Until now, the federal IT community has seen leadership and innovation as two separate categories, not least in the community’s various awards programs. The InnovateIT Awards program will recognize innovation and leadership towards sustained excellence across the three primary focus areas of the President’s Management Agenda:

1) Mission: Recognizes an individual or a team that used technology to drive mission value or adopted innovative techniques to combat security threats to solve a mission challenge. 

2) Service: Recognizes an individual or a team that has implemented innovative, government-wide approaches to deliver better, more efficient services to citizens, partner agencies, or employees. 

3) Stewardship: Recognizes an individual or a team that has improved the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of agency programs and operations to exercise effective responsibility over taxpayer dollar.

Two awards will be given in each category—one to a senior government leader and one to an emerging government leader. 

These awards will be presented at the Senior Government Executive Dinner on July 11th, 2019.

Additionally, the program will recognize  Outstanding Civilian Leader of the Year and Outstanding Industry Leader of the Year who have exemplified outstanding management to achieve efficiencies, effectiveness and provided leadership to spearhead IT initiatives that have delivered extraordinary results.

Award submissions were evaluated based on the following criteria:


The use of innovative techniques or the use of existing people, process and technology in innovative ways.

Both the demonstrability and degree of impact.
The extent to which the innovation approach could be adopted/adapted by other organizations.

Outstanding Civilian Leader of the Year

Ceci Coates, Managing Director, Program Management and Policy, U.S. Department of State
Over the last two decades, Ceci has transformed the State Department’s supply chain operations. The first task was consolidation, taking 25 different supply chain operations down to one. Since then, she has led the deployment of numerous modules that streamline how the department procures goods and services. As a result, State has seen a significant drop in labor costs, with increased productivity helping to reduce overtime by $34 million, as well as a $1 million reduction in prompt payment penalties. Currently, ILMS empowers over 100,000 customers across 260 posts in 175 countries and has led to over $1 billion in overall savings.

Outstanding Industry Leaders of the Year

Anirudh Kulkarni, Chief Executive Officer, CVP and Team
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services collects a vast amount of data on the Medicare environment—covering 1.1 million healthcare providers, 300,000 organizations and billions of Medicare claims. The challenge is to turn that data into meaningful information. With that goal in mind, Anirudh and the CVP Team implemented the Health Care Quality Analytics and Reporting (HCQAR) project, which uses that data to create benchmark quality measures across the provider landscape. This project reduced delivery time for key analytic reports by 88 percent, enabling CMS to shift from quarterly file productions to monthly reports. The overall improvements have created a 60 percent gain in staffing efficiency and have reduced the opportunity for errors through automation and enhanced quality checks.
Garth Williams, Telecommunications Specialist, The Ambit Group
Quincy Borel, Telecommunications Specialist, The Ambit Group
In the wake of the 2017 hurricane season—the year of Harvey, Irma and Maria, among others—FEMA’s increased need for reliable wireless communications in the field resulted in dramatic cost increases. In response, Garth and Quincy implemented the mobile device Buyback Program, allowing FEMA to repurpose individual devices and return end-of-life equipment to wireless vendors in exchange for monetary value or credits. In less than one year of operation, FEMA has saved over $568,000 by repurposing devices and has received $352.000 in bill credits by returning outdated equipment. Additionally, having removed tens of thousands of devices from the field, FEMA has an easier time tracking equipment in disaster response zones.

Mission Award - Senior Government Leader

Mohammed Taher, Executive Director, HR Solutions Center, Transportation Security Administration
Not long ago, TSA faced a difficult workforce scenario: An increasing need for transportation security officers, some tough budget constraints and growing competition for the small pool of talent. Mohammed provided the solution: The National Jobs Marketing Campaign, a digital approach to recruitment marketing. This initiative has brought in more qualified candidates at a more cost-effective price. The improvement in staffing has resulted in cost savings and operational efficiencies and in improved customer service at the nation’s airports. Additionally, this program led to the creation of an Integrated Data Warehouse, which enables better prediction of hiring needs and system updates to ensure operational efficiencies and increased data security.

Mission Award - Emerging Government Leader

Eric Jeanmaire, Deputy Chief of Identity, Records and National Security Delivery Division, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
Many people talk about the potential of artificial intelligence to automate and simplify government processes, but Eric went beyond talk. Looking for a way to reduce the cost of manually processing E-Verify cases and to improve the accuracy and scalability of the automatic case resolution system, Eric and his team implemented the Person Centric System, an AI-based service that can process more than 800 million transactions daily, with over 99 percent accuracy. Since its deployment, USCIS has experienced an over 80 percent reduction in manual case workload, resulting in a streamlined review process and freeing up resources to support other mission needs.

Service Award - Senior Government Leader

Michelle Nelson, Division Director, Office of Information and Technology, U.S. Customs and Border Protection and Team
When CBP first rolled out its pre-approval expedited program, it was a big hit with travelers, but was also seen as difficult to use and time consuming. So, Michelle and her team at OIT developed the Trusted Traveler Programs (TTP) application, the first major CBP application moved to the AWS cloud. TTP brought several improvements, including an improved visual web design, streamlined navigation flow, better management of user account information, mobile-efficiency, and more. In site’s first 90 days, users created more than a million accounts and submitted more than 400,000 completed applications. Since its deployment, the website has maintained 100 percent uptime and availability, providing 16 million logins, 2.5 million new TTP accounts created and 1.5 million payments submitted.

Service Award - Emerging Government Leader

Matt Goodrich, Director, FedRAMP, U.S. General Services Administration and Team
The success of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) was not a given, nor was it going to happen overnight. But Matt and his team have provided what was needed: The slow but steady cultivation of a mature marketplace, helping agency buyers understand and grow more comfortable with cloud services, while facilitating collaboration across government through the open exchange of lessons learned, use cases, and tactical solutions. The FedRAMP team has reached 100 Cloud Service Provider (CSP) authorizations, continually releases guidance describing key considerations for CSPs when defining cloud authorization boundaries, created their first awards program (FedRAMP Five), and launched FedRAMP Connect.

Stewardship Award - Senior Government Leader

Rosanne Hodge, Director, IT Capital Planning Group, Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
Rosanne was instrumental in the creation of the CMS IT Workforce Development Initiative (WDI), a unified professional and personal development program for the CMS IT workforce. The project aims to improve skills, increase knowledge sharing, increase retention, standardize a learning approach and formalize succession planning. Initially designed for use by OIT, it has been deployed across CMS and has been used to train more than 5,200 employees—with a goal of driving increased CMS customer satisfaction, the evolution and adoption of digital tasks, and the development of technical services to reduce unnecessary burden.

Stewardship Award - Emerging Government Leader

John Hamilton, Operations Manager, FedRAMP, U.S. General Services Administration
The complexity of the Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) often has been a challenge both for agency users and industry partners. After meeting with cloud service providers, third-party assessment organizations (3PAOs) and other stakeholders to identify pain points in the authorization process, John piloted and implemented a streamlined version of the program—FedRAMP Accelerated—with deliberate process improvements, which reduced authorization time by 75 percent. John also created a successful training series, providing the 3PAO community with education on the authorization process and guidance to address common challenges, enabling them to review security packages more efficiently.