Women Tech Leaders

Women Tech Leaders

 
Women Tech Leaders
Women Tech Leaders
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Washington, D.C.

The future of the federal government will comprise a workforce that better represents the diverse population it serves, and agencies are strategizing on how to make this a reality. In many ways, these initiatives will impact technology priorities and processes, including recruitment efforts, Agile frameworks, artificial intelligence, data management and more. With women representing only a quarter of the entire STEM field, the calling for women technology leaders to public service is vital and urgent. These prominent women discuss the solutions to challenges many technology teams are facing governmentwide. 

Date
July 14, 2022
Time
8:00 - 11:00 AM ET
Where
International Spy Museum, Washington, D.C.
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Video Replay

The future of the federal government will comprise a workforce that better represents the diverse population it serves, and agencies are strategizing on how to make this a reality. In many ways, these initiatives will impact technology priorities and processes, including recruitment efforts, Agile frameworks, artificial intelligence, data management and more.

Robin Carnahan, Administrator, GSA

Hear from Valerie Cofield, Chief of Strategy, Policy and Plans, CISA and Andrea Fletcher, Executive Director of the Digital Service, CMS.

Hear from Monica Langley, Deputy CIO, FEMA, Eunice Ikene, Attorney Advisor in the Office of the Chair, EEOC and Laura Prietula, Acting Deputy CIO, Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office, VA

Hear from Rebecca Boyles, Director, Center for Data Modernization Solutions, RTI International, Jennifer Moser, Associate Director of Scientific Programs, Million Veteran Program, VA, Katie Savage, Deputy Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer, DOD and Charneta Samms, CTO, DEVCOM, U.S. Army

Hear from Dr. Kelly Fletcher, Principal Deputy CIO, DOD, Cynthia Kaiser, Section Chief, Cyber Division, FBI, Lt. Gen. Mary O'Brien, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, U.S. Air Force and Denise Sisson, Vice President of Archon Sales, ID Technologies

Related Coverage

Peer mentorship and unconscious bias intervention are helping women succeed in the federal workforce.
As public sector organizations modernize, leadership ensures sophisticated IT enterprises facilitate data sharing that advances their core missions.
Public sector organizations have begun working on human capital strategies designed to support a more diverse and engaged workforce.
Customer-facing services like the CMS provide unique cybersecurity challenges, but the White House's Office of the National Cyber Director is providing new funding assistance.

Agenda

 
-

Breakfast & Networking

-

Opening Remarks

  • Robin Carnahan, Administrator, GSA
-

Fireside Chat: Policies for Zero Trust and Accessibility to Services

  • Valerie Cofield, Chief of Strategy, Policy and Plans, CISA
  • Andrea Fletcher, Executive Director of the Digital Service, CMS
  • Moderator: Kate Macri, Senior Researcher, GovCIO Media & Research
-

Panel: Human Capital Management and A Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive Future

Faced with a 2021 executive order for the federal government to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, agencies are developing new strategies that impact technology and human capital management teams. This also includes maintaining an effective HR staff that can protect the diversity and equity principles for how federal employees are hired and managed. These leaders discuss how they are overcoming challenges to shape a more technologically equitable future.

  • Monica Langley, Deputy CIO, FEMA
  • Laura Prietula, Acting Deputy CIO, Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office, VA
  • Liza Zamd, Attorney Advisor in the Office of the Vice Chair, EEOC
  • Moderator: Sarah Sybert, Staff Writer/Researcher, GovCIO Media & Research
-

Coffee Break

-

Panel: Leveraging Data to Promote Equity

Following a 2021 executive order calling on agencies to advance racial equity and an OMB memo directing agencies to assess their equity barriers, federal agencies are embracing data as a strategic asset for these goals. As agencies develop data governance, policy and infrastructure, advancing equity remains critical. We'll discuss with federal leaders how they're using data, building modernized infrastructure and reducing burdens via emerging technology in order to promote equity and representation while driving their missions forward.

  • Rebecca Boyles, Director, Center for Data Modernization Solutions, RTI International
  • Jennifer Moser, Associate Director of Scientific Programs, Million Veteran Program, VA
  • Katie Savage, Deputy Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer, DOD
  • Charneta Samms, CTO, DEVCOM, U.S. Army
  • Moderator: Melissa Harris, Senior Researcher, GovCIO Media & Research
-

Coffee Break

-

Panel: The Next Generation of Cyber Defenders are Women

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly said she wants 50% of the cybersecurity workforce to be women by 2030. CISA estimates there are half a million unfilled cybersecurity jobs, which poses a national security risk due to the prevalence of malicious cyber activity impacting critical infrastructure sectors. Female cyber leaders will discuss the paths that led them to their roles and their priorities in these agency leadership positions.

