Meet the CIOs: FEMA

FEMA: Clay Hollister

Clay Hollister

Federal Emergency Management Agency
500 C St. S.W. #506
Washington, D.C. 20472
Phone: 202-646-3006
Fax: 202-646-4655

Career Highlights:

1977-96: Various FEMA jobs, including IRM, deputy director for operations and deputy associate director for response
1969-77: Television producer for a variety of educational and advertising programs

IT Budget (fiscal years):
1996: $36 million
1997: $35 million
1998: not available

Priority Projects:

  • National Emergency Management Information System - five-year project involving client-server network running disaster applications from an 800 service and small computers used to do home inspections.
  • Software Standardization - converting more than 8,000 desktop computers to the Microsoft Windows desktop operating system.

Biggest Challenges:

"Managing despite declining resources. All our budgets and staff are being reduced as part of government budget reductions. Providing service against that fact requires us to find ways to engineer cheaper solutions. That is much harder than anything else we do."

On CIOs:

"The job of chief information officer is important and is to be taken seriously. The only real secret to success is to have access to and a close working relationship with the chief financial officer and the agency director. If you do not have this relationship, you will have a much more difficult time doing your job and thus being effective. That is the point of Information Technology Management Reform Act."

Hottest Technologies:

"The World Wide Web and browser technology are fast becoming the dial tone of the data world. If you have [these technologies], you can do things easily and quickly. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is looking at using a browser in our National Emergency Management Information System as a front to applications - not just for state and local access to our system but for intranet use for general applications. It is simple to use and people like it."

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