McConnell garners '99 AFFIRM honor

McConnell garners '99 AFFIRM honor

Bruce McConnell

Former OMB systems policy chief takes top award; group recognizes work of four other IT leaders

By Frank Tiboni
GCN Staff

People often describe Bruce McConnell as the quiet, Lincolnesque guy in the back of the room. But when he speaks up, asking his trademark pointed questions, he gets everyone's attention.

The Association for Federal Information Resources Management this month named McConnell its information technology executive of the year. Each year, AFFIRM, an organization of government systems workers, recognizes outstanding executive leadership in the IT community.

McConnell is director of the International Year 2000 Cooperation Center, an international steering committee on the year 2000 problem founded by the United Nations, and is the international point man for the President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion.

McConnell joined the center in March after leaving the Office of Management and Budget, where he was Information Policy and Technology Branch chief in the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs.

It's come a long way In his speech accepting the AFFIRM honor, McConnell said that government IT employees are part of a great adventure. He reminisced about 1985, when he joined OMB. At the time the agency's ADP was outdated and government IT was known as information resources management.

Around 1993, IT caught on big in government under the leadership of President Clinton and Vice President Gore, McConnell said.

The era of electronic government had arrived.

'Y2K is the great adventure,' McConnell said. 'Either we'll stand up to it and show we've been responsive to it or not.'

This month, the International Year 2000 Cooperation Center held a conference on the year 2000 problem at which 177 countries tried to grasp how the world is handling the date code problem.

Other honorees

Besides McConnell, AFFIRM honored four other IT leaders at its awards luncheon in Washington:


  • Dennis Fischer of the General Services Administration received AFFIRM's acquisition leadership award in recognition of
    his work in helping the government acquire IT.

    AFFIRM honored Fischer, commissioner of GSA's Federal Technology Service, for his management of the FTS 2001 procurement and the agency's Seat Management Program.

  • The Education Department's Greg Woods received AFFIRM's service to the citizen leadership award for providing effective management of and technology for a program geared toward serving citizens.

    Woods, chief operating officer of Education's Student Financial Assistance Office, helped develop the administration's Access America program, which gives the public electronic access to government. He also created and led the Interagency Government Services Board.

  • Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) received the organization's congressional IT leadership award.

    Through his House seat, Davis has promoted effective use of IT in government, the group said.

  • Mike Lisagor, an AFFIRM board member and chairman of its Emerging Issues Forum, received the exemplary service award. He is president of consulting company Celerity Works LLC of Vienna, Va.

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