sprague

GITEC Chair: IT Chief Engineer, NASA

Tom Suder

Tom Suder

CEO / Founder, ATARC

Kiersten Patton

Kiersten Patton

Performance Consultant, Dale Carnegie Institute - Tampa Bay


9:40 AM

Nominee Presentations

Chris Carrigan

Chris Carrigan

Program Manager COP-SA, U.S. Marine Corps

Nicole Gilbride

Nicole Gilbride

Chief Strategy Officer, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (invited)

Karen Howard

Karen Howard

Director, Office of Online Services, Internal Revenue Services

Nick Waytowich

Nick Waytowich

Human-Guided Machine Learning Branch Science Lead, Army Research Laboratory

James Saunders

James Saunders

Chief Information Security Officer, Office of Personnel Management

CWO3 Amanda Illg

CWO3 Amanda Illg

Defensive Cyber Warfare Officer, U.S. Marine Corps

Andrew Nielson

Andrew Nielson

Director, Government-wide IT Accessibility Program, Office of Government-wide Policy, General Services Adminstration

Lori Arnett

Lori Arnett

Associate Director for Digital Transformation for the Aerosciences Evaluation & Test Capabilities Portfolio, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Diana Logreira

Diana Logreira

Science Mission Directorate Lead Web Program Manager, National Aeronautics and Space Adminstration

Vanessa Ussin

Vanessa Ussin

Deputy Director, Office of IT Services, General Services Administration

Katie McCulloch

Katie McCulloch

Director, Business Integration Office, U.S. Department of the Interior

Deborah Stephens

Deborah Stephens

Deputy Chief Information Officer, U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (invited)

CDR Jonathan White

CDR Jonathan White

Cloud and Data Branch Chief, U.S. Coast Guard

Dr. Davis Cheng

Dr. Davis Cheng

FSIS Supervisor for Consumer Safety Inspection, U.S. Department of Agriculture

Alison Warner

Alison Warner

Management Analyst, Office of Information Technology, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Jeremy Gaston

Jeremy Gaston

Humans in Complex System Division Chief, Army Research Laboratory

Dr. Augie Turano

Dr. Augie Turano

Director Data Management, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Larry Smith

Larry Smith

Technical Director, SMC College of Distance Education & Training

Jeffrey Rhodes

Jeffrey Rhodes

Microsoft 365 Enterprise Specialist & Product Owner, U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Peter Lenentine

Peter Lenentine

Director of User Experience & Usability, General Services Administration

Bonnie Evangelista

Bonnie Evangelista

Tradewinds Execution Lead & Acquisitions Policy Director, Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office, U.S. Department of Defense

Kenny Lawhorn

Kenny Lawhorn

Program Division Director, Assisted Acquisition Services, General Services Administration

Jodi Kouts

Jodi Kouts

Senior Advisor for Policy, Office of the Chief Information Officer, U.S. Department of Energy

Kevin Cooper

Kevin Cooper

Content Manager Section Supervisor, U.S. Coast Guard

Shawn McCumber

Shawn McCumber

Enterprise Logging Warehouse Operations Manager, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

Himabindu Mandyam

Himabindu Mandyam

Office of Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Scott Lewis

Scott Lewis

Program Manager, Office of Regulatory Affairs, U.S. Food & Drug Administration, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Marianne Malizia

Marianne Malizia

Director, Diversity and Inclusion, U.S. Department of the Air Force

Jonathan Rogers

Jonathan Rogers

Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit, U.S. Department of Defense

Vanessa Ussin

Vanessa Ussin

Deputy Director, Office of IT Services, General Services Administration

Larry Smith

Larry Smith

Technical Director, USMC College of Distance Education Training

Phil Klokis

Phil Klokis

Associate Chief Information Officer, for Public Buildings IT Services, General Services Administration

Billy Annibell

Billy Annibell

IT Project Manager, U.S. Office of Personnel Management (invited)

Richard Nicholson

Richard Nicholson

Senior Advisor, Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Miranda Fanning

Miranda Fanning

Senior Program Analyst, Data Provisioning & Analysis Team, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Robert Simmons

Robert Simmons

NSERC Program Manager, Warfare Analysis and Digital Modeling Department, U.S. Department of Navy (invited)

Sarah Nelson

Sarah Nelson

Deputy Inspector General, Office of Innovation, U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Christopher Toney

Christopher Toney

Product Owner for Guardians Enabler Team, PEO IWS X, U.S. Department of Navy (invited)

Tommy Hargroves

Tommy Hargroves

IT Cybersecurity Specialist, I.S. Coast Guard

Bo Berlas

Bo Berlas

Chief Information Security Officer, General Services Administration

Craig Ritchings

Craig Ritchings

Finance Manager, U.S. Marine Corps

Award Categories and Nominated Teams

Jump directly to the category of your interest:

Workforce Innovation
IT Modernization
Diversity | Equity
Digital Experience
Category: Advancing Artificial Intelligence and Data Analytics

The following federal government teams were nominated for their demonstrable effort to promote AI technology and innovation in the federal government as a whole, and for their methods to increase efficiency and reduce cost using cutting-edge AI technologies.

Enterprise Logging Warehouse

Team Lead: Shawn McCumber, ELW Operations Manager, OIT, VA

Team Members: Lori Hawkins, Ashley Nanny, Tahna Banse, Ken Castro, Eugene Tai

Description: The ELW team successfully centralized logging by migrating Splunk to the VA Enterprise Cloud, improving VA security and system availability. With 170 critical systems contributing, ELW’s AI-driven approach proactively identifies issues, as seen in the analysis of 21,000 alerts by CSOC without high-priority incidents. ELW’s IT Service Intelligence boasts a 99.99% availability rate, facilitating AI-driven trend analysis for preventive actions. Collaborating closely with CSOC and ECO, ELW ensures crucial data availability for analysis and threat monitoring, fostering bi-directional partnerships crucial for VA system security and availability, including critical services like the Veterans Crisis Line.

 U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of the Inspector General

Team Lead: Miranda Fanning, Senior Program Analyst, Data Provisioning & Ad-hoc Analysis Team, HHS OIG

Team Members: Luke Steiner, James Morris, Chris Green, Chuck Dye, Haley Baldwin, Indu Kasandula, Ben Horton, Zoe Criley

Description: HHS OIG has significantly improved its ability to combat fraud, waste, and abuse with the Contracts & Grants Analytics Portal (CGAP). Used by over 700 OIG staff, CGAP streamlines access to funding data from 100+ programs, offering a comprehensive view of HHS grants and contracts without navigating multiple systems. Leveraging advanced technologies like text mining and neural networks, CGAP provides detailed insights into fund usage. With 14 integrated data sources, continuous enhancements, and an upcoming automated Single Audit pipeline, CGAP ensures frequent data updates. The OIG, in collaboration with Excella, prioritizes user feedback through an Agile development process, aiming to continually push the boundaries of CGAP’s capabilities.

