Casey Coleman, CIO of the U.S. General Services Administration since 2007, is part of a new generation of IT leaders who have undergraduate degrees in computer science and master's degrees in business administration.
"The CIO role is becoming less and less about the management of systems and more about choreography, being a conductor of services delivered via the cloud to a mobile, heterogeneous workforce," says Coleman, 45.
As GSA CIO, Coleman must shape a platform that meets the goals of President Barack Obama's administration to use technology as an enabler for transparent and collaborative government. Early last year, she presented an IT modernization plan to agency director Martha Johnson, who wanted it completed in 10 weeks, not 18 months.
That timeline was a challenge, but the agency was prepared. The GSA undertook an IT consolidation effort in 2006, when Coleman served as CIO of the GSA's Federal Acquisition Service.
In the 10-week period, the GSA upgraded Office 2003 to 2007; expanded its network and moved to MPLS; expanded remote access capabilities; and implemented two-factor authentication, passwords and GSA passcards, and VoIP. The goal was to finish by July 4, and while some work is ongoing, namely on the VoIP system, much progress has been made.
Deniece Peterson, manager of industry analysis at government market research firm Input, says this of Coleman: "If you look at what she's accomplished and what she plans to do -- she seems to be one of those innovative thinkers who sees the potential of IT in government."