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FCW : November and December 2014
Rising Stars 26 November/December 2014 FCW.COM and he wants to make sure that govern- ment documents are available to future generations of historians. “The traditional mission of keeping Americans informed appealed to me as a historian and just as a citizen,” he said. “I think that what we do here is really valu- able in terms of providing access to the publications of government across three branches.” — Adam Mazmanian Larissa Riviezzo With a degree in criminal justice and a passion for biomet- rics, Larissa Riviezzo began working as a contractor for the Army’s Program Executive Office for Enterprise Informa- tion Systems several years ago with a simple goal: “Catch the bad guys.” Now as an assistant product man- ager for biometrics handheld devices, Riviezzo’s job is to equip U.S. soldiers with gear to help them tell friend from foe. She works under an Army program called Joint Personnel Identification, which is responsible for the full life cycle of biometric devices, from design to deployment to sustainment. One such device is the Secure Electronic Enroll- ment Kit II, which takes fingerprint, iris and facial scans and sends them to an FBI database. U.S . troops in Afghanistan have been using them since 2012. Resource constraints have given Riv- iezzo a smaller team to work with over the years, something she said can be both empowering and demanding. “Obviously, resources are short and everybody wants you to do more with less, so eight hours in a day is typically not enough to accomplish the job,” she said, “especially when you have custom- ers who when you’re going to bed, they’re waking up.” Asked if her career might take her elsewhere in the next few years, Riviezzo said she is right at home where she is. “Biometrics is kind of my thing,” she said. “I really enjoy it, so I’ll stay with the program office and maybe eventually go see it from another...agency’s perspec- tive. But I was in the Army. My husband’s in the Army. I really like supporting the soldier.” — Sean Lyngaas Zach Scott Analyst Zach Scott decided to open the data collected through the Envi- ronmental Protec- tion Agency’s Toxics Release Inventory to university-based projects using Chal- lenge.gov. The first TRI University Chal- lenge in 2013 ended up with eight projects and was successful enough to merit repeating in 2014. Scott was inspired to turn to academia for ideas after his experience as a gradu- ate student at Cornell University’s Insti- tute for Public Affairs, where students were encouraged to work on projects with public service organizations. As a platform for engaging the public in providing solutions to the government, Challenge.gov was “a great mechanism to use,” Scott added. “It helped us reach more people than we would have left to our own devices.” One of his favorite projects is an edu- cational game called “Toxic Release!” in which participants take on the roles of various stakeholders in an environmen- tal crisis. The EPA’s data helps make the game more realistic for the players, who act as health officials, industry profes- sionals, regulators and more. The game and more than a dozen other projects that use TRI data were developed without any funding or grants from EPA. In addition to conceiving and admin- istering the TRI University Challenge project, Scott is responsible for IT support for the TRI Data Exchange, a voluntary program through which TRI data is dis- seminated to the states. Participation has grown from 18 to 48 states during his tenure as the program’s leader. The work involves sharing data with a variety of systems, each with its own configuration. Scott has also represented the EPA on governmentwide open-data policy com- mittees and collaborated on the agency’s Strategic Data Action Plan. And he has recently moved into enforcement work in the EPA’s New York City office. — Adam Mazmanian Shawn Wells When Shawn Wells, director of innovation programs for Red Hat’s U.S. public-sector group, wrote a security guide for the open-source Security Content Automation Protocol, he was moving forward on an idea that most people weren’t even talk- ing about yet. “SCAP was just a thought in many people’s minds before he brought it into the community,” said Lynne Chamberlin, vice president of business development for Red Hat’s public-sector group. The Defense Department, National Security Agency, General Services Administration and National Geospatial- Intelligence Agency have looked to the SCAP guide in their policies (including FedRAMP), and the Defense Information Systems Agency used it in its Security Technical Implementation Guides. Today more than 1.6 million lines of code have been contributed to SCAP, and Wells is known as the guy who opened the door for many federal agencies to adopt cloud-based solutions securely. “He can be with the top executives of these companies and speak at a level that they understand, and he can also roll up his sleeves and get into the minutia and code,” Chamberlin said. — Colby Hochmuth