AFFIRM Contact:
Kristie Clement, Communications Committee


Washington, DC, May 10, 2018 — The Association for Federal Information Resources Management announced the government and industry leaders selected to receive the 39th annual AFFIRM Leadership Awards.

The AFFIRM Leadership Awards are among the most prestigious of the Federal community, honoring individuals and teams for their outstanding leadership over the preceding year. First awarded in 1979, award honorees join a prestigious list of agency executives and managers.

The AFFIRM Leadership Awardees will be recognized and honored on Thursday, June 28, 2018 at the AFFIRM Annual Leadership Celebration, an after work reception from 6:00pm to 8:30pm, in the St. Regis Washington, DC. 

Award winners include:

Executive Leadership in Information Technology (Civilian)

Jeff Shilling, NCI Acting Chief Information Officer and Chief of NCI IT, National Cancer Institute

Executive Leadership Award for Industry - Large Business

Marc Mancher, Principal, Federal Strategy & Operations, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Rockstar Rookie

Harold Whitaker, IT Project Manager, Homeland Group, U.S. General Services Administration FEDSIM

Leadership Award for Service to the Citizen and the Country

Adriane Burton, Chief Information Officer, Health Resources and Services Administration

Leadership in Technology Innovation - Team

Maria Roat, Chief Information Officer; Guy Cavallo, Deputy Chief Information Officer; and Sanjay Gupta, Chief Technology Officer, U. S. Small Business Administration

Leadership in Technology Innovation - Individual

Michael Torres, Transformation Strategist - Federal HC Service Strategy Architect, Office of Personnel Management

Leadership In Cyber Security

Carlene Ileto, Executive Director, CDM Products and Services Delivery Management Office; U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Leadership in Mobile Computing Technology

Robert Kayl, Program Manager, Web & Mobile Technology, Solution Delivery Division, Defense Health Agency

Special Recognition -Team

Cyber Innovation Office at Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), Assured Identity, Leading Change with Mobile Assurance and Continuous Multi-Factor Authentication (CMFA), Defense Information Systems Agency

President's Award Public Sector

Dr. Barry C. West, DHS Senior Advisor and Department-wide Senior Accountable Official for Risk Management, U.S.  Department of Homeland Security

President's Award Private Sector

Dan Chenok, Executive Director, IBM Center for The Business of Government

To attend the AFFIRM Leadership Awards Celebration visit

The Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM) is a non-profit, volunteer, educational organization whose overall purpose is to improve the management of information, and related systems and resources, within the Federal government. Founded in 1979, and based in the Washington, DC area, AFFIRM's members include information resource management professionals from the Federal, academic, and industry sectors.


For better cybersecurity, be nice to your CFO

Dereck Johnson
May 1, 2018

Nearly every federal employee, even those whose IT experience begins and ends at using a computer for work, is capable of contributing to the protection of U.S. government networks.

While CIOs and CISOs bring the expertise and experience needed to manage large IT enterprises, chief financial officers bring money and vision. Their control over an agency's budget requests and strategic planning process makes them gatekeepers whose support can often mean the difference between getting the necessary funding for critical cybersecurity priorities and simply making do.

"Why should I be collaborative with my CFO? That's where the money is," said Rod Turk, acting CIO of the Commerce Department at a May 1 event hosted by the Association of Government Accountants. "And frankly…if you start talking bits and bytes to your CFO, they're not going to understand. When they don't understand, guess what? You don't get the money."

Click here to continue reading this article. 

OMB has loftier goals in mind for technology business management

Nicole Ogrysko
Federal News Radio
May 1, 2018

The Trump administration wants agencies to gain a better line of sight into a chunk of the federal IT budget that’s simply categorized as “other” — and has no specific IT priority or value associated with it.

It’s that ambiguity that’s prompting the administration to adopt the Technology Business Management (TBM) framework governmentwide by fiscal 2022. It’s also why TBM implementation is one of 14 cross-agency priority goals the administration named in the President’s Management Agenda (PMA).  According to the PMA, 84 percent of the president’s 2018 federal IT request was classified as “other.”

