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FCW : November and December 2014
November/December 2014 FCW.COM 17 cybersecurity can require similar leaps. Matthew Berninger, who until recently was a senior cyber incident response lead at the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S . Computer Emergency Readiness Team, has clearly committed himself to getting control of cyber threats and becoming the kind of cybersecurity expert the federal IT community needs. At US-CERT, Berninger collaborated with public- and private-sector partners to analyze threats and vulnerabilities and deliver timely and actionable information that could help protect the nation’s cyber infrastructure. He had a background in math and quantitative analysis but little computer science experience when began working in the executive secretary’s office at DHS. However, he took an early interest in cybersecurity and seized every opportu- nity for online and on-the-job training. He has also made it a point to give back to the cybersecurity community by taking the lead in Cyber Career Day events, which seek to educate high school students about cybersecurity careers at DHS. Berninger’s own career path, mean- while, has led to him to the commercial side: He recently took a job at cybersecu- rity firm Mandiant. — Mark Rockwell Damon Bragg As operations and maintenance manager for the Department of Homeland Secu- rity’s Homeland Security Information Net- work, Damon Bragg has hammered the network’s customer service operations back into shape. When he came to the job less than a year ago, Bragg’s managers said HSIN faced many challenges, including contractor-managed service operations, a complicated technical refresh and a new contractor support team. Bragg also had to overhaul operating procedures and implement a help-desk ticketing system provided by the new contractor. Help-desk tickets were piling up each The key to developing a com- plex IT system like the Treasury Department’s Budget Formula- tion and Execution Manager might not always lie in the developer’s logical left brain. Sometimes it takes a right-brain perspective that has been tuned to make unexpected connections through hours spent spinning discs at a dance club. That right-brain innovation is apparent in TCG architect and developer Kent Reynolds, who developed the BFEM system for Treasury’s Bureau of the Fiscal Service. Reynolds’ boss, TCG Vice President David Cassidy, noted that before he joined the company, Reynolds had been a disc jockey mixing music at clubs and events. The seemingly unrelated activity demonstrated his creativity and willingness to try new things. “We hired him because he was not only a good engineer but a well-rounded individual,” Cassidy said. “We were struck by his per- sonality. He didn’t take himself too seriously.” Reynolds’ job is plenty seri- ous, though. He led a complete overhaul and upgrade of BFEM’s architecture that, according to TCG, was completed on budget and with no system downtime. Five other agencies decided to adopt the revamped BFEM, and Treasury now offers it as a shared service to all federal agen- cies, making it the only multiple- tenant budget system in govern- ment. As the leader of BFEM architecture, development, operations and maintenance, Reynolds supports every new agency that adopts the service. Like a DJ gauging the crowd’s response to a music mix, BFEM measures agencies’ performance against their budgets to make sure they’re in agreement. The company said BFEM has saved the government more than $14 million. — Mark Rockwell Kent Reynolds