Why the Fed 100 should make us all optimists

Serious challenges are everywhere in the market, but a review of the 2023 Federal 100 class shows there is a lot of great work going on too.

Given my recent Lord Voldemort blog about the possible return of sequestration and LPTA contracts, people might think I’m a pessimist about today’s market.

I’m generally an optimist and one of the reasons I think the government market is a good one to cover as a journalist are the people.

It is easy to get caught up in all the things that are going wrong in today’s environment. That’s why things such as FCW’s annual Federal 100 are such a powerful reminder of the good things that are going on.

Our sibling publication produces the Fed 100 list of people who have done exemplary work over the past year. They’ve gone above and beyond what is expected of them.

As you go down through the list, you can’t help but feel optimistic about the great work going on in the government.

There are people such as Caroline Bean, senior executive of the Joint Enterprise Services Directorate at the Defense Information Systems Agency. She’s leading several modernization efforts such as creating the Market Place portal for DOD users to have a single point to obtain tech tools and resources.

Winston A. Beauchamp is tagged with “license to save” after his name. The Air Force's deputy chief information officer is leading the consolidation of the branch's enterprise IT environment.

Beauchamp championed the Air Force’s new Oracle Enterprise Software License Agreement II, which collapsed hundreds of legacy contracts and generated $173 million in savings. The Army and Navy are now looking to join the vehicle.

I also always look at the Fed 100 for the industry winners, which take 17 spots on this year's list.

Among the industry winners are Jen Sovada, president of public sector at SandboxAQ. She’s spearheading efforts to combat the threats of quantum computing on national security systems and is working with NIST on its Migration to Post-Quantum Cryptography project.

Kamal Narang, vice president and general manager of the federal health sector at General Dynamics IT, is working with the Defense Health Agency and its Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence. He has also worked on projects to leverage the cloud to give researchers access to more data to study Medicare and Medicaid.

CACI International's chief technology officer Glenn Kurowski focuses on strategies for building the next generation of technical talent in national security.

He’s working with the Naval Academy on their curriculum and experiential learning programs to draw students into service careers in tech domains such as the electromagnetic spectrum, electronic warfare and cybersecurity.

These are just a handful of examples of some of the great work going on in the market. The examples go well beyond the final cut of 100 winners. The judges had to sift through hundreds of nominations to get to the 100 winners.

That tells me that there is a lot of pride in the work that is happening in the market. The desire to solve problems is strong.

While I do believe some harder times are ahead, I’m encouraged by so many people doing such great things. They should be recognized and honored.