Multi-level Security (MLS) and Data Federation Using Blockchain

Team Lead: Jonathan Rogers, Program Manager, Defense Innovation Unit

Team Members: DIU Cyber Portfolio (Jonathan, Andrew, Anthony, Luke, Tavis, Ben, Lynne, Johnson, Kate, Michael, Antonio, Charles); VIA Team (Colin); Navy Team (Justin, Rick, Michael)

Description: DIU, NIWC, and VIA Science are collaborating on a blockchain-centric solution to enhance military access to classified and unclassified information in contested environments. Shifting from a network-centric to a data-centric paradigm, the project focuses on building deployable, resilient systems by independently safeguarding digital assets. The prototype integrates open-source and commercial components on a blockchain platform, allowing fully-distributed, trustless data and execution models. The flexible software stack supports various deployments, ensuring rapid response and customization for mission needs. VIA Science’s collaboration has produced functional prototypes, showcasing capabilities like secure data sharing, resilient chain of custody, enhanced workflows with AI and blockchain, and secure data analysis and visualization. This aligns with the DoD’s commitment to agile approaches and open source, integrating with broader naval zero trust and identity initiatives.

  Human-Guided Machine Learning

Team Lead: Nick Waytowich, Human-Guided Machine Learning Branch Science Lead, Army Research Laboratory

Team Members: Vernon Lawhern, Ellen Novoseller, David Chhan, Garrett Warnell, Maggie Wigness; Brent Lance, Ronald (Matt) Holben, Mark Dennison, Joe Rexwinkle, Amar Marathe, Brandon Perelman, Dave Boothe, Kaleb McDowell

Description: ARL faces the challenge of integrating narrow AI into military decision-making. The nominees have pioneered transformative science, enabling rapid adaptation by involving humans in guiding machine intelligence. This breakthrough is crucial for complex Army scenarios, influencing over 10 future concepts and multiple Army Cross Functional Team products. Their innovations empower non-programming experts to improve AI behaviors and enhance conditions for effective human-AI partnerships. The cycle-of-learning approach addresses AI failures under constraints, providing quick solutions. Recognized by the National Academies, this vision fosters collaborative, cost-effective, and resilient human-AI partnerships, earning praise from the Army Future Command’s 4-star General as “good thinking.”

Acqbot: Advancing AI in DoD Contracting

Team Lead: Bonnie Evangelista, Tradewinds Execution Lead, CDAO, DOD

Description: Amidst the relentless demands of the contracting world, AcqBot, a pioneering AI prototype, is reducing inefficiencies in manual tasks, streamlining workflows, and enhancing accuracy. Developed in just 45 days, AcqBot has transformed a traditional procurement process, reducing labor input and time requirements significantly. Built on Large Language Models, including ChatGPT 3.5 and LLaMA 2, AcqBot leverages generative AI technology to quickly publish challenge opportunities to industry, increasing the procurement team’s velocity. The U.S. Air Force has invested in expanding Acqbot capabilities for FAR-based workflows, aiming to streamline contract management and improve monitoring and compliance. Additionally, the CDAO Responsible AI team is automating the RAI framework and toolkit, contributing to the development of a RAI toolkit on TradewindAI.com.

VA OIT Summit Data Platform

Team Lead: Joe D’Auria, Director, Data and Analytics, VA

Team Members: Phoebe Wong, Varoon Mathur, Michelle Clark, Manvendra Jhala

Description: The VA Office of Information Technology (OIT) Data & Analytics (D&A) team is dedicated to providing VA employees and leadership with curated data products for evidence-based decision-making. The Summit Data Platform (SDP), developed three years ago, centralizes data and analytics across the VA enterprise, supporting over 30 use cases, including Long COVID care and suicide prevention. To enhance scalability, the D&A team migrated from an on-prem data warehouse to a cloud data lakehouse architecture, overcoming challenges in user onboarding, mindset shift to cloud services, education, training, team organization, funding, and reporting. Despite these hurdles, the team successfully transitioned to a cloud-based platform, supporting federal security and privacy requirements. SDP facilitates the latest advancements in generative AI and Large Language Models (LLMs), benefiting various teams across the VA enterprise. With over 50 leveraging teams, SDP serves as the central Data and AI platform, recently introducing white glove teams to enhance user onboarding and improve overall customer experience.

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Category: Excellence in Cybersecurity

The following federal government teams were nominated for exemplifying excellence in government cybersecurity through contributions to programs that protect critical data and systems. The award will recognize a thought leader who has developed and operationalized innovative strategies or programs to address government cybersecurity challenges.

CISA / Cyber Cooperative

Team Lead: Richard M Nicholson, Senior Advisor, CISA

Team Members: Joshua Stankus, SLTT Outreach, JCDC

Description: The Cyber Cooperative, a collaborative initiative addressing critical cybersecurity challenges, has established seven working groups and is mentoring two more. With over 40 registered firms, the Zero Trust Laboratory facilitates scenario-based presentations. The Grants Coordination Working Group is fully operational, guiding small and medium-sized municipalities in IIJA application preparation. Collaborating with a Texas consortium, the exercise committee organizes nationwide experiential exercises. The Cyber Cooperative Leadership Team unifies cyber defense capabilities and capacities across participating organizations, fostering collaboration and engagement in Mission Area working groups. Engaging entities like NWIC Atlantic, Cyber USA, US Army Cyber Center of Excellence, CM CERT, and nineteen state Security Leaders Round Tables, the Cooperative amplifies its mission to build, maintain, and sustain a unified cyber defense.

The National Institute of Standards & Technology (NIST) Information Technology Laboratory (ITL) Team

Team Lead: Kevin Stine, Chief Cybersecurity Advisor, ITL, NIST

Team Members: Matt Scholl

Description: For over 50 years, ITL has been a cybersecurity trailblazer, establishing standards pivotal to safety, technological innovation, and mission success. Collaborating with academia, industry, and government agencies, ITL’s impact spans identity and access management, cryptography, risk management, education, outreach, automation, vulnerability management, and emerging technologies. The NIST Cybersecurity Framework empowers businesses of all sizes to manage and mitigate threats. ITL’s mission involves tracking trends, supply chain vulnerabilities, legislative changes, and investment needs in emerging tech domains like AI, IoT, Quantum Computing, Blockchain, and more. Collaborating with diverse stakeholders, including government, academia, and industry, ITL shapes guidelines and standards, influencing national security imperatives and revolutionizing daily life. The National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence, led by ITL, tackles real-world challenges, from data integrity to telehealth, driving impactful cybersecurity measures across federal, state, and local agencies, academic institutions, and industrial organizations.

USCG – Content Management Section Team

Team Lead: Kevin Cooper, Content Manager Section Supervisor, USCG

Team Members: Dennis Brakebill, Alex Ngo, Mitchel Frick, Anthony Bilderback, Benjamin Carroll

Description:  The Content Management Team, led by Mr. Kevin Cooper, plays a pivotal role in managing the Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager for the U.S. Coast Guard’s Enterprise Mission Platform. Comprising federal employees, active-duty officers, and contractors, the team ensures the integrity and security of server platforms and edge nodes, extending their efforts globally, from patching workstations nationwide to securing maritime electronic assets during patrols worldwide. Renowned for their dedication and technical expertise, the CMS team challenges the status quo in cybersecurity, exemplified by their innovative work with the Microsoft Endpoint Configuration Manager. This pioneering solution, enabling hyper-join capability for mobile device users, reflects visionary leadership, streamlining device management across platforms with agility and precision. The team’s collaborative excellence, demonstrated in bridging organizational and functional boundaries, showcases their commitment to partnership and unity within and outside the organization.

