Editor's Desk | Next generation

Last month in this space, we noted that one of the tougher aspects of turnover at the top of government agencies was the sense of loss in seeing individuals many of us know personally take their leave.

It's easy to take a 10,000-foot view, where the exodus looks like a shifting crowd. But from the ground, one sees colleagues whose contributions and expertise will be missed.

We tend to look at the next generation of public servants in a similar way. It's easy to view this workforce as some new, demographically distinct crowd while failing to see the individual faces ' and the talent and aspirations ' in the crowd.

That's one reason why GCN is pleased to join its sister publications, Federal Computer Week and Washington Technology, in honoring this year's Rising Stars award winners in the world of government information technology.

The men and women highlighted in this issue are among more than three dozen inspiring individuals who were singled out by their superiors for leadership and promise ' and then chosen by a distinguished group of judges from a much larger pool of candidates, to be this year's Rising Stars award winners.

In keeping with GCN's focus on technology implementation, this edition spotlights the Rising Stars making strides on government IT projects. Federal Computer Week profiles those who are making their marks in policy, procurement and acquisition. And Washington Technology's Aug. 11 issue profiles the Rising Stars working for government contractors and integrators.

Profiles on all of the winners, and our list of judges, can be found here.

Not surprisingly, what one sees when meeting these men and women is a diverse group ' not all are millennials, even if they are relatively new to government service. Many share some of the characteristics that propelled baby boomers into public service before them ' most notably, a desire to make a difference.

At the same time, these individuals bring a different, more collaborative mind-set to their government jobs.

That's an encouraging sign, given today's new work demands.

Now if only government agencies could do a better job overhauling their hiring and workplace practices to attract more of these promising rising stars.

About the Author

Wyatt Kash served as chief editor of GCN (October 2004 to August 2010) and also of Defense Systems (January 2009 to August 2010). He currently serves as Content Director and Editor at Large of 1105 Media.

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