The cross-agency priority goal is a start, but the administration has more in store for the TBM initiative.

Agencies may eventually see a formal TBM mandate from the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), but for now, the administration is still in learning mode, Kelly Morrison, an OMB performance analyst, said Tuesday at the Association of Government Accountants’ CFO/CIO Summit in Washington.

Click here to continue reading this article. 

One Cybersecurity Metric To Dwell On

Aaron Boyd
May 1, 2018

Having a robust set of indicators is important to assessing an agency’s cybersecurity, but how long hackers have access to a network may be the most important, one federal IT official said.

In cybersecurity, the metric known as dwell time is the measure of how long it takes an organization to identify a breach from the time an adversary gains access. In 2017, the global average time to detection was 191 days, according to a study by the Ponemon Institute and IBM, down from 201 days in 2016.

For Rod Turk, Commerce Department acting chief information officer and former department chief information security officer, this metric can inform all the others.

“If you’re doing your work and you’re preventing things from getting into your organization, then guess what, your dwell time is near zero or at zero,” Turk said during a panel on cybersecurity Tuesday at the 2018 CFO/CIO Summit hosted by the Association of Government Accountants and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management.

Click here to continue reading this article. 

Centers of Excellence Are A 'Cultural Intervention' For USDA, Says CIO

Aaron Boyd

May 1, 2018

The Agriculture Department’s IT modernization push and partnership with the General Services Administration’s Centers of Excellence are changing its very culture, its chief information officer said Tuesday.

Agriculture CIO Gary Washington said the department is seeing renewed energy in its modernization efforts, as well as a change in strategic thinking from the top down. During a panel at the 2018 CFO/CIO Summit hosted by the Association of Government Accountants and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management, he credited this transformation to the department’s work with the Centers of Excellence.

The department is the test agency for the first five centers, which each focus on different areas: customer experience, cloud adoption, infrastructure optimization, contact centers and service delivery analytics.

The centers are in the first phase, in which contractors assess the department’s current state in the focus areas and develop plans to strengthen the department’s posture in each. That work will take approximately six months, Washington said.

Click here to continue reading this article.

OMB, GSA leaders highlight Technology Business Management framework’s early wins

Carten Cordell

April 19, 2018

Federal leaders charged with helping agencies apply a new way to better track IT spending said the process is already paying dividends.

Officials from the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration, gathered Thursday at an AFFIRM event, said though the implementation of the Technology Business Management framework is ongoing, early returns are showing the benefits of using the taxonomy.

“The portfolio value is massive,” said David Shive, GSA CIO. “It’s going to be different for every executive responsible technology or whatever business is running TBM.”

TBM proposes to provide greater transparency of IT spending by standardizing the data taxonomy across the technology enterprise and aligning an agency’s financial, IT and business operations. Experts believe this will result in big savings for agencies.

Click here to continue reading this article.

Retrained agency employees can be a key source of cybersecurity talent, NSC official says

Carten Cordell
March 8, 2018

As the government embraces new technology and looks for the right people to utilize it, federal agencies might have no choice but to develop unexpected sources of talent, a White House official said Thursday.

Estimates put the national cybersecurity labor shortage at approximately 285,000 open positions, said Tyson Meadors, the National Security Council’s director of cybersecurity policy. To fill at least some of those gaps in the federal government, officials should start looking to retrain their current employees, he said.

“One thing we know we need to do is create some kind of aptitude test that is targeted not toward the accession cyber, but from the retraining side,” he said. “So who is your accountant that could actually be a keyboard ninja. That is going to be where we are going to find our own sort of magical unicorns — inside our own organizations.”

Meadors spoke at the Association for Federal Information Resources Management’s Cybersecurity Summit, where the resounding message was that a significant dearth of cybersecurity talent presents agency officials with possibly a greater challenge than their IT modernization efforts.