  • Dr. Kelly Fletcher, Principal Deputy CIO, DOD
  • Cynthia Kaiser, Section Chief, Cyber Division, FBI
  • Lt. Gen. Mary O'Brien, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, U.S. Air Force
  • Denise Sisson, Vice President of Archon Sales, ID Technologies
  • Moderator: Kate Macri, Senior Researcher, GovCIO Media & Research
-

Closing Remarks

  • Amy Kluber, Editor-in-Chief, GovCIO Media & Research

Featuring

 

Rebecca Boyles is the Founding Director of the Center for Data Modernization Solutions at RTI International, where she leads a team developing fit-for-purpose solutions to enable clients to use data for the public good. The Center for Data Modernization Solutions bridges the research- information technology gap, applying a data ecosystem perspective that enables clients to maximize the value of their data assets. She has deep expertise in team science to support data-driven collaboration and Findable, Assessable, Interoperable, and Reusable (FAIR) data principles across the research data lifecycle through trainings, consulting and system design. She is the Co-PI of the NHLBI BioData Catalyst Coordinating Center, which oversees the architecture and FAIR data framework for the cross-cloud, advanced cyberinfrastructure which brings together genomics workflows, community tools, secure workspaces, and data management functions into an unified ecosystem. She also serves as a Co-PI on the NIH Helping to End Addiction Long-term (HEAL) Initiative HEAL Data Stewards effort which serves as a resource to HEAL investigators for making their data FAIR and ready for analysis including artificial intelligence applications. She is working with the environmental health science community-supported common vocabularies and ontologies for describing data and works to make data more valuable through contributions to Research Data Alliance and the Global Alliance for Genomics & Health.

Director, Center for Data Modernization Solutions, RTI International

Robin Carnahan currently serves as the Administrator of the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

As Administrator, she is working to empower GSA career professionals and build on the agency’s efforts to deliver the best value in real estate, acquisition, and technology services to the government and American people.

Prior to joining GSA, Carnahan served in executive and leadership roles in business, academia and government, including as the Secretary of State of Missouri (2005-2013), and founded and led the State and Local Government Practice at 18F, a tech consultancy, inside GSA (2016–2020). She’s a nationally recognized government technology leader and in 2017 was named one of the federal government’s “Top Women in Tech.” Most recently, Carnahan was a Fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center where she co-founded the State Software Collaborative.

As Secretary of State, Carnahan also served as the state’s Chief Election Official and State Securities Regulator and was responsible for providing in-person and online services to hundreds of thousands of customers. An essential part of her job was leading the office’s technology modernization efforts across 7 operating divisions. She frequently speaks, writes and testifies about government innovation through smarter use of technology.

While previously at GSA, Carnahan helped federal, state and local government agencies improve customer facing digital services and cut costs. She focused on training and empowering non-technical executives on ways to reduce risk and deliver better results for the public by more effectively budgeting, procuring, implementing, and overseeing digital modernization projects.

Carnahan holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from William Jewell College and a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law.

Administrator, GSA

Valerie M. Cofield serves as the Chief Strategy Officer of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA).

Ms. Cofield serves as the principal policy and strategic adviser to CISA leadership and senior management, integrating strategy across all the organization’s mission areas and ensuring policy, strategy, and operational consistency throughout the agency.

Prior to CISA, Ms. Cofield served at the FBI for 22 years in a variety of roles. She was a Deputy Assistant Director (DAD) for the Cyber Capabilities Branch within the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Cyber Division where she led coordination and deployment of the division’s technical tools and capabilities, and oversaw cyber-related training, recruiting, hiring, and budgeting for the division. She also served in a senior executive role as chief of staff of the Science and Technology Branch and as a DAD of the Digital Transformation Office (DTO), where she engaged with interagency partners and other key stakeholders on policy issues related to current and emerging technologies and their impact on law enforcement.

In 2019, Ms. Cofield was selected as the FBI’s senior detail to the Cyberspace Solarium Commission. This Congressional Commission was authorized through the FY2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). Its mission was to develop a national strategy for preventing cyberattacks of significant consequences. While on the Commission, Ms. Cofield was a Senior Director and Task Force Lead. The Commission completed its report in March of 2020 with over 75 recommendations, 25 of which were included in the FY21 NDAA and enacted into law.

Ms. Cofield holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics with a minor in Accounting from UCLA.