Office of Personnel Management Cybersecurity Team

Team Lead: James Saunders, CISO, OMB

Team Members: David Trzcinski, Ian Rodriguez, Valerie Kokal, Danielle Rowell, Rene Martinezá and entire OPM CISO team

Description: OPM’s Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO) places a paramount emphasis on cybersecurity, given its role in safeguarding sensitive personnel data of federal government employees and retirees. With a commitment to building trust and protecting citizen data, OPM has made significant strides in enhancing its security posture under James Saunders’ leadership. The team’s proactive approach involves cyber awareness training, updated processes, policies, and AI-driven cloud-based dashboards for real-time situational awareness. They’ve successfully addressed audit findings, improved resiliency scores, and fostered a cybersecurity culture across OPM. Recognized as a trusted partner, the cybersecurity team integrates security into OPM’s technology modernization efforts, incorporating secure cloud services, zero-trust architecture, and multifactor authentication. Their focus on user education and collaboration ensures enhanced protection for OPM’s customers and their data.

SASE Project – General Services Administration

Team Lead: Bo Berlas, CISO, GSA

Team Members: Parimala Rao; Bruce Teng, Chuck Pierce, John Latragna, Robert Longworth, Tim Rousset, Richard Valenzuela, Luther Deyo, Michael Domingos, William Salamon, Michael Lawlor, Toan Van, Mustafa Shahmalak, Ben Luu, Benjamin Peters, Denelle Agosto, Eddie Hawes, Eric Henry, Jia Fan, Jody Denner, Joseph Hoyt, Lachelle LeVan, Nate Ciano, Shaymi Adetayo, and Zaki Danesh

Description: GSA IT, under visionary leadership, implemented the SASE solution seamlessly with GSA’s Zero Trust Architecture, replacing VPNs to enhance user experience and reduce costs while significantly strengthening security for remote users. Achieving cost efficiencies, improved connectivity, and heightened security visibility, GSA’s transition to a Zero Trust Model aims to better protect assets and staff from external threats. This collaborative effort with industry partners, including a Protective DNS system, aligns with the broader Zero Trust Architecture transformation. GSA IT’s SASE Acquisition & Security Guide provides best practices for acquiring and configuring SASE solutions, contributing to a secure and accessible digital landscape for government agencies.

USMC Program Management Marine Corps Cyber Operations

Team Lead:CWO3 Amanda Illg, DCO SME, USMC PM MCCO

Team Members: Mr. Craig Ritchings, Mr. Chris Carrigan

Description: PM MCCO significantly enhanced USMC cybersecurity by deploying tactical DCO technologies, providing advanced analytics for critical networks. Their participation in a multi-national exercise demonstrated the deployment of a big data analytic DCO system, ensuring cybersecurity in real-world applications. Identifying cost-saving opportunities, PM MCCO leveraged an existing US Army Cyber program’s DCO tool, accelerating deployment and extending its reach to the tactical edge and the entire USMC community at no extra cost. The lightweight, big data analytic system prioritized data sources and streamlined log analysis, delivering higher-level insights for DCO analysts.

Department of Commerce Zero Trust Architecture Working Group Leadership Team

Team Lead: Ron Ringgold, Director, Office of Security Architecture Services, Department of Commerce

Team Members: Blair Heiserman, Bilal Baisa, Ejaz Zeb

Description: The co-chairs of the Department of Commerce (DOC) Zero Trust Architecture Working Group (ZTAWG), including Ronald Ringgold, Blair Heiserman, Bilal Baisa, and Ejaz Zeb, are leading the transformation of cybersecurity at DOC. They drafted a whole-of-Commerce approach to implement a Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) and created a Department ZTA Strategy and Roadmap. The co-chairs facilitated product evaluations and procured a whole-of-Commerce Identity Management System (IDMS), Zero Trust Network Architecture (ZTNA) solution, and soon a Data Security capability, reducing licensing fees for individual Bureaus. They implemented a “One Department” approach, identifying enterprise services, maximizing buying power, and leveraging economies of scale. The ZTAWG leadership promoted collaboration, communication, and shared use cases, working with CISA and GSA to streamline procurement.

Department of Energy Cyber PMO Team

Team Lead:Jodi Kouts, Senior Advisor for Policy, Office of the CIO, DOE

Team Members: Brad Lentz, Bryan Cesolini, Michael Gaume, Tara Mills, Stephanie Burkhardt

Description: The DOE Cyber PMO Team spearheaded the Department’s Zero Trust Architecture (ZTA) and Cloud strategies in response to EO 14028. They fostered a culture shift by involving components at all levels of the organization, promoting mission enablement over top-down directives. The team coordinated across the department, earning praise as a model for all DOE CIO programs. They established an OMB Max portal, streamlining information access and providing timelines that link policies, OMB Memos, and CISA guidance to breaches and vulnerabilities. The efforts resulted in a comprehensive plan for identity solutions. The team also championed the application of zero trust to operational technology, leading an interagency working group with over twenty partners and coordinating with CISA for DOE’s inclusion in a pilot for automated asset inventory technologies for operational technology, potentially reducing costs for agencies.

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Category: Advancing DevOps in Federal Space

The following federal government teams were nominated for their efforts and achievements in operating within the DevOps space and successfully overcoming cultural, organizational, and technology implementation challenges while adopting DevOps tools and methodologies to advance their agency mission.

Forge – U.S. Navy

Team Lead: Christopher A. Toney, Product Owner for Guardians Enabler Team, PEO IWS X

Description: The US Navy prioritizes delivering combat capabilities swiftly, embracing the Integrated Combat System architecture with DevSecOps principles. Christopher Toney led initiatives for a classified development environment, excelling as the government product owner for the Guardians enabler team in the US Navy’s Forge software factory. His leadership over Forge’s IT operations, cybersecurity, security, and a classified lab space in Riverdale, Maryland, enabled the Guardians team’s success. Toney’s ingenuity surfaced when facing challenges, such as a licensing issue threatening lab accreditation. His rapid response repurposed unclassified servers, maintaining capability, schedule, and reducing costs. Toney addressed cultural barriers through effective communication with leadership, creating a digital dashboard for accreditation steps and progress tracking. Proactive engagement with external agencies streamlined processes and prevented schedule delays, showcasing his strategic leadership.

Marine Forces Cyber Command and Marine Forces Systems Command

Team Lead: Chris Carrigan, PM Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations, US Marine Corps

Team Members: Craig Ritchings and CWO3 Amanda Illg

Description: The Marine Corps Cyberspace Operations team has been at the forefront of innovation, enhancing support for the warfighter. Notably, they utilized analytics on the Secret network to swiftly detect and respond to malware globally. The introduction of a DevSecOps pipeline, involving experts from various companies, streamlined the delivery of innovations, such as malware analysis, to production cyber platforms.

A key initiative is the implementation of the Lower Echelon Analytics Platform (LEAP) Tactical (LTAC), leveraging Kubernetes for a rapid deployment pipeline. LTAC brings AI algorithms to the tactical edge, significantly improving the DoD Joint Force’s cybersecurity posture against advanced adversaries.

Under LTAC, the team actively participated in the Boldquest Island Marauder Joint Interoperability Event, collaborating seamlessly across the Joint Force to counter cyber threats. This initiative led to the creation of a community of innovators within the Marine Corps, aligning with Joint research and development efforts across the DoD. Their DevSecOps solution deployed on SIPRNet efficiently shared data among different organizations, enhancing the Marine Corps’ analytical capabilities.

