2008 Rising Star Lee James

Lee James mixes technology and communication

2008 Rising Star


TITLE: Information technology management specialist

AGENCY: Army

LOCATION: Newington, Va.

CAREER IN BRIEF: James manages the Defense Department's RF-ITV system, the world's largest radio frequency identification network.

Lee James

Emily Barnes for 1105 Media Inc.

Lee James was completing work on a bachelor's degree in
computer science at Langston University in Oklahoma in 2000 when he
served a summer internship at the nearby Army Defense Ammunition
Center. It was his first exposure to working with the military.
James took to it.


'That piqued my interest in pursuing a job with the
Army,' he said. 'I liked the environment. I liked the
drive that people had. They weren't doing it to get rich.
They were doing it to make a difference and contribute.'

Eight years later, James is making a difference and contributing
at the Defense Department. As configuration manager of the
Army's Radio Frequency In-Transit Visibility System, he
oversees a radio-frequency identification logistics network that
tracks the status and location of mission-critical cargo in transit
across the vast reaches of DOD's enterprise. James is
directly responsible for the design, implementation and life cycle
management of the system, which includes five servers in four
countries.


In a year and a half, James had made a big impact, said Gary
Winkler, program executive officer of Army Enterprise Information
Systems. James has 'demonstrated a remarkable ability to lead
people, manage the development of new technical solutions and
maintain system readiness in a cost-effective manner,'
Winkler said.


But what separates James, 30, from other young managers are his
interpersonal skills and ability to communicate complex technology
issues in simple terms to the leaders who make business decisions,
Winkler said. 'Young up-and-comers like Lee come to the job
with good technical skills, but what's really critical is how
they interact with people, how they carry themselves,' he
said. 'Lee has taken his superb technical skills and married
them with excellent interpersonal skills and used that to move the
program forward.' he said.


James said his biggest challenge in maintaining the network is
keeping up with new technology. 'The system is fairly
mature,' he said. 'It's just about evolving it to
support the joint warfighter.'


About Rising Stars 2008


Turnover among information technology leaders is a fact of life
in government circles. Who's there to take the baton? The
2008 Rising Stars exemplify the strengths of the emerging
generation of IT leaders, mixing technical savvy and innovative
thinking with an instinct for collaboration and a commitment to the
government's mission. Government Computer News is joining
Federal Computer Week and Washington Technology in making the
awards an 1105 Government Information Group 360-degree special
report. For a look at all the Rising Stars, click here.



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