New CSC president outlines civilian growth strategy

Mike Gaffney has expanded his purview as he moves from business development to operations

Mike Gaffney was named president of Computer Sciences Corp.’s North American Public Sector Civil and Health Services Group Jan. 4, after serving as president of business development for that sector. He previously served as vice president of business development for the Defense Department group.

As Civil and Health Services Group president, Gaffney provides executive leadership and strategic direction for much of the company’s business with federal civilian and state agencies. He also leads CSC’s initiatives to bring the company’s global health care experience and expertise to government customers.

Gaffney recently spoke with Associate Editor David Hubler about his new role, its challenges and opportunities, and the federal market role he envisions for CSC and his civilian government sector.

WT: What does your newly expanded mandate entail?

Gaffney: My group is all the civilian agencies with the exception of State and [the Homeland Security Department]. We have our Department of State and Department of Homeland Security in our Enforcement and Security Group. When you’re running business development, which is where I spent my career, the role at CSC is to identify, pursue and win new business opportunities. So you are constantly scanning the market for programs and new deals and new initiatives. You are focused on the front end of the business. When you are in this [new] role, which is an operational role — you could call it a [profit and loss] role — I am looking for the business development team to deliver a pipeline of opportunities that we can pursue. Then you’re responsible for the delivery of the deals. So it’s a whole different phase of the life cycle of business opportunity.

WT: What would you say is your No. 1 challenge?

Gaffney: In any organization, the key challenge is growth, especially in the public-sector market, a very, very competitive model. It’s not enough to say someone else will find the deals and then I will deliver them. We’re actively involved in working with our business development [staff] to help qualify and figure out which of the deals we want to get; what technical resources to support the bids; and then once the work is won, we look for additional opportunities to support the customer in new areas, which again would grow the work for the company.

WT: What civilian agencies do you view as having the best potential for business growth?

Gaffney: With passage of health care legislation, agencies like Veterans Affairs, and Health and Human Services, and Social Security, which has a strong health care role as well, are seeing significantly increased funding driven by macro trends such as demographics. As we digest what the health care reform legislation will mean, it will quickly translate policies into legislation and into programs. We’re going to see a significant uptick in the work of those agencies. Also the [Federal Aviation Administration's] modernization of the air traffic control systems is clearly a priority. And NASA’s budget reprioritization has given them a more achievable mission and funding to support it.

The other national initiative that is clearly centered in the civilian agencies is how we are going to deal with climate change. With the creation of the National Climate Service, there is going to be expanded administration focus on not only the mitigation of climate change but also its adaptation. The planning and analysis of dealing with world climate changes represent another significant area that we are putting a focus on.

WT: I would imagine that your new leadership role has expanded quite a bit from your previous position, certainly in terms of the number of employees you supervise now.

Gaffney: It has gone from about 150 to 4,000. In my other job, it was possible to meet everybody who worked for you, so I would interview everybody who is joining the organization, unless I specifically delegated it. But my model was to try to meet all the [business developers], all the capture managers that I hired, all the proposal managers, and then follow up with them to see how it was working out. At 4,000, that gets a little harder. I am trying to pace myself and meet folks at our various locations to spend some time with them and understand what they’re doing. That's why I'm talking to you from Huntsville, Ala.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

Reader Comments

Wed, Apr 14, 2010 Mike Policano

Unfortunately what Gaffney alludes to is all based on astronomical sums of unsupported tax dollar funding. He clearly describes CSC objective is to become a another major sponge on tax dollars, as an appendage to US government agancies. CSC's future will depend heavily on constant flow of tax dollars for sustainability. Tax dollars source will inflow from the private sector will continually decline and tax dollars to pay CSC will continually come of the Washington DC printing presses further eroding the worth of the dollar.

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