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John Kamensky

Senior Fellow, IBM Center for the Business of Government John M. Kamensky is a Senior Research Fellow for the IBM Center for the Business of Government. He previously served as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government, a special assistant at the Office of Management and Budget, and as an assistant director at the Government Accountability Office. He is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
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What the U.S. Can Learn From India’s Government Reform Efforts

June 16, 2017 I was in India recently, along with IBM Center Executive Director Dan Chenok, to participate in a forum entitled “The Business of Government: Learnings from Global Experiences,” which was co-sponsored by the IBM Center for The Business of Government along with the National Institution for Transforming India, the Federation of...

The Uncertain Future of Federal Sustainability Programs

June 1, 2017 Long-time federal employees can remember a time when they were encouraged to wear short sleeve shirts in the summer. It was the 1970s, and the energy crisis was in full swing. To conserve resources, federal buildings ran warm in the summer and cool in the winter. Space heaters were banned...

Creating IT Start-Ups in Government

May 31, 2017 FROM NEXTGOV arrow John M. Kamensky is a senior research fellow for the IBM Center for the Business of Government. The administration wants to infuse private-sector tech and know-how into government operations. It has created two linked offices in the White House to help lead the effort: the Office of American Innovation and...

Boosting Job-Creating Foreign Investment in the U.S.

May 25, 2017 The U.S. is seen as one of the safest places in the world to invest. And these investments turn into jobs. The Bureau of Economic Analysis reports that in 2014, 6.4 million Americans were employed by U.S. subsidiaries of foreign firms. As of 2015, foreign firms had invested more than...

Treating the Invisible Wounds of War

May 2, 2017 Combat-related concussions, depression, and combat stress once were referred to as shell shock or the thousand-yard stare. During World War I, warfighters were reluctant to discuss the psychiatric fallout from battlefield operations for fear they would be considered weak, or worse. Fortunately, today we are much more likely to talk...

How Agencies Are Turning Scientific Breakthroughs Into Jobs

April 19, 2017 The federal government annually invests more than $130 billion in research and development. Conducted at federal facilities, universities and private companies, this investment has led to significant technology breakthroughs, including the Internet, the Global Positioning System, and decoding the human genome. But turning those breakthroughs into jobs has long been...

Why You Should Care About Open Data

April 4, 2017 Selecting a college can be one of the most expensive choices in life. But until recently, the information sources to make an informed decision were scattered and of varying quality—rankings in national magazines, word of mouth, campus brochures and the ritual college tours. Now, thanks to the federal government’s Open...

Boosting America’s Scientific Brain Power

March 29, 2017 President Trump recently signed a bipartisan bill to promote mentoring programs to encourage girls and women to enter the aerospace field. The new law adds to a loosely organized network of continuing federal efforts to boost Americans’ engagement in science, technology, engineering and math education. In fact, President George W....

Hard-won Lessons From a Government Reform Pioneer

March 21, 2017 You can’t solve “horizontal” problems with “vertical” solutions, warns University of Maryland professor Don Kettl. That’s something officials in New Zealand learned the hard way. Nearly three decades ago, New Zealand pioneered government reforms to make agencies more accountable and effective. While successful, it exacerbated another challenge facing government agencies—addressing...

Digging Out of the Digital Stone Age

March 9, 2017 About 75 percent of the federal IT budget goes to maintaining outdated legacy computer systems, according to GAO. Some are over 50 years old, yet critical—such as the main IRS tax data base and the nuclear missile launch system. The Government Accountability Office study went on to note: “Agencies reported...