Maria Roat, chief technology officer for the Department of Transportation and former FedRAMP director, sat down with the Women of Washington radio show to discuss her work on FedRAMP and the challenges she faced in its implementation.
“First I had to buy into it,” Roat said of FedRAMP. “Looking at the program, I had to be a champion for it. I had to understand it.”
Then, it came down to getting others’ to buy into FedRAMP, which was a complete change for government.
“It’s really moving that culture of agencies trusting each other, the cloud providers trusting the program office…and it was a big culture shift just across the federal government,” Roat told hosts Aileen Black and Gigi Schumm.
On her ability to take programs like FedRAMP from ideas to implementation, Roat said, “You take any startup organization, whether it’s military, civilian, whatever it is. You really have to put some processes in place and you have to put some structure on it. You want the innovation, but you want to put those pieces in place to make the program operational.”
In addition to her public service within civilian agencies, Roat also served in the Navy for 26 years on both active and reserve duty.
“I had opportunity after opportunity. It was just constantly learning environments, meeting new people, taking on new challenges,” she said. “And that’s why I stayed on for so long. If I had been bored, I would have been gone.”
Roat also shared her advice to young federal employees looking for mentorship.
“I encourage people to reach out and just contact somebody on LinkedIn and say, ‘I need help in this area’…It’s not hard, but somebody has to take the initiative. You might get three no’s, but you might get a yes out of it.”
Gigi Schumm welcomes Washington's most ambitious and influential female executives to share their secrets to success. Contact Gigi at email@example.com. Subscribe to Women of Washington’s audio interviews on Apple Podcasts or PodcastOne.