Click here to continue reading the article.

It Takes More Than Tech Skills To Be a Strong Cyber Leader

Aaron Boyd
March 8, 2018

Becoming a successful cybersecurity executive requires more than just understanding the tech. If you want to rise through the ranks—either in government or in the private sector—it helps to have an education that goes beyond computer sciences.

“I got made fun of a lot: I actually have a degree in English,” Tyson Meadors, director of cybersecurity policy on the National Security Council, said during a keynote at the March 8 Annual Cybersecurity Summit hosted by the U.S. Cyber Challenge and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management. “Also in IT, computer science and cybersecurity—I have other degrees, too—but that English degree comes in real handy when you’re trying to explain what a memcached DDoS is to somebody who doesn’t know what ‘mem,’ ‘cached,’ ‘D,’ ‘D,’ ‘o,’ or ‘S’ means. So, ultimately that becomes a pretty important skill as you get higher up in your careers.”

In other words, it helps to be able to clearly explain how your systems were attacked when asking for money to remediate or prevent such attacks in the future.

Click here to continue reading this article.


Francesca El-Attrash
March 8, 2018

Cybersecurity is a dynamic and crosscutting field that is ever changing and increasingly challenging to address. At the Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM)’s 5th Annual Cybersecurity Summit, government thought leaders gathered to explore growing threats as well as innovative approaches to attract and retain the best cyber talent.

Nicole Blake Johnson, Managing Editor at GovLoop, moderated a panel of federal Chief Information Officers (CIO) to discuss current cybersecurity priorities and how to attract, retain and train a dwindling pipeline of cyber talent. Speaking on the panel were:

-Max Everett, CIO at the Energy Department

-Joe Klimavicz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General and CIO at the Justice Department

-Rodney Petersen, Director of the National Initiative of Cybersecurity Education (NICE) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

-Howard Whyte, CIO at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation

Click here to continue reading this article. 

White House hints at new cyber policies

Federal Computer Weekly
Mark Rockwell
March 8, 2018

The White House is poised to begin acting on recommendations that came from its first cybersecurity directive, issued last May, a top cybersecurity policy official said.

"The series of reports [required under Executive Order 13800] are almost all in,” Tyson Meadors, director for cybersecurity policy at the National Security Council, said at AFFIRM’s March 8 cybersecurity summit in Arlington, Va. “Now we’re starting to look at how do we enact those recommendations. … I’m almost certain you’re going to see stuff that reflects those recommendations in the next month, or month and a half, that directly reflect some of those reports."

The cyber executive order outlined several different strategic goals for the federal government. Meadors and other cybersecurity experts at the summit, however, stressed that the cybersecurity workforce is the linchpin needed to hold all those efforts together.

Meadors' comments came just a day after lawmakers pressed Department of Homeland Security officials how they plan to account for gaps in that agency's cybersecurity workforce, following a critical watchdog report on DHS' efforts.

Click here to continue reading the article.

Tackling Cybersecurity Workforce Challenges in Government & Industry

U.S. Cyber Challenge & AFFIRM Host 5th Annual Cybersecurity Summit

Arlington, VA, February 26, 2018 – Next week, U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) and the Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM) will host their 5th Annual Cybersecurity Summit on Thursday, March 8, 2018 in Arlington, Virginia. The event will focus on workforce development issues and bring together leadership panels of chief information officers and chief information security officers from government and industry to discuss imposing cyber threats, the difficulties to fill vacant cybersecurity positions throughout the government agencies, and creative solutions to tackle these problems. Tyson Meadors, the Director for Cybersecurity Policy for the National Security Council, will provide the morning keynote address and Christine Calvosa, the Acting Chief Information Officer for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), will be the closing keynote.

