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Let's fix this

Recruiting and hiring talent is the most concerning aspect of building out the future federal IT workforce, according to the Federal CIO Council. The council's new “Future of the Federal IT Workforce Update” report offers several recommendations for how federal IT hiring can be improved to attract the next generation of talent. Namely, it points to “creating common competency-based position descriptions; recruiting through commercial platforms, job fairs, and hackathons; using a [subject matter expert]-based assessment process; and leveraging direct hiring authorities.” Billy Mitchell has more.

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Crossing state lines for cyber

U.S. senators have proposed created a pilot program in which National Guard units would be allowed to help respond remotely to cyberattacks that occur outside their home states. The new legislation would allow the Army and Air Force to create programs under which one state’s National Guard could assist one of its counterparts with cybersecurity training and incident response. The National Guard has an a growing role in individual states' cybersecurity efforts, particularly in response to ransomware attacks and election security. More recently, some states have been using their Guard's cybersecurity teams to defend government websites that are providing critical services during the COVID-19 pandemic, such as unemployment benefits and public-health advisories. Benjamin Freed reports.

Bringing states up to speed

The Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University recently published a new framework designed to help state governments understand how chief data officers can be most effective as data becomes a more common tool to further policy goals like reopening economies during the coronavirus pandemic and reforming police departments. “There’s a lot of excitement with data in states and they get pulled in a lot of different directions, so putting a framework in place that can be followed to almost bring some order to the chaos is really something we heard would be super valuable,” said Tyler Kleykamp, a former Connecticut data chief who runs the Beeck Center’s State Chief Data Officers Network. Colin Wood has more.

'I have a platform'

Government IT officials are, most of the time, heads-down, apolitical business leaders focused on supporting other agencies and ensuring the continuity of operations. But as the death of George Floyd has sparked a global wave of demonstrations against police violence and the historic treatment of black people in America, some black CIOs are speaking up about their own experiences with racism and bias. In interviews with WorkScoop, Illinois CIO Ron Guerrier and Sacramento, California, Chief Innovation Officer Louis Stewart opened up about times they've been mistaken for something other than an IT executive, what they say to their kids about police violence and how they can use tech policy to promote real equity. Read their stories.

IDAM gets a boost

The COVID-19 pandemic has revealed myriad holes in government’s IT capabilities, and among those is a lack of maturity around managing user identity and access. When the health crisis forced state employees to begin working from home in March, Guerrier said on a recent Scoop News Group webcast, he soon found proof that his own state’s identity and access management capabilities were “woefully inadequate," as the number of Illinois state employees working remotely jumped from about 2,000 to nearly 50,000. “The world just completely accelerated overnight, so our ability to have the right hygiene and the tools to management identity and access management became number one because digital was the only access point for everyone," Guerrier said. Colin Wood has more.

Will it stick?

Although the coronavirus pandemic has forced universities through a logistical and managerial obstacle course over recent months, two university leaders said their institutions have adapted surprisingly well. In a virtual event hosted by Scoop News Group, California State University System CIO Michael Berman and University of Tulsa CIO Paige Francis recounted their experience moving their operations virtual as the pandemic worsened in the U.S. Now, the focus will shift to how it impacts the future of learning. Colin Wood has more.

Job of the Day

Executive Adviser for Cyber Intelligence | Social Security Administration

The Executive Adviser for Cyber Intelligence is directly responsible for Cyber Intelligence activities for Social Security Administration, and reports directly to the Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) of the Office of Information Security. This role functions as the primary lead with respect to programs and matters related to Cyber Intelligence for the SSA. Find more information here.

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