EPA confronts integration challenge

Kimberly Terese Nelson, assistant administrator and chief information officer, Office of Environmental Information

Took the job: Nov. 30, 2001

Hometown: Philadelphia

Home now: McLean, Va.

Family: Husband Kevin; two daughters, Kelsey and Mackenzie
Hobbies: "I love to play golf, garden and travel and spending as much time around water as possible."

Last book read: "The Corrections" by Jonathan Franzen

Alma mater: Bachelor of science degree in secondary education, political science from Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; master of public administration from the University of Pennsylvania.
Nelson lived in Harrisburg for the last 22 years. Before coming to the EPA, she was CIO for the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and also had served as its executive deputy secretary.

What are the IT challenges facing the EPA?

Our biggest challenge is fully integrating information across program and government lines so environmental professionals at all levels of government have the right information at the right time to make the best decisions. We are doing this by creating the National Environmental Information Exchange Network. EPA must make several changes to accomplish this goal. We must better define our business and data architecture. Our goal is to complete this high-level architecture by [this fall.] Once the architecture is complete, we must be more structured in our investment review procedures to ensure all IT investments are consistent with this new architecture.

What do you look for in companies that do business with EPA?

I want talent. I want to see highly creative, productive individuals who can help advance EPA's agenda quickly. I expect contractors to work together as part of the same team and to help me achieve our enterprisewide goals while still meeting individual customer's needs.

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