Federal Drive Interviews — Jan. 29, 2013

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to the interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day and links to additional resources.

Today’s guests:

Alan Paller
director of research
SANS Institute

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The Defense Department wants to add 4,000 more people to its Cyber Command. The plan envisions revving up the three-year-old command with a three-pronged program to defend federal networks, protect critical infrastructure and attack if necessary. Pentagon planners leaked the plan to The Washington Post ahead of making a formal request. Should the plan gain approval in Congress, the question would be where DOD hopes to find 4,000 cyber professionals.

Paul Terry
general manager for professional education
Blackboard, Inc.

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The General Services Administration has been famously burned by problems with travel and conference spending. It wants to turn last year’s lessons into a learning opportunity for all of government. It has hired Blackboard, a company right in Washington, D.C., to provide a Web training platform. This will take GSA’s Travel Basics course to a new level.

Devon Hewitt
Protorae Law

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A recent contract award protest showed there are some jobs that people with severe disabilities can’t do. The Army found out the hard way. In awarding a folliow-on contract for missile range support, Army officials moved the work to the procurement list reserved for the severely disabled. But the incumbent contractor protested and won.

Capt. Paul Hammer
The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury

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The Pentagon is struggling to conquer one of the military’s most stubborn enemies: mental illness. A scandal at Walter Reed Army Hospital six years ago revealed how poor a job the military was doing in treating warriors with mental wounds like post-traumatic stress and traumatic brain injury. Since then, hospital conditions have improved but Pentagon leaders say they face an “epidemic” of suicide. The Defense Centers of Excellence for Psychological Health and Traumatic Brain Injury is trying to raise the level of mental health care across the department.

Robin Lineberger
CEO Federal Government Services
Deloitte LLP

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In these days of budget cuts, drawdowns and the still-looming threat of sequestration, efficient and innovative acquisition has never been more important. And now the Professional Services Council is launching a new commission to find out what’s working and what isn’t.

Suzanne Logan
deputy associate director
Center for Leadership Development, OPM

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Seasoned federal executives often have knowledge and wisdom that applies beyond their own agencies. Each year, a few of them get themselves detailed to the Center for Leadership Development’s Executive in Residence program. Suzanne Logan, OPM’s deputy associate director for the Center for Leadership Development, updated us on all of the activities of the Federal Executive Institute, starting with the signature Executive in Residence program


DoD Report

Cybersecurity Update