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FCW : September 15, 2014
Editor’sNote 6 September 15, 2014 FCW.COM Just days after the White House announced its hire of technology rock star Mikey Dickerson to run the new U.S. Digital Service, word came that Todd Park — who was reportedly instrumental in convincing Dickerson to leave Google for a full-time federal job — was stepping down as U.S. CTO to return to Silicon Valley. Park is not leaving government just yet. His new role, in fact, will focus on recruiting more Mikey Dickersons into federal service. But it does serve as a reminder that top tech jobs can have a high risk of burnout. And it begs the question: When recruiting talented employees into government, how long can agencies expect them to stay? On the one hand, there are encouraging signs that public service can be addictive, including the fact that various Presidential Innovation Fellows have chosen to stick around — whether at 18F or the agency where they had been embedded. Yet other high-profile hires, such as Park’s former deputy CTOs Jennifer Pahlka and Nicole Wong, headed back to the Bay Area after barely a year. Pahlka publicly promised a one-year stint from the start, and both women did tremendous work while in Washington, but there are limits to what such short-term deployments can accomplish. The challenge of turnover at the top is nothing new, of course. Career federal executives have long had to run agency operations while political slots sit vacant — and then orient and adjust to appointees who will be calling the shots for perhaps 18 months. Political vacancies at all levels will start piling up after the midterm elections, and if federal salaries and benefits are back in the congressional crosshairs, career feds might follow suit. Can the talent being wooed by Park and others balance out that exodus? None of this is to suggest that new blood is not critical or that Dickerson should be required to stay through noon on Jan. 20, 2017. But federal IT needs more than Silicon Valley experts on sabbatical. It needs top talent willing to dig in for the long haul and make sure that the good ideas actually stick. — T ROY K. SCHNEIDER firstname.lastname@example.org, @troyschneider Talent and tenure EDITOR-IN -CHIEF Troy K. Schneider EXECUTIVE EDITOR John Bicknell MANAGING EDITOR Terri J. Huck STAFF WRITERS Colby Hochmuth, Sean Lyngaas, Adam Mazmanian, Mark Rockwell CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Richard E. Cohen, Alan Joch, Konstantin Kakaes, John Moore, Colleen O’Hara, Katherine Reynolds Lewis, Richard A. Spires, Sarah L ai Stirland CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jeff Langkau ASSISTANT ART DIRECTOR Dragutin Cvijanovic SENIOR WEB DESIGNER Martin Peace EDITORIAL FELLOW Jonathan Lutton PRESIDENT Henry Allain CO-PRESIDENT Anne Armstrong CHIEF REVENUE OFFICER Dan LaBianca CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER Carmel McDonagh PRESIDENT AND CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER Neal Vitale SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT AND CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER Richard Vitale EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT Michael J. Valenti VICE PRESIDENT, INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY & APPLICATION DEVELOPMENT Erik A. Lindgren VICE PRESIDENT, EVENT OPERATIONS David F. Myers CHAIRMAN OF THE BOARD Jeffrey S. Klein HOW TO REACH THE STAFF A list of staff members can be found online at www.fcw.com. E-mail: Staff members can be reached by using the nam- ing convention of first initial followed by their last name @1105media.com. Vienna Office (weekdays, 8:30 a.m . – 5:30 p.m . ET) (703) 876-5100; Fax (703) 876-5126 8609 Westwood Center Drive, Suite 500, Vienna, VA 22182-2215 Corporate Office (weekdays, 8:30 a.m . – 5:30 p.m . PT) (818) 814-5200; Fax (818) 734-1522 9201 Oakdale Avenue, Suite 101, Chatsworth, CA 91311
September 30, 2014
August 30, 2014