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2 IAE Leaders Join the Coveted Federal 100 for 2016

Navin Vembar, IAE IT director, and Judith Zawatsky, our former director of outreach and stakeholder management, recently were selected for inclusion on the Federal Computer Week’s Federal 100 list!

 

The list recognizes government and industry IT leaders who play a pivotal role in government IT. Two of our managers making this list reflects positively on the team and culture we’ve worked hard to establish here at the Integrated Award Environment (IAE).

Here’s a bit of background on Vembar and Zawatsky that led to them both being named to the Federal 100:

Navin Vembar

As the IAE IT Director, Vembar  turned our program it into an impressive example of innovation in government.  To support the migration of key functionalities of IAE’s ten legacy systems into a modernized environment, he  devised a plan to build a single, unified, cloud-hosted Common Services Platform (CSP) to serve as the foundation for developing federal award functions. The CSP received an Authorization To Operate (ATO) in October 2015, making it GSA’s first ATO for a cloud-based platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and hopefully paves the way for continued IAE and GSA-wide technology innovation.

 

Vembar spearheaded a large development team employing agile development practices that brought speed, transparency, and efficiency to the project. The successful launch of the CSP was made possible only due to his leadership and vision.

 

The successful launch of the CSP gives IAE a secure platform that will enable the program office to deliver new applications efficiently and consistently. The platform will speed application delivery since the Authorization To Operate (ATO), combined with FedRAMP, will cover many of the security controls that individual applications will need.  

Vembar worked diligently to ensure the CSP passed rigorous security and operational checks to achieve the ATO and open up the platform for award management community users.

He also acts as the cloud engineer for GSA, leading efforts that are designed to unify the GSA’s approach to the cloud to make the agency a leader in cloud platforms in the federal space. He’s setting the GSA’s strategy and making sure the solution is both technically sound and also serves business needs.

Judith Zawatsky

Zawatsky oversaw the engagement with the more than three million users of IAE systems. She set the foundation and standards of transparency, quality, and continuous improvement we still follow today.

 

She met the challenge of addressing user needs for the current systems while simultaneously soliciting their input to ensure the future environment reflects the diverse needs of its user community.

Focus groups were a cornerstone of this strategy, and nearly 400 IAE stakeholders participated in 31 virtual or in-person focus groups. These focus groups offered users the opportunity to provide feedback in an intimate setting and included participants from both industry and government. Zawatsky ensured the needs of users were at the forefront in selecting the features of the future environment, following through on IAE’s commitment to a user-centric solution and raising the bar for her peers in government.

One of IAE’s architectural principles for its modernization effort is to provide an effective user experience for all stakeholders. Zawatsky adopted this vision and undertook the important work of engaging with IAE’s users, singlehandedly acting as a conduit between government and industry.

 

In addition to the focus groups, Zawatsky grew the membership of the  IAE Industry Community on GSA Interact industry community. In 2015, community membership doubled from 7,500  members to more than 15,000 members. Community members received weekly updates, including opportunities to engage directly with the program via events and focus groups. Zawatsky led IAE to host four successful Industry Day events in 2015 that reached more than 400 attendees and provided updates on the Common Services Platform, user experience, and persona development.

 

Perhaps most importantly, Zawatsky provided much-needed continuity for stakeholders during multiple leaderships transitions in 2015. She ensured that Congress, the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), and IAE’s governance stakeholders were kept up-to-date during this time and ensured the program stayed on track.

Send your congratulations to Vembar and Zawatsky in the comments below.

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