GSA Headquarters (Photo by Rena Schild/Shutterstock)

White House taps Robin Carnahan for top GSA spot

Robin Carnahan, formerly Missouri's secretary of state and the lead of state and local government practice at 18F, is the administration's pick to lead the General Services Administration.

Carnahan founded GSA's state and local practice in 2016 and led the effort through 2020. The state and local practice grew out of a pilot project in California to rebuild the state's legacy Child Welfare System using human-centered design and agile acquisition and development practices.

She has led government partnerships at U.S. Digital Response, which aimed to connect pro bono tech experts to public servants responding to the COVID-19 crisis in an effort to help states manage and account for how they spend coronavirus stimulus grants.

“Whatever we build out, whether it’s code or whether it’s a method or process, it’s set up to be reused by others,” she said in a June 2020 interview. “What’s really clear is that we have 50 states and 3,400 counties and 19,000 cities that are all facing many of the same problems at the exact same time, and there’s really no reason that everybody ought to reinvent the wheel.”

More recently, Carnahan has been active in efforts to urge federal coordination for modernizing overstressed state and local legacy unemployment insurance and other benefits systems. The weaknesses in those systems have been exposed by claims activity associated with the pandemic and economic crisis.

Carnahan is currently a fellow at Georgetown University's Beeck Center and is co-founder of the State Software Collaborative.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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