Chief of Strategy, Policy and Plans, CISA

Andrea Fletcher is a global health expert, focusing on epidemiology and health information systems. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the Digital Service at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. In this role she is responsible for leading digital modernization efforts at CMS, which promote interoperability and public access to health data.

Prior to her digital service role, Andrea spent most of the last 10 years traveling around the world building digital health systems across 20+ countries, primarily working in sub-Saharan Africa. She has built mobile apps for healthcare workers, integrated biometric IDs into electronic health record systems, designed national-level interoperability layers, and deployed new disease surveillance systems making contributions to pandemic responses in Ebola, HIV, and COVID-19.

Andrea holds a B.A. in Bioethics from Washington and Jefferson College, and a Masters of Public Health (MPH) from Emory University, and is currently a PhD student at the London school of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in Epidemiology and Population Health.

Executive Director of the Digital Service, CMS

Dr. Kelly Fletcher is a career member of the Senior Executive Service and the Principal Deputy CIO.  In this capacity, she supports the DoD CIO in serving as the primary advisor to the Secretary of Defense for information technology, cybersecurity, communications, spectrum, and position, navigation and timing.  She has served in DoD CIO since February 2020 in a variety of roles including Performing the Duties of the DoD CIO and as the Principal Director for Resources & Analysis.

Dr. Fletcher’s federal government career has included leadership roles in both the technology and strategic resourcing domains and she has led a number of significant reorganizations.  Prior to joining DoD CIO, Dr. Fletcher served as the Deputy Director for Program Analysis & Evaluation at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) where she supervised and coordinated the development of the DHS-wide budget (~$50B appropriated).  She also led the realignment of the Federal Protective Services (more than 10,000 employees, ~$1B annual spend) from the Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) to the Management directorate.

Dr. Fletcher served in the Department of the Navy from December 2016 to September 2018 in roles including Acting Department of the Navy CIO and Business Modernization Lead.  As the CIO, she provided strategic leadership for all Department of the Navy information technology policy and budget decisions and led a Department-wide reorganization of information technology governance and oversight. 

Dr. Fletcher spent six years with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) where she served as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director and as an operations research analyst.  Prior to her government service, she worked in the private sector as an engineer.

Dr. Fletcher earned her Ph.D. in engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology and her B.S. from Washington University in St. Louis. 

Principal Deputy CIO, DOD

Eunice Ikene is an Attorney Advisor in the Office of the Chair where she co-leads the work on the agency’s artificial intelligence and algorithmic fairness initiative. Prior to joining the Chair’s office, she served as staff on the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor for eight years. During her time working in Congress, she spearheaded efforts to strengthen wage and hour and employment discrimination laws, including passing the Raise the Wage Act, Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, and the Paycheck Fairness Act in the House of Representatives. She holds a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and B.B.A. in Management Consulting and Political Science from the University of Notre Dame. She is admitted to the Maryland Bar.

Attorney Advisor in the Office of the Chair, EEOC

Cynthia Kaiser is a Section Chief with FBI Cyber Division. She has covered cyber, technology, and counterintelligence issues for over 16 years for the FBI and has led FBI cyber threat analysis since 2017. In this role, she serves as an FBI lead for cyber threats to elections, meets regularly with the private sector and state and local government officials, promotes information sharing across all levels of government, and collaborates with partners to help place the FBI in the best position possible to impose risks and consequences on malicious cyber actors. Cynthia holds a Master’s degree in security policy focused on science and technology, and an Executive Master’s degree in leadership.

Section Chief, Cyber Division, FBI

Monica Langley was appointed as FEMA’s Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO) in January 2020 after serving as Acting Deputy CIO in the months prior. As Deputy CIO, Ms. Langley provides leadership and oversight for Information Technology (IT) Management, including resource planning, strategic and capital investment planning, enterprise IT procurement, customer relationship management, and help desk support. Ms. Langley’s portfolio focus covers budget, governance, and policy to enhance IT management, reduce audit findings, and improve FEMA’s Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) scorecard.

Ms. Langley completed a one-year rotational assignment as the Deputy Chief Information Officer (CIO) for Operations (A); where she led the management, operations, and maintenance of FEMA information systems, networks, and IT services that provide critical IT and communications infrastructure for both steady-state and disaster operations. 

Ms. Langley has served in multiple federal agencies over her 30 years in government, starting her service in 1988 as a United States Marine where she was the first woman to become a Marine Combat Instructor of Water Survival. Ms. Langley went on to serve as a primary developer for the Corporate Information Management System at the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) and Chief of Information Resources Management for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Public Affairs, before joining FEMA as the Office of Response and Recovery’s Information Technology Management Branch (ITMB) Chief in August 2016.