NASA Aerosciences Evaluation & Test Capabilities Digital Transformation Team

Team Lead: Lori Arnett, Associate Director for Digital Transformation for the Aerosciences Evaluation & Test Capabilities Portfolio, NASA

Team Members: Erik Lopez, Rachael Smith, Mark Archual, Francis Finnegan, Bruce Krogman, Radhika Patel, John Lorenzini, Miles Haggerty, and Richard Flores

Description: NASA’s Aerosciences Evaluation & Test Capabilities team strategically manages critical wind tunnel facilities, enabling trusted reusability of test data for missions like Artemis and Mars Sample Return. Their cloud-based real-time data application in the DevOps platform unifies wind tunnel data, fostering collaboration, and improving decision-making. This innovation reduces reporting requirements, eliminates redundancy, and establishes a standardized system, laying a foundation for further advancement. The Data Application platform, guided by the mantra “Think Big, Start Small, Act Fast!”, enhances operational efficiency through incremental, use-case based development. DevOps ensures swift data integration and visualization, fostering org-wide synchronization and recognition from other NASA infrastructure orgs. Collaboration with internal stakeholders, external partners, and vendors ensures interoperability, driving enterprise-level requirements. Ongoing development involves a diverse cadre of university interns, showcasing their commitment to innovation and excellence.

High Efficiency Rapid Modernization Network (HERMN)

Team Lead: Tommy Hargroves, IT Cybersecurity Specialist, USCG

Team Members: Dan Delaney, LT John Beacham

Description: In the U.S. Coast Guard’s Software Modernization initiative, a key contributor led the design and implementation of the organization’s first Software Factory. This expert in DevSecOps and containerized services addressed IT service delays, technical errors, and cyber-security vulnerabilities in critical applications. They introduced Agile practices and modern technologies, fostering a cultural shift toward contemporary IT management processes. Their efforts streamlined processes, eliminated bureaucracy, and ensured the success of the Coast Guard’s Software Factory.

IRS CI/CD & Enterprise Automated Deployment Teams / Ansible Integration & Onboarding project

Team Lead: Anthony Evans, Enterprise Automated Deployment IT Specialist, Internal Revenue Service

Team Members: Amin Qazi, Tania Williams, Victor Markuski, Edward Greenhorn, Reid Lindsey, Randy Collins

Description: The Enterprise Automated Deployment team initiated the Ansible Integration Platform solution for on-prem deployments, successfully onboarding 155 project teams in 17 months. The integration included transitioning from KISAM to ServiceNow, streamlining deployments, and automating processes, leading to the retirement of a legacy system. The team creatively adjusted its approach mid-rollout, using Microsoft Teams for engagement and tracking, and implementing standardized templates for faster Ansible playbook creation. Anthony Evans facilitated collaboration among various stakeholder groups, ensuring a successful and comprehensive project outcome.

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Category: Digital Experience

The following federal government teams were nominated for promoting exceptional citizen service experiences through the use of digital technology. They have implemented best practices to radically improve the experience of government and pushed the boundaries to build customer-centric human connections in our digital world.

Department of Online Services, Internal Revenue Service

Team Lead: Karen S Howard, Director of Office of Online Services, IRS

Team Members: April Harding, John Pekarik,  Jose Vejarano, John Lyons, Howard Zach, Shalene Bauss, Laraine Cheung, Shelia Eason

Description: The Office of Online Services (OLS) at the IRS has been a pivotal force in enhancing the citizen service experience through innovative digital applications on IRS.gov. OLS, a small yet impactful team, is dedicated to providing user-friendly, secure, and efficient tools to simplify taxpayer interactions with the IRS. They have successfully implemented solutions like Online Accounts, Tax Withholding Estimator, Where’s My Refund, Two-Way Digital Communication tools, e-File, and Chatbots. OLS has played a crucial role in transitioning from a waterfall product development environment to modernizing systems for Agile application development, resulting in faster iteration and release of new products. Their focus on user experience and collaboration across operating divisions demonstrates a commitment to building lasting trust and confidence in the IRS and government.

Marine Core Installations Command G6 – San Diego Recruit Depot

Team Lead: Cletis Henderson, Communications Support Division Supervisor, USMC MCRD G6

Team Members: Steven Busby

Description: Cletis Henderson, Steve Busby, and the USMC base G6 team successfully engineered and deployed passive optical networking (PON) technology, replacing traditional Ethernet switch architectures. This innovative solution streamlined network operations, enhanced security, and achieved significant cost savings. As the first USMC location to deploy PON technology, the project demonstrated a total cost of ownership savings of 20-50%, CAPEX savings of 30-50%, and a $258K cost reduction compared to Ethernet devices. The outcomes and best practices of this project are being shared with other USMC and Navy organizations, contributing to future network upgrades at different locations.

Unemployment Insurance ID Verification Program

Team Lead: Lesley Sheffield, Senior IT Project Manager, U.S. Department of Labor

Description: The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) addresses the challenges of unemployment insurance (UI) applicants by implementing the UI ID Verification Program. In collaboration with GSA and USPS, the program offers a unified solution for claimants, combining digital access through GSA’s Login.gov and in-person services at USPS locations. Currently active in four states, with 15 more in implementation, the program has served 28,000 claimants. DOL prioritizes user-friendly interfaces, extensive testing, and collaboration with states, GSA, and USPS. The state-centric design minimizes infrastructure costs for states, fosters trust, and ensures quick deployment, as seen in Hawaii after the 2023 wildfires.

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Category: Workforce Innovation

The following federal government teams were nominated for their outstanding achievement in advancing re-skilling, up-skilling and change management among federal workforce to prepare employees for future work, while aligning improved productivity with employee retention and satisfaction.

Marine Forces Systems Command / Archimedes Project

Team Lead: Mr. Craig Ritchings, Finance Manager, US Marine Corps

Team Members: CWO3 Illg, Scott Hayes, Max Montague, Chris Benney, Joe Dean, CWO Katzman

Description: Craig Ritchings has played a pivotal role in workforce innovation within the Marine Corps, focusing on talent acquisition, training, and process enhancement for workforce efficiencies. Under his leadership, the Marines have prioritized bringing in new talent and upskilling existing personnel, particularly in cyber operations. Notably, the Persistent Cyber Training Environment (PCTE) initiative, spearheaded by Mr. Ritchings, allows Marines worldwide to train with real-world scenarios and tools, addressing gaps during job transitions or clearance processes. Hundreds of Marines have benefited from PCTE’s realistic training, providing a positive and lasting impact on their skills and readiness. Mr. Ritchings has navigated organizational challenges, fostering collaboration with the Army and USCYBERCOM to integrate and improve the PCTE platform for the benefit of Marine cyber professionals. His leadership showcases a commitment to transformative training methods and continuous skill development.

FSIS Philadelphia District New Windsor Circuit Supervisory Team

Team Lead: Dr. Davis W. Cheng, FSIS Supervisor for Consumer Safety Inspection

Description: Within our USDA workplaces, we have successfully developed and implemented several pivotal innovations aimed at enhancing the performance of Inspection Program Personnel (IPP) and advancing foodborne disease regulation, consumer safety inspection, and team management:

  • PHIS Task Performance System: Introduced a standardized PHIS patching system featuring 21 task formats for IPP to meticulously record and save PHIS task performance, enhancing working accuracy and efficiency. This innovation also augments supervisor monitoring, especially during patrols. Official implementation of this system will depend on the Agency’ decision in the future.
  • Periodic Monitoring System: Implemented a robust data analytics system dedicated to tracking employee performance and effectively managing pathogen risks. This ensures the timely completion of tasks outlined in the PHIS, resulting in an impressive task completion rate of 98.89%.
  • In-Plant Salmonella Response Plan: Pioneered a proactive plan addressing historical and current Salmonella categorization issues in the fields. This plan enables the early control of potential pathogen contaminations, mitigating the spread of diseases.

