What are the key priorities for the NIH Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center, NITAAC (NY-TACK)? How does NITAAC assist federal agencies to accomplish their mission? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions with Bridget Gauer, Acting Director of NITAAC (NY-TACK).

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What is the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program? How do you balance accessibility and data security of cohort participants? How do you manage expectations? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and more with Eric Dishman, Director, Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI) Cohort Program, National Institutes of Health.

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A Conversation with Rob Coen

September 7, 2015

What are the key priorities for National Institutes of Health Information Technology Acquisition and Assessment Center (NITAAC)? How does NITAAC assist federal agencies to accomplish their mission? Join host Michael Keegan as he explores these questions and so much more.

Listen to the complete interview.

In the case of Robert Gates, the report focuses on his efforts to transform weapons procurement at DOD. Upon returning to government in 2006 as secretary of defense, Gates concluded that he had an opportunity to rein in the cost of defense weapons procurements and halt the production of unneeded weapons.

In the case of Francis Collins, the report focuses on his efforts to transform NIH by creating a new institute, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, which Collins believed would serve as a catalyst to change the culture of NIH. Collins sought to enhance NIH’s capability to translate its knowledge in addressing what the public needs from drugs and treatment.

Professor Lambright found many similarities in the challenges faced by Gates and Collins, as well as their effective responses to these challenges. Lambright concludes that experience and leadership skills really do matter, and that both leaders set clear goals and offered clarity as to means. The report also describes how both overcame opposition to their transformation initiatives.

As noted above, this report builds upon prior research by the IBM Center for The Business of Government on the crucial topics of leadership and transformation. In 2011, the IBM Center published A Leader’s Guide to Transformation: Developing a Playbook for Successful Change Initiatives by Robert A. F. Reisner.

Forging Governmental Change is the sixth report prepared by Professor Lambright for the IBM Center. In 2002, Professor Lambright chronicled the experience of Francis Collins, then director of the National Human Genome Research Institute, in his report Managing “Big Science:” A Case Study of the Human Genome Project. Lambright’s research for the IBM Center also includes leadership case studies of three recent administrators of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration: Dan Goldin (2001), Sean O’Keefe (2005), and Michael Griffin (2009).

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This radio show interview provides an overview of the recently released report. An introduction of the report follows: The release of this report comes on the heels of the first anniversary of the Open Government Directive issued in December 2009. This Directive required all executive departments and agencies to take the following steps toward the goal of creating a more open government:

  • Publish government information online
  • Improve the quality of government information
  • Create and institutionalize a culture of open government
  • Create an enabling policy framework for open government

Professors Lee and Kwak present a road map — the Open Government Implementation Model — that agencies can follow in moving toward accomplishing the objectives of the Directive. The model set forth by Professors Lee and Kwak recommends that agencies should advance their open government initiatives in stages, moving from one stage to another as they mature their adoption of open government.

To illustrate their path toward implementing the goals of the Directive, Professors Lee and Kwak examine five cases of open government initiatives within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), including initiatives by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Food and Drug Administration. The case studies illustrate how federal agencies are making progress in moving to a more open and transparent government. The model can clearly be adapted by other agencies.