If you want to know how to create innovative technology on a shoestring budget, Federal CTO Aneesh Chopra has some advice: "MacGyver your way to a better solution."
Chopra drew the analogy to the TV character, played by Richard Dean Anderson, at an event on innovation in health care hosted by Bisnow on June 2. The show, titled simply "MacGyver," ran seven seasons from 1985 to 1992. The titular character had an amazing ability to improvise with materials on hand to create weapons, escape capture and otherwise thwart his enemies.
Chopra said MacGyver is a good example, if fictional, of "frugal engineering."
"The reason we love MacGyver is you take what you've got" and invent a new use for it, he said. "This is about creativity," not big-budget programs.
Posted by Michael Hardy on Jun 02, 2011 at 12:55 PM1 comments
Steven VanRoekel, the former Microsoft expert brought in to revamp the Federal Communications Commission’s online presence, is leaving the commission to join USAID, according to a June 2 report
in The Hill newspaper.
VanRoekel came to the FCC in June 2009 to overhaul the agency’s website to improve transparency, improve electronic reporting and to release FCC data. The new website went live on May 12.
According to The Hill, the redesigned website had gotten a number of complaints, especially from industry lawyers.
VanRoekel’s title at the FCC was managing director, with responsibilities for administration and management of budget and financial programs, personnel, telecommunications, fees, the Universal Service Fund, physical space and security, among other items.
He previously held various executive positions in 15 years at Microsoft, including managing the cross-industry Web services and serving as a speech and strategy assistant to Bill Gates.
VanRoekel did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Jun 02, 2011 at 12:56 PM0 comments
One of the Army’s top acquisition officials has resigned from his position, according to several new reports.
Malcolm O’Neill, assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, notified his staff in an e-mail sent May 31. He’s leaving the job because of personal reasons. Defense News reports it’s a mental health-related issue.
He had the job since March 2010.
O'Neill worked closely with Ashton Carter, under secretary of defense for acquisition, technology and logistics on the Better Buying Power Initiative, the Defense Department's approach to saving money and being more efficient.
Posted by Matthew Weigelt on Jun 02, 2011 at 12:55 PM0 comments
Federal CIO Vivek Kundra is expected to name the Environmental Protection Agency's Lisa Schlosser to be federal deputy CIO, Chris Dorobek, editor of DorobekInsider.com, announced on Twitter today. The item was not on Dorobek's site as of early this afternoon.
Schlosser is principal deputy associate administrator of EPA’s Office of External Affairs and Environmental Education. Previously, she was director of EPA’s Office of Information Collection. She served as CIO at the Housing and Urban Development Department from 2005 to 2008.
She was also an executive at the Transportation Department, where she held the positions of associate CIO for IT security and associate CIO for IT investment management.
She began her career as a military intelligence officer in the Army. Following her military service, she held several positions in the private sector, including vice president of business operations and response services at Global Integrity, senior manager in Ernst and Young's security solutions branch, and director of information security services at Troy Systems.
Schlosser did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Posted by Alice Lipowicz on Jun 01, 2011 at 12:56 PM2 comments
The Obama administration has added another big name from the tech industry to its list of advisers as Twitter's CEO, Dick Costolo, has been named to a national security and telecommunications advisory committee, the Washington Post reports.
Costolo's selection is the latest sign of the administration's outreach to America's high-tech companies. Former chief executives of Google and AOL have also advised the White House on technology issues.
Earlier this spring, the administration was rumored to be considering nominating Google CEO Eric Schmidt as commerce secretary but on May 31 announced that it had instead chosen John Bryson, a former energy company executive, for the position.
Posted by Michael Hardy on May 31, 2011 at 12:55 PM1 comments
With nine candidates competing for as few as six positions on the Industry Advisory Council’s executive committee, among those who stood out at a membership meeting on May 25 were two former appointees in the George W. Bush administration: Karen Evans, former administrator for e-government and information technology at the General Services Administration, and Ira Hobbs, former chief information officer for the Treasury Department.
Seven candidates and two representatives for absent candidates each made three-minute statements at the meeting.
Hobbs, now a consultant, was one of the first to speak, invoking the council’s “lofty goals” and his own personality. “You know me. I have a passion for dealing with people,” he said.
Evans, who is a partner in a small business, immediately followed, jokingly saying that “my Number One rule is to never follow Ira Hobbs. I am voting for Ira Hobbs,” she added.
Several candidates mentioned the limitations of the three-minute speech. “I’m a Southerner,” said Crouse Powell, a director of Accenture. “Three minutes is difficult for us.”
In addition, Judy Douglas, client industry executive with HP Enterprise Services and Dale Luddeke, executive vice president of corporate business for development for CACI, are the two candidates for the position of council executive vice chair.
Posted by Alice Lipowicz on May 26, 2011 at 12:55 PM0 comments