Innovative Practices:

  • Standardized PHIS Task Formats: Developed and applied 21 standardized PHIS task patching formats, addressing existing gaps in the system, and enhancing monitoring capabilities.
  • Data Analytics for Risk Management: Formulated a system for analyzing employee performance and identifying pathogen risks, fortifying disease prevention efforts.
  • Salmonella Spreading Patterns Monitoring: Implemented advanced data modeling to monitor Salmonella spreading patterns and outbreak scopes, enabling proactive responses to potential issues.
  • Improved Work Ethic and Collaboration: These innovations have successfully addressed job performance issues, resulting in a substantial increase in IPP’s work productivity and efficiency. Furthermore, they have fostered an improved work ethic and collaboration within the team.

Team Lead: Larry Smith, Technical Director at USMC College of Distance Education & Training

Team Members: Flora Stone, Erika Jacobs, Sean Rugge, Kristen Stringer, Taryn Lane, Teresa Valcourt, Capt. Jamal Campbell

Description: The MarineNet e-learning platform underwent a comprehensive overhaul led by Larry Smith during his 15-year tenure with USMC CDET.

Key Improvements:

  • MarineNet, initially facing limitations, was transformed to provide a single integrated e-learning platform for over 300,000 Marines globally.
  • The revamped platform facilitated more than 6,000 virtual meetings and training sessions.
  • New features included capabilities for live online training, collaborative digital document tools, and support for user-generated training videos.
  • The initiative resulted in a notable 38% reduction in the annual cost of e-learning per user.
EUS Wellness Campaign

Team Lead: Alison Warner, Management Analyst, EUS CoS, OIT

Team Members: Renee McDonald & EUS CoS Team

Description:  The EUS Wellness Campaign by the End User Services (EUS), OIT, is a multi-faceted initiative promoting employee well-being. Quarterly wellness series, workforce upskilling initiatives, and IT certification programs have engaged over 1,200 employees. Notable successes include a top-three ranking for wellness-focused initiatives, featuring uplifting communications, a Wellness Wall, and innovative Dance Parties with a 47% reported positive impact on well-being. The program’s breadth, including 29 Wellness Wednesday tips, 23 Feel Good Friday Messages, and collaborative efforts, has contributed to a remarkable 99% retention rate. Training initiatives, focusing on diversity and inclusivity, resulted in decreased reports of discrimination. Partnerships with experts from Franklin Covey and the Rocky Mountain MIRECC Suicide Risk Management Consultation Program have delivered impactful sessions, attended by hundreds, on Unconscious Bias and prevention/postvention. Lastly, EUS CoS’s collaboration with ORMDI provides external coaching for maintaining a healthy and inclusive workplace, fostering employee success.

Human-Intelligent Systems Skill Development

Team Lead: Jeremy Gaston, Humans in Complex System Division Chief, Army Research Laboratory (ARL)

Team Members: Army Research Institute: Jay Goodwin; ARL: Kaleb McDowell, Nick Waytowich, Vernon Lawhern, Jeff Westrich, Dave Hairston, Javi Garcia, Dave Boothe, Reggie Hobbs, Adrienne Raglin, Eric Holder, Brandon Perelman, Amar Marathe

Description: EUS, OIT’s Wellness Campaign prioritizes employee health through diverse initiatives. This includes a successful quarterly wellness series with over 1,200 attendees, covering topics like Employee Whole Health and Conflict Resolution. EUS’s commitment to well-being has positively impacted mission-critical services, evident in increased attendance, engagement, and positive survey results. The program extends to workforce upskilling with career pathing and IT certification programs. Noteworthy initiatives by EUS CoS, such as uplifting communications, a Wellness Wall, and innovative Dance Parties, rank among the top three with a 47% reported positive impact on employee well-being. Training sessions on diversity and inclusivity have led to a decrease in reported discrimination. Collaborations with Franklin Covey and Rocky Mountain MIRECC aim to address Unconscious Bias and provide prevention/postvention training. EUS CoS further supports employees through external coaching from ORMDI, emphasizing a healthy and inclusive workplace.

Infrastructure Operations/Customer Success

Team Lead: Ryan Woodward, Chief of Operations, Infrastructure Operations, Department of Veterans Affairs

Team Members: Kendall Krebs

Description: Ryan Woodward, Chief of Operations at the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Infrastructure Operations (IO), initiated a Customer Success division to elevate the customer experience. This involved hiring a Customer Success Director and creating a dedicated unit for efficient IT system delivery. Ryan developed a Customer Success Playbook for “The Wayfinders” team, enhancing solutions for customers.

His strategic moves extended to setting up the IO Strategic Communication team, introducing proactive measures like ticket tracking dashboards and daily operational reports for improved information sharing.

Ryan’s Customer Success unit collaborated with external partners for specialized programs, making the workforce agile. The initiatives, including the Playbook and “The Wayfinders” team, increased customer satisfaction and established a robust customer-centric framework. The IO Strategic Communication team, with agile methods, streamlined processes, fostered trust, and transparency among teams, addressing inter-organizational communication challenges.

OPM Technology Showcase

Team Lead: Jeffrey Rhodes, Microsoft 365 Enterprise Specialist & Product Owner, U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Team Members: Theresa Simonds, Stephanie Hubka, James Saunders, Joe Powers, Desmond Solomon, Emily Geary, Ted Kaouk, Al Himler, Angela Champion, Monica Breidenbach and Melvin Brown

Description: The OPM OCIO’s Tech Showcase, held biannually in June and December, serves as a proactive response to the rapid changes in technology and work dynamics, exacerbated by the global pandemic. This one-hour virtual event, attended by nearly 550 participants in the latest session, highlights recent technology deployments and outlines the roadmap for the next six months. The showcase embodies the OCIO’s mission to lead with innovative digital solutions, fostering a tech-savvy environment within OPM. The event features presentations and demonstrations by experts from various OPM departments, with a focus on explaining not only “what” technology is deployed but also the “why” and “how.” The showcase encourages creativity and innovation, as seen in the example of the OneNote presentation, which unveiled previously untapped productivity potentials for OPM team members. Attendees praised the event’s ability to connect the entire organization, providing valuable insights into the latest and most innovative technologies OPM has to offer. The collaborative effort between the OCIO and different departments ensures that the showcase serves as a platform for sharing and recognizing the impactful work being done across the agency, making it a tremendous value for all of OPM.

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Category: Information Technology Modernization 

The following federal government teams were nominated to will celebrate initiatives that enable agencies to better deliver their services to the American public. This federal government team has embarked on an IT-related modernization endeavor in pursuit of improved efficiency, increased digitization, streamlined processes, reduced operational costs, and other gains to the benefit of the nation.

