Special Report | Channel leaders: Firsthand experience

Greg Pellegrino, public sector global managing director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

The leaders

» Mark Blevins

Perot Government Systems

Vice president of civilian services

» Jerold Clark Jr.

Anteon International Corp.

Senior group manager of operational intelligence

» Douglas Gilbert

Verizon Federal Network Systems

Director, Energy Dept. operations

» Bhaskaran Jayaraman

Avineon Inc.

IT director

» Kevin Lee

Health Management Systems Inc.

Vice president and senior program director

» Eric Olson

InfoReliance Corp.

Director of Marine programs

» Greg Pellegrino

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Public sector global managing director

» Tim Schilbach

Apogen Technologies Inc.

Project manager

» William Smithson

SI International Inc

Vice president of financial systems applications development

» Heinz Wimmer

Analex Corp.

Vice president of central operations

How we found our leaders

The Washington Technology Channel Leaders were picked from nominations submitted by our readers. The editorial staff read the nominations and judged them on the following:

» How the person helped a federal, state or local government agency fulfill its mission

» How the person helped his or her company meet growth, positioning and profitability goals

» How the person showed creativity, leadership and good partnership in the delivery of products or services to a government customer.

Nominations of chief executive officers, division presidents and executive vice presidents were not accepted. Instead, we wanted to recognize the people in the trenches: program and project managers and sales and business development executives. These are the people who touch and interact with government customers daily.

Greg Pellegrino, public sector global managing director, Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Rick Steele

Something few people know about Greg Pellegrino of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu is that when he was 18 years old, he was invited to train as a bicyclist for the U.S. Olympic Team.

Because of his passion for the sport, it was no surprise that he volunteered some years later to lead a team of Deloitte employees who volunteered to repair broken bicycles for patients at Children's Hospital outside Washington.

"The bikes were beyond repair," Pellegrino said. He called a friend who owned a bike shop, and bought new bikes at a discount to replace the damaged ones. "By noon, we had a truck of brand new bicycles to donate."

He applies the same kind of approach to his job as a global managing director for Deloitte's public sector. If the initial strategy for a particular government project doesn't work, he and his team will find an alternate strategy, often with a superior outcome.

Deloitte's public sector group, which was established two years ago, accounts for 10 percent ($1.8 billion) of the company's $18.2 billion in annual revenue. While the federal market is growing at 8 percent, Deloitte's federal practice is growing at 33 percent.

Pellegrino oversees Deloitte's work with the Homeland Security Department. The relationship began when the Transportation Security Administration tapped Deloitte to enhance the agency's communications and information-sharing capabilities.

He has a special knack for building customer relationships, partly by sharing his own experiences gleaned from other public sector projects over the past 18 years.

"I believe my first-hand stories of what has worked and what hasn't worked are interesting to people," he said. "Over time, you develop a better appreciation for what the demands are on leaders who are in the government, and you are able to relate to them in a way that helps you become a trusted adviser."

But his experience and empathy is matched by sound reasoning, said Peter Brown, who works alongside Pellegrino.

"He can take a complex problem, break it down into parts and take each piece of that puzzle and explain it in layman's terms," Brown said.

Sometimes, Brown said, it's hard to keep pace with Pellegrino when he's going "a hundred miles an hour" on projects and managing multiple tasks at the same time.

Pellegrino's advice to those who work with government is to listen closely and be prepared.

"Any time I go to visit with a government agency, I research its issues, study its speeches and prepare a briefing for my teams," he said.

What does Pellegrino like about his job? "No two days are alike," he said. The ultimate irony, he said, is that some people regard the government as being overly complex, bureaucratic and slow.

"I can assure people that it is quite a different environment," he said. "We've seen decisions made at lightning speed in response to issues that have affected us following 9/11."

About the Author

William Welsh is a freelance writer covering IT and defense technology.

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