FOSE 2009

The Handicapper's Guide to the FOSE conference

FOSE has been best known as an exhibition for vendors of government-related information technology products. On the first day, you get a big, empty bag emblazoned with a logo of CDW Government, GTSI or some other company, and you spend the next day or two walking the aisles, filling that bag with whatever freebies vendors hand out at the booths. You might even check out a new technology or two. Good times.

FOSE technology preview

During the past several years, though, the FOSE team has beefed up the event with a wealth of tutorials, speakers and other educational events. If you're not careful, you could even learn a thing or two at the show, which is run by GCN’s parent, 1105 Government Information Group. In fact, the Graduate School, USDA is offering credits for some sessions. There are so many good speakers that looking over the agenda can leave you overwhelmed. So here at GCN, we've taken the liberty of assembling a Handicapper’s Guide, a schedule of speakers and events that might be of most interest to you. This is a subjective list, however, so if what you see here doesn’t quite grab you, check out the full schedule at And for the events you can't get to, be sure to keep an eye on GCN’s FOSE Web page with updates from the show and conference.


9 a.m.-10 a.m., Chris Anderson, Wired magazine (Room 146B): FOSE 2009 is sporting a Web 2.0 feel, so it seems appropriate to kick it off with Wired magazine's editor-in-chief, Chris Anderson, who will talk about how government can harness citizen-centered Web 2.0 technologies.

12:30 p.m.-2 p.m., The Booz Allen cloud computing war game (140A & 140B): This break might be a good time to check out this clever game board-based exercise — though be sure to make a reservation beforehand. In this war game, you compare the benefits and drawbacks of traditional IT and cloud computing models. Sessions are held multiple times on all three days of FOSE.

1:30 p.m.-2:45 p.m., "Using virtual worlds to conduct business" (S31): True to its name, this panel will be conducted through the online Second Life virtual world. Come hear about how you can put Second Life to work for your agency.

3 p.m.-4 p.m., "Establishing a cost-effective and consistent IT risk management program" (S12): How do you measure the risk associated with possible data loss? The National Institute of Standards and Technology's Ron Ross and the Library of Congress' Steve Elky talk about the NIST Risk Management Framework.

3 p.m.-8 p.m.: CloudCamp Federal: This casual series of sessions — an "unconference" as the organizers like to call it — will allow attendees to share their experiences with implementing cloud computing services. You can register at


9 a.m.-10 a.m., Ann Livermore, executive vice president, Hewlett-Packard (Room 146B): The second day kicks off with industry veteran Livermore on how federal agencies can use virtualization, green IT and other recent initiatives to save money and mitigate risks.

10 a.m.-11:30 a.m., Web 2.0 rock star panel (Room 146B): Continuing the Web 2.0 theme, the American Council for Technology's Industry Advisory Council is hosting a panel of noted Web 2.0 thinkers, including Intellipedia's Chris Rasmussen, GovLoop's Steve Ressler, National Defense University's Mark Drapeau, and WFED radio personality Chris Dorobek.

10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m., "Reflections on security changes in the federal civil government," (S23): The director of the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team, Mischel Kwon, will talk about recent government security initiatives, such as Trusted Internet Connections and the Federal Desktop Core Configuration.

11:45 a.m.-1:15 p.m., "The brave new world of the five-day war" (Conference lunchroom): Last year's conflict between Russia and Georgia brought home the message that future combat scenarios will take place in cyberspace in addition to the physical world. Eka Tkeshelashvili, national security adviser to the president of Georgia, and others will discuss.

2:45 p.m.-4:00 p.m., "The virtual reality: Securely embracing virtualization," (S24): Virtualization can help drive down IT costs, but it also comes with a new set of security challenges. Listen to best practices for securing virtual domains from the House's IT managers.

3:30 p.m.-4 p.m. "GCN Best of FOSE," (Booth 1239): Each year, the GCN Lab and editorial staff pick the best new technologies being displayed at FOSE. Check out the winners for 2009.


9 a.m.-10 a.m., Louis Freeh, former director of the FBI (Room 146B): The final day of FOSE will kick off with Freeh talking about how cybersecurity is becoming an increasingly important aspect of homeland security.

10:15 a.m.-11:30 a.m., "Transforming government technology with cloud computing," (S25): Cloud computing has been in the news for a while as a way to simplify IT infrastructure and reduce costs. But how could it work in government? Discussing this topic will be Dan Mintz, former chief information officer of the Transportation Department; Linda Cureton, CIO of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center; and Paul Kshemendra, chief architect of the Office of Management and Budget's E-Government and Information Technology office.

12:45 p.m.-2 p.m., "New technologies for interoperability, cybersecurity and information sharing" (GovSec conference): As things wind down at FOSE, you can check out some of the talks at the adjacent GovSec conference, also being held at the Washington Convention Center. In this panel talk, representatives from the Homeland Security Department's Science and Technology Directorate’s Command, Control and Interoperability Division talk about how to make the job of sharing information easier across first-responder agencies.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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