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FCW : August 15, 2015
For the past four years, seemingly every governmentwide IT initiative has in some way involved Kathy Conrad, principal deputy associ- ate administrator of the General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies. The three-time Fed- eral 100 winner’s last day in gov- ernment was July 24; she sat down with FCW Editor-in-Chief Troy K. Schneider on July 21 to discuss the lessons she had learned. This interview has been edited for length and clarity. Before we get to your departure, let’s talk about your arrival. Why did you join GSA in 2011? The mission and the scale of gov- ernment are unparalleled. Having worked with and around govern- ment for my whole career, I had always wanted the opportunity to serve when the time was right — and when, at least in my mind, the administration was leading initiatives that I felt would leave a lasting posi- tive impact. Having that more direct impact on improving how technology and digi- tal services can enable more effec- tive government and improve the lives of the people we serve, that’s a rare opportunity. It’s really the most rewarding work I’ve ever done. You’ve certainly worked on a wide range of projects in your four years. Are there any that stand out as your favorites or that you think are going to have the greatest impact? We’ve developed a remarkable port- folio of shared services and solu- tions that are enabling agencies to deliver on the Obama administration’s commit- ment to open, citizen- centered digital government. We’ve done Data.gov, the Digital Analytics Program, Challenge.gov, DigitalGov. gov, Connect.gov and launched the Presidential Innovation Fellows pro- gram and 18F. It was very clear when I got here in 2011 that there was tremendous untapped potential in open govern- Kathy Conrad: The exit interview The outgoing GSA executive talks about the impact of shared services and open data — and the need to recognize and nurture talent FirstPerson DRAGUTINCVIJANOVIC August 15, 2015 FCW.COM 33 0815fcw_033-035.indd 33 7/27/15 3:24 PM
July 30, 2015
August 30, 2015