 Naval Systems Engineering Resource Center (NSERC) Team

Team Lead: Robert “Bob” T. Simmons, NSERC Program Manager, Warfare Analysis and Digital Modeling Department (M), NSWCDD

Team Members: Ian D. Anderson; John A. Andaya, Braden; LaVona T. Burnett; Courtney N. Carey; Stefano C. Coronado; Ceasar P. Falotico; JoHannah L. Felty; James M. Graves; Michael S. Indseth; Robert C. Morris; Heather A. Thompson; Jeffrey S. Thoren; Brandon W. Valade; Richard P. Weedon

Description: The Naval Systems Engineering Resource Center (NSERC) has played a crucial role in providing collaborative engineering services to US Navy research organizations since 2001. Focusing on aligning products with mission teams’ needs, NSERC achieved significant milestones: obtaining full accreditation for the NSERC Secret Internet Protocol Router Network (SIPR) Authority to Operate (ATO) package, migrating IL4/5 environment to the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) cloud, and implementing a Cross Domain Solution from IL4/5 to IL6. NSERC supports over 150 Service Level Agreements, managing more than 70 application instances for over 20,000 users. Their success in achieving ATO and cloud migration showcases a commitment to efficient, modern solutions.

Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General, Office of Innovation Project Tracking Dashboard (PTD)

Team Lead: Sarah Nelson, Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General Deputy Inspector General for Innovation

Team Members:  Sandra Parsons, Scott Johnson

Description: The Department of Homeland Security Office of Inspector General (OIG) faced challenges in consistently tracking and reporting project status, leading to variability and limited leadership oversight. To address this, OIG established benchmarks for each project stage and developed the Project Tracking Dashboard (PTD). This automated dashboard provides on-demand, accurate project data, offering leaders a unified view with clarity and consistency. PTD eliminated manual processes, increased transparency, and ensured data accuracy. The innovative approach of PTD has set a new standard in the federal Inspector General community, promoting consistent measurements and improving oversight capabilities across OIGs.

NOAA Office of Law Enforcement

Team Lead:Robert Hogan, Enforcement Attorney, NOAA General Counsel Enforcement Section

Team Members: Elton Edinborough, Robyn Holloway, Sean Stanley, Charles Green

Description: The NOAA Enforcement Information System (NEIS) has significantly enhanced law enforcement operations, providing a unified and efficient platform for the Office of Law Enforcement (OLE) and the Office of General Counsel Enforcement Section (GCES). Leveraging a low-code approach and open architecture, NEIS integrates with external systems like Google Drive and eCFR, surpassing its predecessor in capabilities. Agile methodologies and continuous iteration ensured user expectations were met, resulting in high adoption rates. The collaboration between NOAA OLE, GC, Nuvitek, and the Network Team, supported by NOAA OCIO, played a crucial role in the project’s success, delivering a highly functional application within a tight timeframe of 11 months.

NASA Science Mission Directorate

Team Lead:  Diana Logreira, Science Mission Directorate Lead Web Program Manager, NASA

Team Members: Dana Bolles, External IT Lead Science Engagement & Partnerships Division, NASA Science Mission Directorate

Description:  NASA’s Science Mission Directorate (SMD) initiated a transformative digital modernization in September 2022, creating the world’s largest Digital Asset Management (DAM) platform. With a capacity of over 500 terabytes, it optimizes content management, significantly boosting public engagement and contributing to a $71.2 billion economic impact in 2022. Empowering 2,000 designers, the DAM platform enables instant access to all Science assets, facilitating efficient content creation. This streamlined solution addresses the challenge of managing daily content production, translating complex scientific topics into engaging stories for diverse digital platforms. NASA SMD’s DAM Platform stands as a beacon of digital innovation and deserves recognition for its exceptional impact on science communication and public awareness.

FAS GWAC/Professional Services IT Modernization Team

Team Lead: Vanessa Ussin, Deputy Director – Office of IT Services, General Services Administration (GSA)

Team Members: Deirdre White-Randall, Anjanette Alvarado, Douglas Powell, Bart Bates, Kristi Irvin, Nichol West, Kimberly Schumacher, Rama Pavuloori

Description: The GSA FAS GWAC & PSHC IT Modernization Team successfully completed a multi-year migration initiative aligned with GSA’s cloud strategy. They consolidated legacy reports, adopting Agile development to deploy 32 modernized reports. This provides real-time access to GWAC/PSHC contract data, optimizing Category Management and ensuring compliance. Embracing a DevOps culture, the team accelerated delivery, reduced costs, and increased reporting confidence to the Office of Management and Budget. Intra-agency collaboration addressed project dependencies, ensuring on-schedule completion. This positions GSA to deliver effective and efficient government services.

Homeland Enterprise Information Technology Secure Services and Support (HEITS) Integrated Project Team

Team Lead: Kenny Lawhorn, Program Division Director, Assisted Acquisition Services, General Services Administration

Team Members: Brendan McDonough, Michelle Worthy, Troy Williams, Howard Grizzle, Tim Eicher, Chris Youngquist, Aaron Sannutti, Laurel Smith, TJ Chen, Jasmine Sayles

Description: HEITS provides program management, operations, maintenance, and cloud computing services, leveraging quantum computing and advanced technologies. Aligning with national cybersecurity priorities, HEITS addresses the migration to quantum-resistant cryptography, ensuring DHS remains current on technology and associated risks. The project actively engages stakeholders for feedback, maintaining network integrity, and pursuing cost-effective solutions for the DHS mission.

NASA Aerosciences Evaluation & Test Capabilities Digital Transformation Team

Team Lead: Lori Arnett, Associate Director for Digital Transformation for the Aerosciences Evaluation & Test Capabilities Portfolio, NASA

Team Members:Erik Lopez, Rachael Smith, Mark Archual, Francis Finnegan, Bruce Krogman, Radhika Patel, John Lorenzini, Miles Haggerty, and Richard Flores

Description: NASA’s Aerosciences Evaluation & Test Capabilities strategically manages critical wind tunnel test facilities, providing terabytes of data for key missions. Their innovative plan ensures trusted data reusability, fostering unparalleled innovation. A cloud-based real-time data application unifies wind tunnel data, enabling near real-time visualization and actionable insights. The Python-built application streamlines operations, overcoming a siloed culture and modernizing legacy assets up to 80 years old. Leveraging an intern program to access diverse skills, the team transforms into a center of excellence for data and analytics, collaborating closely with internal stakeholders, NASA partners, and vendors. This collaborative approach ensures interoperability and meets Enterprise-level requirements, showcasing a blend of strategic resource management and technological innovation. The project stands as a testament to efficiency, innovation, and excellence in data management at NASA.

U.S. Department of the Interior, Business Integration Office (BIO)

Team Lead: Katie McCulloch, Director, Business Integration Office, U.S. Department of the Interior

Team Members: Kim Fix, Randy Albert, Kim Rose, Dawn Weismantel, John Hawkins, Rakesh Kuruba, Kasey Betts, Bill Salzmann, Farrakh Raja

Description: The Business Integration Office (BIO) oversees the Department of Interior’s (DOI) Enterprise Resource Planning solution (FBMS), crucial to DOI’s mission. Recognizing the inefficiencies in manual contract closeouts, the BIO introduced Robotic Process Automation (RPA) with “Bob The Closer.” Bob has automated 36,435 contract closeouts across DOI bureaus, equivalent to over 17 person years. The cost avoidance, calculated at $2,044,732.20, showcases the tangible value brought by this RPA solution.

