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FCW : October 2016
October 2016 FCW.COM 19 him with deploying full disk encryption across JPL. Next, he transitioned to cloud computing, and he’s been there ever since. Derenski led the effort to establish secure, rapid cloud-based IT infrastructure access, provisioning and billing for the lab’s multi-cloud computing environment. As a result, current and future space flight missions and projects have benefited from secure and reliable yet inexpensive computing power, which has also allowed JPL to curb its demand for dedicated data centers. Derenski is also credited with dramatically speeding up the deployment of new programs and systems and promoting on-demand computing, which increases efficiency and lowers costs. Colleagues attribute his success in large part to his can-do attitude. “The characteristics that underlie all of his work activities are a sort of steadiness and thoughtfulness tempered by flexibility,” said Stephen O’Hearn, manager of engineering and project management at JPL. “He is always prepared to be challenged and consider those challenges, changing his position when appropriate.” — Sean D. Carberry Caitlin Gaffney Technology has become an essential component in the U.S. Agency for International Development’s mission to end extreme poverty and promote resilient, democratic societies. Caitlin Gaffney plays a critical role in that effort by supporting new technology requirements from the headquarters, bureaus, offices and 80-plus USAID missions in countries around the world. She uses a variety of strategies to manage the demands on the organization, and her proactive approach has reduced the number of requests from the CIO’s office and streamlined communications with the mission IT staff, which had been unwieldy and inconsistent. Her managers say her leadership has dramatically improved the customer experience for those who work with the CIO’s office. Despite only a few years in the federal workforce, she is well known to nearly every member of the 500-person office because of how integral her support has become. As the world changes, USAID’s international offices often need to adapt. This presents the challenge of shutting down a network, retrieving the hardware and then setting up in a new location. Gaffney took it upon herself to spearhead an effort to identify all those activities, create a checklist and get commitment from the appropriate officials to own their share of the activities. She created a working group, set goals and established a new process with little to no oversight or instruction from her superiors. Her colleagues say they don’t hear about mission moves anymore — not because they aren’t occurring but because of the streamlined process Gaffney implemented. Gaffney left a high-paid management consulting position to work at USAID because she believes in the agency’s mission. Her proactive, problem-solving nature and ability to get teams to work together have her colleagues convinced that she is on a path to executive leadership at a young age. — Aisha Chowdhry Gabrielle G. Gallegos Gabrielle Gallegos is transforming the Department of Homeland Security’s IT Acquisition Review (ITAR) process into an innovative acquisition tool that supports the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act’s requirement that agency CIOs review all IT contracts. She has been expanding the process from primarily a security, privacy and Section 508 disability compliance review into a substantive evaluation of acquisition plans and statements of work to ensure that projects align with DHS’ strategic IT goals and investment management priorities. She also led the redesign of an automated online tool to perform that work. Such innovative acquisition efforts that also strive to meet new efficiency regulations are the kind of double- barreled approach coveted by federal acquisition and administrative managers. According to her supervisors, Gallegos’ work on ITAR will help the DHS CIO get early visibility into acquisition planning and open up the opportunity to steer appropriate acquisitions to agile development methods, strategic sourcing and cloud-based services. It will also bolster the department’s investment management strategy, which seeks to decrease duplicative IT systems and boost the creation and reuse of departmentwide services. Gallegos’ knowledge of the complexities of ITAR and FITARA and her willingness to try new approaches have allowed the CIO’s office to quickly and efficiently implement core FITARA requirements. — Mark Rockwell 1016fcw_012-037.indd 19 10/11/16 3:57 PM
September 30, 2016
November and December 2016