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FCW : November and December 2015
Michael H. Brody As director for policy, architecture and governance at the Department of Homeland Security’s Informa- tion Sharing Environment Office, Michael Brody is expected to be an expert on rules. According to his managers, how- ever, it’s Brody’s deft communica- tion skills, management acumen, cross-boundary view and sense of humor that make him so effective. He was promoted to his current position after just one year at DHS, and his ability to reconcile mission needs with privacy protections has elevated his work. He has a knack for bringing together officials with wildly dispa- rate and often opposing views to make progress on common goals despite those differences. He led the effort to improve the processes and strategy for the Information Sharing and Safeguarding Gov- ernance Board — no easy feat because it required close consulta- tions with DHS’ many independent- minded components. He also rallied support for the Homeland Security Information Network, a collaborative platform for more than 40,000 state, local, territorial, and tribal law enforce- ment and emergency responders — even though he was only sup- posed to provide policy expertise for HSIN’s day-to-day operations and for managing security events and incidents. Brody said that at its heart, his work has a much deeper purpose. “Our work ensures the [Office of the CIO] delivers what mission operators need to save lives, pro- tect property and secure the home- land,” Brody said. “The DHS OCIO’s Information Sharing Environment Office is the bridge between the information-sharing mission and information technology.” — Mark Rockwell Regina Kassar Regina Kassar grew up in a mili- tary family, so it was only natural that when the opportunity arose, she would help service-disabled veterans grow their companies. As a business development manager at Red Team Consulting in 2014, Kassar volunteered for the Akosua Ali is unusually good at making sense of complicated, some- times disjointed environments. As a management program analyst and contracting officer’s representative at the Department of Homeland Security, she ironed out complex acquisition issues and found mil- lions in unused funds. She led multiple IT contract rec- onciliation projects that involved analyzing complex financial reports, researching contract actions in DHS’ PRISM financial system and meeting weekly with all stakehold- ers. She meticulously analyzed funds left over from previous years for the CIO office’s largest IT ser- vices and support contracts and worked with vendors to find unused money that could be made available for other procurements or turned over to the Treasury Department. Her efforts uncovered more than $15 million that might otherwise have been lost. Her superiors said Ali has improved the process for administering IT services and support funds at DHS. Beyond tracking down unused money, she developed training on invoice processing, and established best practices and standard operat- ing procedures to help contract- ing officer’s representatives in the IT Services Office manage a wide range of operations — including invoice payments, reports on how quickly contract dollars are being spent and the funding execution of more than 180 contracts totaling more than $700 million. Ali’s training, best practices and programmatic support have resulted in a 70 percent increase in the accuracy of ITSO’s fiscal 2015 IT services contract funding and enhanced the monitoring and analy- sis of contract spending rates. — Mark Rockwell Akosua Ali 2015 Rising Stars 22 November/December 2015 FCW.COM 1215fcw_020-030.indd 22 11/16/15 2:58 PM