Initially focused on small contracts, Bob’s role expanded to creating draft de-obligations, facilitating the redirection of unspent funds, totaling in the hundreds of millions. This innovative use of technology ensures more efficient taxpayer dollar utilization and enables funding for previously unavailable programs. Bob’s success has spurred creativity and collaboration across DOI, inspiring other offices to explore RPA solutions. Additionally, DOI addressed the challenge of disseminating assistance listings with the PAL Bot, significantly improving data collection efficiency and realizing cost avoidance equivalent to nearly one full-time employee per year. These RPA implementations mark a transformative step towards enhanced efficiency, resource utilization, and collaboration within DOI.

VA Wide Clinical Notes NLP to Aid Clinicians with Treatment (Voogle)

Team Lead: Dr. Augie Turano, Ph.D. Director Data Management, VA

Team Members: Dr. David Eibling MD, John Baumbauer, Ryan Sands, Leslie DeYoung, Dave Earnshaw, Matthew Fegley

Description: Voogle is a web-based application designed to revolutionize VA healthcare by providing a patient-centric approach to information retrieval. Overcoming the limitations of the site-centric VA EHR, Voogle allows clinicians to efficiently search through 5 billion clinical notes and structured data domains across all 130 VA facilities. Powered by advanced text analytics and a novel infrastructure tool (VX130), it processes 25 million records per minute, offering instant access to patient data.

Voogle addresses challenges posed by the daily generation of 1.5 million clinical notes and the fragmented nature of VA’s 130 EHRs. It streamlines chart reviews, treatment searches, and diagnostics, alleviating information overload challenges. Voogle exposes “dark data,” providing timely insights that would otherwise be inaccessible. This application transforms the approach to patient care across various clinical disciplines in VA Medical Centers, facilitating quick access to patient information and allowing providers to focus on treatment rather than navigating disparate EHRs.

  IP – OASIS Project, GSA

Team Lead: Phil Klokis, Associate CIO for Public Buildings IT Services, GSA

Team Members: Christopher Naya, Monique Hubartt, David Thomas, Erika Bunkley, John Albrecht, Katie Jaworski, Krystle Webster, Bernie Ellsworth, Liesl Heeter, Long Nguyen, Mike Wynn, Nancy Tentzeras, Horatio McDowney, Paul Butler, George Fouts, Umesh Patel, Lashawn Kendrick, Yuk Wong-Chiu, Lin Thomas, Jackie Jenkins

Description: The Public Buildings Service’s Office of Portfolio Management and Customer Engagement (PMACE) collaborated with GSA IT to launch the Occupancy Agreement & Space Inventory System (OASIS). This flagship system replaces five legacy systems, offering a comprehensive solution for managing occupancy agreements, building inventory, rent bills, spatial data, and more.

OASIS, a SaaS solution aligned with federal cloud strategies, sets a new standard for PBS modernization efforts. The project, spanning several years, involved iterative development, testing, and training to successfully manage over 19,000 Occupancy Agreements, totaling more than $10 billion in annual revenue. OASIS integrates various GSA offices and customer agencies through an Integrated Product Team (IPT) and a unified reporting platform/dashboard, fostering collaboration and transparency in occupancy management. The successful launch marks a fundamental shift in agency coordination and establishes OASIS as a model for future modernization efforts within GSA.

FBI Mobility Program Office

Team Lead: David Waters, Unit Chief, FBI

Team Members: Peter Alex, Lionel Walker, Calvin Seldon, Carole Washington, Ron Huda

Description: David Waters has led a highly successful team in delivering Mobile solutions. The FBI MPO team promoted, implemented, and deployed 36,000+ Google Pixel 7 devices, making the FBI one of the largest single users of Google smartphones while enabling additional features within the Android Enterprise environment. The enablement of Android Enterprise has helped innovate additional tools that promote enhanced legal and security features. One of these features that the team has helped innovate and enable 3rd Eye Technologies Mystic Text Message Archival solution which is now implemented throughout various federal agencies. These modernization tools have major implications on operational missions which improve on the mission services and results while keeping the FBI in compliance with federal standards. These efforts significantly contribute to continual innovation into the future of mobility services and products.

OPM Carrier Connect

Team Lead: Billy Annibell, IT Project Manager, U.S. Office of Personnel Management

Team Members:  OCIO IT PMO Team, HI Product Team, including Song Hia, Michelle Chronister, Sylvia Pulley, Laura Lynch, Kris Goas, Nicky McKinnon, Bryant Hennessy, Janet Miller, Farrukh Sheikh

Description: Carrier Connect, an innovative cloud-based platform developed by OPM, supports the Postal Service Health Benefits (PSHB) Program within the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program. Launched on time and under budget, Carrier Connect streamlines processes for benefit providers participating in PSHB. So far, 36 carriers have expressed interest, showcasing its appeal.

Built on the Power Platform, Carrier Connect serves as the central system of record between OPM and health insurance carriers. It automates proposal submissions, contract negotiations, and data exchange, supporting annual benefit and rate contract discussions. The system generates 508-conformant HTML brochures, collects data, and provides real-time performance indicators through a data dashboard.

Developed using the Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe), Carrier Connect exemplifies effective collaboration among disparate OPM teams. This successful partnership between OPM OCIO and Healthcare & Insurance (HI) sets the foundation for the long-term success of the PSHB program, with Carrier Connect marking a positive step forward in this transformative initiative.

Department of Veterans Affairs, Office of Information and Technology/Software Factory Model

Team Lead: Nicole Gilbride, Chief Strategy Officer, Office of Information and Technology, Department of Veterans Affairs

Team Members: Kim Pugh, Cory Trimm, Jeff Burke, Kendall Krebs

Description: The Software Factory Model (SWF) at the Department of Veterans Affairs, led by the Office of Information Technology (OIT), is driving transformative advancements in technology with a focus on efficiency and innovation. SWF introduces a centralized intake process, ensuring timely service delivery while cutting operational costs. Notable achievements include successfully integrating SaaS, PaaS, and Custom solutions to streamline operations and reduce technical debt.

SWF’s innovative practices, such as embracing emerging technologies and fostering internal and external partnerships, simplify software delivery processes and yield positive impacts like increased developer satisfaction and decreased technical debt. The model’s commitment to continual evolution keeps VA at the forefront of technological innovation in service to Veterans. SWF’s collaborative spirit, addressing current challenges and building future partnerships, establishes it as a pioneering force in federal IT.

Modernization of USPTO’s TradeMark Product Line

Team Lead: Deborah Stephens, Deputy CIO, USPTO

Team Members: Greg Dodson, Glenn Brown, Eunice Wang, Bodri Peter, Radhika Pachipulusu

Description: Deputy CIO Deborah Stephens and Deputy Commissioner for Trademarks Greg Dodson drove successful modernization at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in response to the Trademark Modernization Act. They prioritized collaboration, incremental steps, and balancing pressures, resulting in improved trademark processing productivity, high decision quality, and zero unplanned downtime.

Adopting a phased, agile approach with a focus on human-centered design, USPTO leaders, led by Deborah Stephens, achieved success in the first two phases, deploying a modernized, cloud-ready system. This effort exemplifies effective governance, clear vision, and collaboration with vendors, showcasing measurable outcomes in productivity, quality, and system reliability.

