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January 13, 2009
 
 
 
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The Bisnow
2009

FEDERAL IT
POWER 50

(1-10)


Don’t miss "Federal IT Trends in the Obama Era: What's Hot and What's Not." Our all-star panel of top government contractor CEOs and agency CIOs, over a nice, hot breakfast at the Tower Club, Thursday, January 22. Thanks to great sponsors Ernst & Young, Sheppard Mullin, and Kipps DeSantoSign up! 


 
And now, for the stirring conclusion...
 

1. Obama's CTO. The novelty and glamor of being chosen will vault this figure to the top, at least initially, but then will come the pesky question of what they will actually do. Early favorite (and one-time Obama classmate) Julius Genachowski reportedly declined in favor of becoming FCC chairman because he doubted a CTO would have enough of a policymaking role, and agency CIOs are likely to balk at limitations on their traditional autonomy. But power may be a function of the shadow cast by the individual, and the chattering crowd has been talking up Google evangelist (and longtime Washington region favorite) Vint Cerf and other tech icons like Bill Joy, Jeff Bezos and Steve Balmer. Others in the mix are said to be Google and HP execs Sonal Shah and Shane Robison; academics Larry Lessig and Ed Felten; and other locals like Virginia Tech Sec Aneesh Chopra and DC CIO Vivek Kindra. You know what: We can save ourselves the space and angst; an announcement is expected any minute.

 

2. Dave Wennergren, Deputy CIO, DoD.  If a CTO is installed, a big question will be how it affects CIOs throughout the agencies, and many will be hoping Dave can preserve their power. As vice chair of the CIO Council, he's seen by peers as one of the good guys in government, using his long knowledge of its workings to elevate the role of tech and deter the dilution of power to new-fangled positions like "chief information security officer," let alone to OMB or a new cabinet position. Of course, if boss John Grimes leaves DoD, his replacement could decide whether or not to keep Dave around. The basic view: "Who on Earth would not?"

 

3. Linda Gooden, EVP, Lockheed Martin Information Systems. The view on Linda is that she keeps her head down, grinds it out, avoids waves, and rightly keeps getting promoted, which is a good thing when you head the area's largest government IT employer with 52,000 employees. Her profile rose last year when Lockheed tabbed her to run its newly combined Information Systems and Global Services Unit following a massive reorganization. Linda is not a high profile networker, but when you have that kind of clout as a company there's no need to: People come to her.

 

4. Duane Andrews, CEO, QinetiQ North America. The former number two at SAIC reinvented himself from powerful corpocrat to game-changing entrepreneur, now gobbling up companies like Apogen, Analex, Foster-Miller, ITS, OSEC, PSI, Westar, and most recently DTRI of Reston as he turns the American arm of the British IT power player into what some are saying will be the next BAE Systems. The biggest compliment he gets: "You don't hear Duane's name that much because he's built QinetiQ so well everyone just talks about the company."

 

5. Donna Morea, President, CGI US and India. Donna has engineered the successful integration of AMS by Canadian acquirer CGI over the last four years, and now with 5,000 employees in the U.S. and 25,500 worldwide actively talks of M&A expansion. With a 100-mile an hour schedule that makes the rest of us look like we're playing in a sandbox, Dynamo Donna is also running India for the firm, chairing NVTC, and on the personal side even importing Italian olive oils, all the while applying the charm of her easygoing personality. Everyone thinks her influence stands only to grow.

 

6. Dennis Stolkey, Ann Livermore and Joe Eazor, Hewlett Packard. Dennis is on the front lines for HP after its $13.9 billion acquisition this spring of EDS, which continues to operate separately and is therefore involved centrally in the re-compete of NMCI (you may know it as NGen). Joe is taking Ron Rittenmeyer's place as head of EDS, and Ann continues as head of HP's mammoth $38 billion Technology Solutions Group to which EDS reports. Forbes recently ranked Ann as the 33rd most powerful business woman on the planet. Oprah was 36.

 

7.  Mike Howell, Deputy Administrator in OMB's office of e-government and information technology. True, just two years ago Mike was CIO of the Fish and Wildlife Service, but he became Interior CIO, and then a couple months ago was named Karen Evans' deputy at OMB. As she leaves, this careerist will stay and at least for the time being have a big say in agency-wide e-gov and IT plans. They don't reorganize often at OMB, so putting him in this new position probably means he'll become a key new fixture and instrument of continuity.

 

8. Michael Laphen, CEO, CSC. Talk about clout: Michael was promoted to CEO last year and within a couple months had the $15 billion goliath move its headquarters from California to Falls Church, near where he was still living from his time heading CSC Federal. Of course, a third of the company's business comes from the feds and 11,000 of its 92,000 employees already work here, and the move provided an excuse to clear out some deadwood and focus more on the strongest part of the business. One hope some mentioned: that CSC become more involved in its new hometown community.

 

9. Paul Cofoni, CEO, CACI. Though his new home may be known historically for success on the financial and operations side of the business, Paul brings a hardcore IT expertise from his days as head of CSC Federal. He's known for getting his numbers in on time and keeping his nose clean, not always an easy thing in this business. Along with the influence that comes with generating $2.4 billion in revenue, Paul was named the new chair of AFCEA International this summer, so he's become an even more popular guy to see.

 

10.  Jim Williams, Acting Administrator of GSA, and Tyree Varnado, Acting Commissioner, Federal Acquisition Service. All the big contracts flow through Jim, whose mission since taking over in 2006 has been to make GSA more user-friendly. Previously head of DHS's famed USVISIT program, Jim is one of the cream of the crop careerists who are key in keeping the machinery humming. With so many crises demanding government response centered in Washington, GSA's role supporting creation and expansion of agency missions will only keep growing. Tyree will be alongside Jim playing a critical role in this effort.

 
 
 
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