Ms. Langley holds a Master of Science in Software Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management. She is also a graduate of the Federal Executive Institute, Harvard Business School for Executive Education, and holds a Chief Technology Officer Certificate from the National Defense University.

Deputy CIO, FEMA
Associate Director of Scientific Programs, Million Veteran Program, VA

Lt. Gen. Mary F. O’Brien is the Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, Headquarters U.S. Air Force, Arlington, Virginia. She is responsible to the Secretary and Chief of Staff of the Air Force for policy formulation, planning, evaluation, oversight and leadership of Air Force intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance and cyber effects operations capabilities. As the Air Force's Senior Intelligence Officer, she is directly responsible to the Director of National Intelligence and the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence. She leads six directorates and supports a 73,000-person intelligence and cyber operations enterprise with a portfolio valued at $72 billion across the Air Force.

Lt. Gen. O'Brien received her commission upon graduation from the U.S. Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science degree in chemistry. She has served in a variety of intelligence command and staff assignments. Her commands include the 22nd Intelligence Squadron, Fort George G. Meade, Maryland; 691st ISR Group, RAF Menwith Hill, United Kingdom; and 70th ISR Wing, Fort George G. Meade. Lt. Gen. O’Brien has also served in numerous staff leadership positions including the Joint Staff, the Office of the Secretary of the Air Force Legislative Liaison, Headquarters U.S. Air Force and Air Force Space Command and served as the U.S. Cyber Command Director of Intelligence.

Prior to her current assignment, she served as Commander, Twenty-fifth Air Force, and was responsible for more than 29,000 personnel conducting worldwide operations and the delivery of multisource intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance products, applications, capabilities and resources. In addition, she served as the Commander of the Service Cryptologic Component responsible to the Director, National Security Agency and Chief, Central Security Service, as the Air Force's sole authority for matters involving the conduct of cryptologic activities.

Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, U.S. Air Force

Laura Prietula is the acting Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) for VA’s Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office. In that role, she is responsible for the technical implementation of VA’s modernized electronic health record (EHR) and for ensuring bidirectional communication with the clinical and technical staff at local sites to effectively transition to using this new ecosystem in the delivery of safe health care. She works with the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) to ensure sustainability and responsive customer support for the new EHR.

Prior to her appointment as acting DCIO in December 2021, Ms. Prietula was the executive director for the OIT Health Portfolio, where she was responsible for the product life cycle and IT software development activities delivering health care, benefits and services. Prietula also worked in the Veterans Experience Office as acting executive director for Multi-Channel Technology, where she led systemwide transformations, such as COVID-19 Chatbot and Clinical Trial registration and VA Profile (ensuring a 360-degree view of the customer profile) and established the Veterans Health Administration (VHA) Profiles used in the modernized EHR, where her primary goals were focused on customer experience (patient, Veteran, family and employees) and positive adoption of new technologies.

Through her over 15 years in VA, she has led enterprise initiatives such as Enrollment System Redesign, Combat Veterans, Identity and Access Management, Veterans Benefits Administration integration with VHA processes, Affordable Care Act, Choice Act, Caregivers, MISSION Act and Contact Center modernization, where she successfully worked across the department and with other agencies such as the Department of Defense, Department of Health and Human Services, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Communications Commission and Social Security Administration.

Ms. Prietula brings more than 28 years of leadership, organizational change management, strategic planning, integration, engineering and customer experience insights from both the private and public sectors. She participates in many federal committees and workgroups to improve data sharing, promote data analytics, enhance customer experiences and incorporate the use of new technologies.

Ms. Prietula has worked in the health, manufacturing, financial and services industries since 1993. She has an exceptional background in conducting disruptive innovations to transform customer benefits delivery, create business synergies and maximize business results.

Ms. Prietula holds a bachelor’s degree in computer science engineering from Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM Mexico) and a master’s degree in decision and information sciences from the University of Florida. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in leadership and learning in organizations from Vanderbilt University, with an expected graduation date of December 2022.

Acting Deputy CIO, Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office, VA
CTO, DEVCOM, U.S. Army

Ms. Katie Savage is the Director of Defense Digital Service and Deputy CDAO, leading the 80-person "team of nerds" based at three locations around the U.S. As a Highly Qualified Expert (HQE), Ms. Savage brings both her government and private sector experiences to DDS. Ms. Savage has grown the DDS team nearly 150%, recruiting top-tier military and civilian talent from around the U.S. while increasing the team's diversity of skills and backgrounds. Ms. Savage also led the acquisition of the Rogue Squadron counter-UAS unit from the Defense Innovation Unit into the DDS portfolio at the direction of Secretary Esper to improve our detect, display, and defeat modalities for small drones. She continues to focus on expanding the DDS product portfolio, ranging from a symptom checking tool for COVID-19 currently deployed around the world to the expansion of our Hack the Pentagon bug bounty program.