Modernization of FDA’s eNSpect System

Team Lead: Himabindu Mandyam and Mr. Scott Lewis, US Food & Drug Administration, Office of Regulatory Affairs

Team Members: Scott Lewis, Sunita Joshi-Taylor, Rosemarina Sather, Benjamin Sweeney, Ba Toan Vu, Bongkyun Kim, Viswewara Rao Kanakamedala, Trevor Drury and Francis Pinto

Description:  The FDA’s eNSpect system underwent a successful modernization to enhance the efficiency of inspections and investigations related to human and animal food, medical devices, drugs, and tobacco products. The system’s overhaul allows FDA investigators to use tablets or laptops offline, speeding up inspections, standardizing data collection, and facilitating faster reporting through automated Establishment Inspection Reports. The new user interface is more user-friendly, encouraging greater adoption by investigators and reducing the burden on producers. The modernization involved a DevSecOps approach, replacing an aging Oracle tool, resulting in a 75% faster response to new health challenges or regulations. The collaboration between FDA offices, field investigators, REI Systems, and regulated product producers has created a more responsive, efficient, and secure platform that lays the foundation for future advancements, including potential integration of artificial intelligence for improved inspection tasks. The partnership has streamlined inspections, benefited producers, and increased investigator satisfaction.

GSA’s Personal Property Management System (PPMS)

Team Lead: Erv Koeler, Assistant Commissioner, FAS’s General Supplies and Services, GSA and Sagar Samant, GSA OT

Team Members: Matt Manger, Narendra Rao, Dinanath Satam, Sanjay Godbole, Tracey Nguyen, Anil Mirge, Anupama Penta, Georgiana Serpoi, Jinal Shah, Nithesh Mundada, Prashanth Duttuluri, Rathika Kumar, Wafi Asgar, Jinli Wang, Pradeep Krishnanath, Pavan Chirala, Anitha Radhakrishnan

Description: GSA’s modernized Personal Property Management System (PPMS) went live in August 2023, earning the “Personal Property Team of the Year” award. The unified platform accelerates property disposals by 30%, enhances record quality, and boasts a 91% user satisfaction rate. Key innovations included re-prioritization, increased engagement, a re-commitment to Agile, and structured defect triage. PPMS, designed for efficient property management, emphasizes collaboration and teamwork, setting a standard for successful modernization within GSA.

Enterprise Cloud Acceleration Team

Team Lead: CDR Jonathan White, Cloud and Data Branch Chief, USCG

Team Members: David Seal, Rhett Rothberg, Nikeyta Mullen, LCDR Hector Rivera, Rusty Doggett, Mo Stephens, LTJG Drew Cheneler, LTJG Bryan Holland, LTJG Nicole Yetzer, LTJG Chaning Burgess, Stephen Watkins, Dave King, Bob Creigh,CWO Pedro Sullivan, CWO Anthony Bilderback, Tommy Hargroves, Dan Delaney, Dan Sauter, Paul Fitzgerald, Tyrone Hill

Description:  In just a year, the Coast Guard’s Enterprise Cloud Acceleration Team (ECAT) achieved remarkable milestones by deploying a secure multi-cloud environment, a software factory, and a data fabric. The team secured Authorizations to Operate (ATO) for Azure and AWS cloud environments, implemented a conditionally authorized software factory, and initiated deployments for four data fabric components. The ECAT also replaced legacy Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) with Azure Virtual Desktop.

Using innovative tools like OneNote, Microsoft Planner, Jira, Confluence, and Microsoft Teams, the ECAT efficiently tracked tasks, facilitated coordination, and addressed real-time challenges. A 12-week initiative with AWS accelerated cloud maturity, laying the groundwork for a Coast Guard Cloud Center of Excellence and integrating cloud and data capabilities into all IT planning.

Collaborating across eight teams and involving over 30 individuals, including technical and non-technical aspects of the organization, ensured a comprehensive approach to IT modernization. Partnerships with key stakeholders, such as the Assistant Commandant for Capability and the Office of Data and Analytics, along with customer onboarding through the Cloud Brokerage, marked a significant inflection point in the Coast Guard’s cloud journey.

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Category: Promoting Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) in the Federal Workforce

The following federal government teams were nominated for their efforts to model the principles outlined in this Government-wide initiative. They have implemented programs, spread awareness, expanded DEIA training, removed barriers, addressed harassment, and taken other actions to ensure that all employees are treated with dignity and respect. 

IDR – Insider Team

Team Lead: Peter Lenentine, Director of User Experience & Usability, GSA

Team Members: Lacey Scully, Marvin Heath, Veronica Poirier, Gabrielle Abbott

Description: The IT Insider Team utilizes its GSA technology newsletter (20,000+ recipients) to promote awareness and insights on DEIA topics through a tech lens. Using creative writing and inclusive graphics, the team highlights DEIA principles, featuring articles on diverse themes such as Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Pride Month, and Hispanic Heritage Month. Marvin Heath, a senior digital communications specialist, engaged in GSA’s IDEA Champions Program, representing GSA in an OPM DEIA Learning Community session. The team collaborates with special emphasis groups and stakeholders, collecting insights and developing a guide on preferred terms. They foster dialogue through presentations like the Tech DEIA Bill of Rights and provide resources, receiving positive feedback from readers appreciating the inclusive tech topics.

Office of Diversity and Inclusion for the Department of Air Force

Team Lead: Marianne P. Malizia, Director, Diversity and Inclusion

Team Members: Col Jenise M. Carroll and CMSgt Donald A. Pedro

Description:  Under current leadership, the first-ever Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility (DEIA) Strategic Plan was developed, providing a framework for a diverse total force of 697,000 personnel. The office has played a key role in launching an assessment tool to evaluate organizational effectiveness in promoting DEIA. Internally, the Director led efforts resulting in policy changes related to gender, grooming, lactation, pregnancy, accessibility, and gender identity literacy. Externally, The director fostered collaborations, including a strategic partnership with the Air Force Cadet Officer Mentor Association. The impact extended to foundational systems like the Workforce Analytic Dashboard and the Reasonable Accommodations Portal, transforming data interpretation and disability accommodations. The director also organized the Department’s landmark DEIA Conference for two consecutive years, empowering 5000 participants and establishing a legacy for the next generation.

Government-Wide IT Accessibility Program

Team Lead:  Andrew Nielson, Director, Government-wide IT Accessibility Program, Office of Government-wide Policy, GSA

Team Members: Kristen Smith-O’Connor, Michael Horton, Alex Wilson

Description: The Government-Wide IT Accessibility Program demonstrates exceptional leadership in tackling diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility challenges through innovative initiatives. Their involvement in key government-wide forums and conferences fuels transformative actions, exemplified by the AI-powered Solicitation Review Tool (SRT) that enhances Section 508 compliance on SAM.gov. The IT Accessibility Policy Framework, developed by the program, guides agencies in assessing and updating policies for inclusivity. Collaborating with government and industry stakeholders, they bridge digital accessibility content gaps on Section508.gov, a crucial resource for ICT accessibility knowledge in government. The program fosters collective problem-solving through open forums, a listserv, and virtual training courses, reinforcing Section 508 programs nationwide. Their legacy includes the impactful Section508.gov platform, promoting accessibility guidance, tools, and training for federal agencies. Regular government-wide meetings and training sessions further amplify their influence in advancing accessibility, equity, and transformation.

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