Former EPA CIO says GSA should be a cabinet level agency

Ann Dunkin, chief strategy & innovation officer focused on State and Local at Dell, joined Aileen Black on Leaders and Legends to talk about leadership and discussed the Day One project that offers an ambitious strategy to scale proven IT methods in the next administration in order to buy, build, and deliver technology that meets the needs of all Americans.

Interview Highlights:

  • Ann shared her perspective on being an effective leader in tech. She said, “You need to continue to develop your people and be sure you provide them with the tools needed to get the job done. It is key that you collaborate and communicate across the organization and finally you need to do the job and make sure it gets done”.
  • When asked about leaders that she admired Dunkin quickly named Gina McCarthy, former EPA administrator and recently named by the Biden administration as Whitehouse Climate Czar and Stan Meiburg former EPA deputy administrator. She shared that they were an amazing team to work with at EPA. According to Dunkin, McCarthy demonstrated amazing political savviness in getting things done in Washington and Meiburg balanced showing caring but could make the hard decisions. She said they made an amazing very capable team.
  • When leading organizations to adopt change, Dunkin pointed out that it is, “All about the people and culture. To get change you need to address the culture and inspire your team to do the work.”
  • Ann talked about her recently co-authored paper titled “Scaling Proven IT Modernization Strategies Across the Federal Government”. The paper, part of the Day One Project, stresses that in spite of efforts to implement transformative technological practices, most government systems still fail to meet modern standards or expectations. The next administration should undertake a series of actions outlined in this memo to scale proven IT modernization strategies across the Federal Government to improve its structure and culture, and buy, build, and deliver technology that meets the needs of Americans today and into the future.
  • Dunkin closed the show with her advice for the next generation of leaders. She urged them not to get too comfortable and to push your self and to take risks and encouraged the next generation to try new things and keep learning so you can grow. Dunkin also said that everyone should try public service adding that this county needs technology talent and the work will provide great value in your career path. If she had a wish she would require everyone to serve some time in public service.

Ann Dunkin is a chief technology officer and strategist focused on state and local government at Dell. Prior to joining Dell, she was the chief information officer for the County of Santa Clara. Dunkin served in the Obama Administration as the chief information officer of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Prior to her time in Washington D.C., she was the chief technology officer for the Palo Alto Unified School District. Ms. Dunkin joined the School District after a long career at Hewlett Packard in a variety of leadership roles focused on Engineering, Research & Development, IT, Manufacturing Engineering, Software Quality and Operations.

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Leaders and Legends

Leaders and Legends

Host Aileen Black interviews federal leaders who have left their mark on government and made a lasting imprint on the nation. Hear what goes on behind the scenes in the nation's capital and why working for the federal government is so unique. Subscribe on PodcastOne.

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