Putting the User First: Interview with Maria Roat, Deputy Federal Chief Information Officer

Maria Roat, deputy federal chief information officer within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) joined me on The Business of Government Hour to share her thoughts and insights on what is next for IT modernization and the role federal IT plays in transforming the lives of its users. Here are edited highlights of our discussion. 

Using Technology and Analytics to Enhance Stakeholder Engagement in Environmental Decision-Making

Enacted over 50 years ago, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) calls for public participation in the environmental review of proposed actions by U.S. federal agencies. Much has changed in that period from the explosion in technology to the increasing expectation of stakeholders from participation to engagement. 

Weekly Roundup: August 9-13, 2021

Fed Experts Call for More Specificity in Cyber Threat Data Sharing. During an August 9 event hosted by Government Executive, Federal experts shared how agencies and the private sector can work together to improve the sharing of threat data.

Weekly Roundup: July 26-30, 2021

Roat Says TMF Board Still Accepting Proposals, Offers Bid Tips. Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat confirmed July 28 that the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) is still accepting proposals for IT modernization projects under a solicitation announced in May, and offered tips to agencies looking to score some of the $1 billion in funding the TMF r

Weekly Roundup: July 19-23, 2021

Senate Panel FY2022 NDAA Markup Features Long To-Do Lists on Cyber, Tech. The Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) includes a $1 billion increase in funds for programs developing AI, microelectronics, advanced materials, 5G, and biotechnology.

Weekly Roundup: July 12-16, 2021

Five Ways Agencies Can Become More Agile. The government is beginning to adopt what many view as the new standard for how work gets done in a post-COVID world: the agile approach to project management. 

Building the U.S. Army of the Future

Kate Kelley, Chief Human Capital Officer at the U.S. Army Futures Command (AFC) joined me on The Business of Government Hour to discuss the AFC human capital strategy, its efforts to attract, reskill, and retain the right talent, and ways it is working to transform organizational culture. Here is an edited excerpt of our discussion, highlighting some of the key insights shared.

Weekly Roundup: July 5-9, 2021

Building Federal Evaluation Capacity: A Discussion of the New White House Evaluation and Learning Agenda Guidance. The Office of Management and Budget recently issued guidance to federal agencies about implementing key provisions of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Ac

The State of Risk Oversight: Survey of Enterprise Risk Management Practices

It is a leadership imperative for government executives to mitigate the potency of uncertainty by managing the realities of risk. Employing an enterprise risk management (ERM) process can assist leaders in doing just that. ERM can help decision makers evaluate the likelihood and impact of major events and formulate the best way to either prevent them or manage their effects, if they do occur. Many changes are now occurring that hold the potential to make government function better.

Weekly Roundup: June 21-25, 2021

The Battle for the Public Service Is Just Beginning. We are in the midst of a critical debate over the future of the federal workforce—and with it, about the future role of the federal government. It is raising questions more fundamental than at any time since the passage of the Pendleton Act, which established the civil service system in 1883. The questions speak to the role of administrators in our constitutional system of governance and, indeed, the Constitution itself.


Leadership Fellow & Host
IBM Center for The Business of Government
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Michael has two decades of experience with both the private and public sectors encompassing strategic planning, business process redesign, strategic communications and marketing, performance management, change management, executive and team coaching, and risk-financing.

Michael leads the IBM Center for The Business of Government's leadership research. As the Center’s Leadership Fellow, his work is at the nexus of the Center’s mission – connecting research to practice. My work at that the Center complements frontline experience of actual government executives with practical insights from thought leaders who produce Center reports – merging real-world experience with practical scholarship. The purpose is not to offer definitive solutions to the many management challenges facing executives, but to provide a resource from which to draw practical, actionable recommendations on how best to confront such issues. Michael also hosts and produces the IBM Center’s The Business of Government Hour. He has interviewed and profiled hundreds of senior government executives from all levels of government as well as recognized thought leaders focusing on a range of public management issues and trends. Over the last four years, Michael has expanded both the show’s format and reach – now broadcasting informational and educational conversations with dedicated public servants on two radio stations five times a week and anywhere at anytime over the web and at iTunes. Michael is also the managing editor of The Business of Government magazine, with a targeted audience of close to 14,000 government and non-government professionals. Additionally, he manages the Center’s bi-annual proposal review process that awards stipends to independent, third party researchers tackling a wide range of public management issues.

Prior to joining the Center, Michael worked as a senior managing consultant with IBM GBS (Global Business Services) and as a principle consultant with PriceWaterhouseCoopers’ Washington Consulting Practice (WCP). He led projects in the private and federal civilian sectors including the U.S. Department of Energy, U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, FEMA, and the Veterans Health Administration. Before entering consulting, he worked in the private sector as product development manager at a New York City based risk financing firm.

Since 2003, Mr. Keegan has been a reviewer for Association of Government Accountant’s Certificate of Excellence in Accountability Reporting (CEAR)© program, keeping abreast of the most recent developments in authoritative standards affecting federal accounting, financial reporting and performance measurement. He is also a member of APPAM, the NYU Alumni Association, and the Data Center & Cloud Talent, USA. He holds masters in public administration and management from New York University and was the founder of its DC alumni group as well as previous treasurer of the NYU graduate school’s alumni board.