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January 6, 2010

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Former EDS Public Sector GM Jim Duffey was named Virginia’s Secretary of Technology this morning by Gov-elect Bob McDonnell.

Jim, with wife Deborah (in a pic from a couple years ago we found in our vast archival vault), is no stranger to NoVa: He previously served as Vice Chair of the NVTC and currently sits on its Board of Directors. He spent 25 years at EDS, before becoming GM of Dell’s public sector and then started his own company, Duff Consulting (not to be confused with Duff Beer, for you Simpsons fans).

FedSources (1984)
Jim Duffey, second from left

In case you’re still not sure what Jim looks like, that’s him second to the left (on another historic occasion—we can't remember what) next to CEA CEO Gary Shapiro (who’s living it up at the moment at CES). The Gov-elect says "Jim has worked around the globe at the highest levels in the information technology industry. He has managed billion dollar budgets and thousands of employees." Jim is expected to become an ambassador from the tech community to companies outside the area, hoping to attract them to relocate and bring lots of jobs with them. He may also be the first Secretary to whom the CIO will report, as legislation is expected to change the current structure which makes the CIO independent of the governor.

Washington Board of Trade President Jim Dinegar

Earlier this week, when Northrop Grumman (120k employees, $32B in revenue) announced it’s moving corporate HQ here from LA, it was the latest in a run of Fortune 500 firms (SAIC, CSC, Hilton, Marriott, Volkswagen to name a few) coming east. It won’t be the last, says Washington Board of Trade president Jim Dinegar, whom we talked to yesterday. “With the federal government’s recent surge, we’re more of a magnet than ever and have avoided a lot of the economic woes.”

Just in case you think the Northrop story is just parochial Washington boosterism, here’s the front page of yesterday’s LA Times. The news is a big deal there, even more symbolic because it was the very first act of brand new CEO Wes Bush, taken his first day on the job. The wisdom seems to be that Lockheed (which moved from LA to Maryland on its merger with Martin Marietta in '95) and General Dynamics (which arrived in Falls Church in the '90s) have gotten lots of extra contracts due to their proximity to the Pentagon and political power. (Your publisher, who is in Las Vegas this week for the Consumer Electronics Show, snapped this pic. For those of you unfamiliar with the fabric shown above, it’s a remarkable material known as “paper.” You can actually touch it, although it gets your fingers dirty.)

The fun won't stop now. Greater Washington Initiative ED Matt Erskine tells us the GWI is focused on bringing the obvious aerospace/defense/intel firms and tourism companies, along with information and communication, biotech, and energy efficiency firms. The appeal (besides our blustery winds today)? Our area, Matt says, has a high-quality workforce, international connectivity, and access to policy leaders.

Vistronix Wins!


Congrats to Vistronix CEO Deepak Hathiramani, whose company just landed a $37 million contract with the State Department’s Bureau of Counselor Affairs. Under the contract, the company will provide independent verification and validation (IV&V) testing to all CA applications developed by CST software development groups. We assume you all know what the means.



IMC's ubiquitous Sudhakar Shenoy, whom we snapped yesterday moments after alighting from his plane Las Vegas for CES. Sure, he could go to snazzier casinos than the one in the airport, but that would've required waiting half an hour! Don’t worry, he’s not gambling today; it’s a beautiful day in Vegas and he’s already out golfing.

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