About the GCN IT Leadership Awards

The GCN IT Leadership Awards were created with the idea that the advancement of information technology in government begins with individuals who are as skilled at building enthusiasm as they are at building IT solutions.

This year, as in years past, our call for nominations drew a remarkable array of nominating letters. Each made a case for how one candidate or another made a difference not only in the workings of government, but in the lives of the people around them.

The 10 individuals we selected to honor this stood out for various reasons. Each tacked overwhelming challenges with vision, a can-do spirit and a certain prowess in harnessing technology. But each, in his or her way, also managed to inspire unusual support and solutions'often in the face of heavy resistance.

Such is the story of U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Chris Kluckhuhn, who without a staff, a budget, or direct authority, succeeded in building what became a successful maritime safety and law enforcement system. Or the story of Larry Padgett, director of IT operations for the nation's 11th largest school system, whose willingness to buck the status quo put the Palm Beach County (Fla.) schools on the national map as model for rebuilding network and e-mail systems.

Their stories, and the many others we received, paint a broader picture of how great leadership, regardless of position, is making a difference in government. Get to know the winners a little in this gatefold, and read their stories.

What the awards signify

The GCN Government IT Leadership Awards recognize government career workers whose exemplary record of performance and leadership has resulted in extraordinary accomplishments involving information technology in the service of government and who have inspired others to reach higher in their performance.

Who we consider

Qualifying candidates must be full-time, career civil servants at the GS-13 through Senior Executive Service level, or equivalent military rank or job level in a state, county or municipal government. They also must have some involvement with information technology in the performance of their duties.

How we select the winners

A panel of judges, including current and former senior level government executives and the editors of GCN, review nominating letters submitted to GCN by a peer, a supervisor, or an industry partner.

The criteria we use

The judges base their evaluation on the evidence provided for each candidate in demonstrating:
  • Sustained and exceptional leadership in government service involving the use or development of information technology
  • The ability to inspire co-workers to higher achievement
  • Courage on the job to take risks and to innovate.

Who judged this year

In addition to the editors of Government Computer News or its 1105 Government Information Group affiliates ' Wyatt Kash, Kevin McCaney, Joab Jackson, Jason Miller and Richard Walker ' this year's judges included:

Kathleen Adams, vice president and deputy director of health systems, SRA International Inc.

Judith Douglas, client industry executive for U.S. government business, EDS.

James Flyzik, president, The Flyzik Group.

Charles Havekost, Chief Information Officer, Health and Human Services Department.

Elizabeth McDaniel, dean of faculty and academic programs at the Information Resources Management College, National Defense University.

Emory Miller, senior vice president of government affairs, Robbins-Gioia LLC.

Kim Nelson, executive director of e-government for the U.S. public sector, Microsoft Corp.

Lisa Schlosser, chief information officer, Housing and Urban Development Department.

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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