Event Details:

Date:                Thursday, March 8, 2018

Time:               7:30 AM – 12:00 PM

Location:         CenturyLink, 4250 North Fairfax Drive, Second Floor, Arlington, VA 22203


Speakers & Panelists:

Jerrod Bates, Information Security Instructor, Delaware Technical Community College

Tina Bohse, Director of Special Program Sales, CenturyLink Strategic Government

Christine Calvosa, Acting CIO, FCC

Chris Dorobek, GovLoop’s DorobekINSIDER

Karen S. Evans, National Director, US Cyber Challenge

Max Everett, Chief Information Officer, Department of Energy

Adrian Gardner, CIO, Federal Emergency Management Agency and VP, AFFIRM

Ira Hobbs, Principal, Hobbs and Hobbs, LLC, Master of Ceremonies

Joe Klimavicz, Deputy Assistant Attorney General and Chief Information Officer, DOJ

Randy Marchany, Chief Information Security Officer, Virginia Tech

Tyson Meadors, Director for Cybersecurity Policy, National Security Council
Jason Miller, Federal News Radio

Bill Newhouse, Deputy Director, National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Rodney Petersen, Director of the National Initiative for Cybersecurity Education (NICE), National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

Tim Ruland, Chief IT Security Officer, US Census Bureau

Ed Rhyne, Program Manager, Cyber Security Division, Science & Technology, US Department of Homeland Security

Howard Whyte, Chief Information Officer, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation


To register for the event, visit  For media attendance, please contact Arielle Retrosi at If you have any questions about the program, contact the AFFIRM office at 703-778-4646 or

Sponsors supporting the Cybersecurity Summit include Accenture Federal Services, a strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations firm; CenturyLink, a global communications, hosting, cloud and IT services company; Cyber Ninjas, a security-oriented consulting services company; Defense Point Security, a cyber security service provider for both government and commercial industry; NIC, an eGovernment services company; Sherman Consulting, Inc., an international advisory firm; and Wright Image Design, in-kind photography.


About US Cyber Challenge:

U.S. Cyber Challenge (USCC) is a program supported by the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate through a contract with the Center for Internet Security, a 501(c)3 organization, and has the mission to significantly reduce the shortage in the cyber workforce by serving as the premier program to identify, attract, recruit and place the next generation of cybersecurity professionals.  USCC’s goal is to find 10,000 of America’s best and brightest to fill the ranks of cybersecurity professionals where their skills can be of the greatest value to the nation. Visit and follow @USCybChallenge.



The Association for Federal Information Resources Management (AFFIRM) is a non-profit, volunteer, educational organization whose overall purpose is to improve the management of information and related systems and resources within the Federal government.  Founded in 1979 and based in the Washington, DC area, AFFIRM’s members include information resources management professionals from the Federal, academic, and industry sectors.  In supporting this purpose, AFFIRM seeks to provide its members with professional development opportunities in three key focus areas of IT education, networking, and interaction with policymakers.  For further information on AFFIRM’s programs and scholarship contributions, visit and follow @AFFIRMtweets for updates.


Contact:  Katie Hanson
Phone:    847-337-1818


USDA to rename Client Technology Services under IT modernization drive

Federal News Radio
By: Jory Heckman

Friday, February 23, 2018

As part of an ongoing federal information technology modernization, the Agriculture Department plans to rename one of its IT service providers to reflect a doubling down on customer service.

Rory Schultz, a client executive at USDA, said Thursday during an AFFIRM panel discussion that the agency’s Client Technology Services would rebrand itself as the Customer Experience Center, effective March 2, and would reflect a new focus on enterprise end-user services under Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue.

“There’s a complete emphasis on customer … This is what our secretary said, and this is what we’re going to be implementing,” Schultz said Thursday during an AFFIRM panel discussion.

Since December, USDA has been working with the General Services Administration and the Office of American Innovation to pilot a centers of excellence program that would bring the public and private sectors together to help implement the White House’s finalized IT Modernization Strategy.

Click here to continue reading the article.