Prior to DDS, Ms. Savage led the launch of the City Tech Collaborative in Chicago, a tech organization reinventing essential city services and infrastructure using advanced technology, in partnership with corporations, philanthropies, and universities. She also led the City of Chicago’s Plan for Economic Growth & Jobs, developing initiatives ranging from small businesses support to major transit corridor revitalization. From 2008-2010, she served as a U.S. Peace Corps Volunteer in Malawi. Ms. Savage holds a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania and a B.A. in Political Science and Interdisciplinary Studies from American University in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Savage has spoken about government and civic tech at forums around the world, including UN Habitat in Brussels, the Business of Design Week in Hong Kong, Chicago Ideas Week in Chicago, and the Institute for Competitive Inner Cities in Cleveland. She has received a number of awards for her work, including Chicago Inno’s “50 on Fire” and FedScoop’s “Tech Champion of the Year” award in 2020.

Deputy Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer, DOD
Vice President of Archon Sales, ID Technologies
Attorney Advisor in the Office of the Vice Chair, EEOC

Agenda

 
-

Breakfast & Networking

-

Opening Remarks

  • Robin Carnahan, Administrator, GSA
-

Fireside Chat: Policies for Zero Trust and Accessibility to Services

  • Valerie Cofield, Chief of Strategy, Policy and Plans, CISA
  • Andrea Fletcher, Executive Director of the Digital Service, CMS
  • Moderator: Kate Macri, Senior Researcher, GovCIO Media & Research
-

Panel: Human Capital Management and A Diverse, Equitable, Inclusive Future

Faced with a 2021 executive order for the federal government to prioritize diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, agencies are developing new strategies that impact technology and human capital management teams. This also includes maintaining an effective HR staff that can protect the diversity and equity principles for how federal employees are hired and managed. These leaders discuss how they are overcoming challenges to shape a more technologically equitable future.

  • Monica Langley, Deputy CIO, FEMA
  • Laura Prietula, Acting Deputy CIO, Electronic Health Record Modernization Integration Office, VA
  • Liza Zamd, Attorney Advisor in the Office of the Vice Chair, EEOC
  • Moderator: Sarah Sybert, Staff Writer/Researcher, GovCIO Media & Research
-

Coffee Break

-

Panel: Leveraging Data to Promote Equity

Following a 2021 executive order calling on agencies to advance racial equity and an OMB memo directing agencies to assess their equity barriers, federal agencies are embracing data as a strategic asset for these goals. As agencies develop data governance, policy and infrastructure, advancing equity remains critical. We'll discuss with federal leaders how they're using data, building modernized infrastructure and reducing burdens via emerging technology in order to promote equity and representation while driving their missions forward.

  • Rebecca Boyles, Director, Center for Data Modernization Solutions, RTI International
  • Jennifer Moser, Associate Director of Scientific Programs, Million Veteran Program, VA
  • Katie Savage, Deputy Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Officer, DOD
  • Charneta Samms, CTO, DEVCOM, U.S. Army
  • Moderator: Melissa Harris, Senior Researcher, GovCIO Media & Research
-

Coffee Break

-

Panel: The Next Generation of Cyber Defenders are Women

Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) Director Jen Easterly said she wants 50% of the cybersecurity workforce to be women by 2030. CISA estimates there are half a million unfilled cybersecurity jobs, which poses a national security risk due to the prevalence of malicious cyber activity impacting critical infrastructure sectors. Female cyber leaders will discuss the paths that led them to their roles and their priorities in these agency leadership positions.

  • Dr. Kelly Fletcher, Principal Deputy CIO, DOD
  • Cynthia Kaiser, Section Chief, Cyber Division, FBI
  • Lt. Gen. Mary O'Brien, Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance and Cyber Effects Operations, U.S. Air Force
  • Denise Sisson, Vice President of Archon Sales, ID Technologies
  • Moderator: Kate Macri, Senior Researcher, GovCIO Media & Research
-

Closing Remarks

  • Amy Kluber, Editor-in-Chief, GovCIO Media & Research

Gold Sponsors

 
RTI
 
Dell Technologies Titanium Partner - ID Technologies
 

Silver Sponsor

 
WIT