Federal News Network: Accelerating Government

During Federal News Network’s Accelerating Government podcastACT-IAC CEO Dave Wennergren discussed with Dave Powner, director for MITRE's Center of Data-Driven Policy, what inspired his drive for working with government, his current projects, and what government staff should focus on before and after the upcoming Presidential election.

“One thing that really attracted me to government was working with Congress and watching Congress work in a bipartisan fashion,” said Powner. “I know today we don't hear a lot about that, but it does still occur. And we need to stay positive on these pockets of bipartisan support for many of our missions in government, because it does happen. We don't hear about it enough. And we need to ensure that we have that bipartisan oversight and commitment.

“I get to work on a lot of things through the Policy Center in a nonpartisan fashion and act as a connector with the private sector to the public sector. That's where you see a lot of innovation in government, too,” he added.

The Center for Data-Driven Policy contributes in a nonpartisan fashion to a better functioning government. Powner and Wennergren discussed some of the programs such as the Cloud Safe Task Forcerecommending updates to the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, and Presidential Transition policy recommendations.

“It's a presidential election year," Wennergren said. "And regardless of the outcome of the election, there's going to be a large number of new leaders coming on board in government. What's some advice you can offer to career government and government contractors to successfully navigate transitions?”

“During a transition period, there needs to be a heavy, heavy focus on mission delivery,” said Powner. “I think the best approach that I've seen from those who've been able to navigate these transitions effectively is they sit down with those folks who are new to government, and they educate them quickly, not only on the things that do work but also to be open on the things that have not worked.”