Mark Micheli

Editor, Excellence in Government Mark Micheli is Special Projects Editor for Government Executive Media Group. He's the editor of Excellence in Government Online and contributes to GovExec, NextGov and Defense One. Previously, he worked on national security and emergency management issues with the US Treasury Department and the Department of Homeland Security. He's a graduate of the Coro Fellows Program in Public Affairs and studied at Drake University.
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Neil Armstrong on Progress, One Small Step at a Time

September 25, 2012 It was one month ago, on Aug. 25, that the first person to walk on the moon and the most famous government employee ever, Neil Armstrong, passed away. Armstrong didn't give many interviews and shied away from the spotlight, remaining humble until the end in his accomplishments. In a rare...

NIH Cuts the Monkey Business

September 25, 2012 According to Scientific American, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) will retire 110 government-owned chimpanzees and stop funding for The University of Louisiana at Lafayette's New Iberia Research Center, a research lab specializing in the breeding, management, and importation of primates. Last year, Wired Science reported on several troubling events...

Stay Off E-mail After Work, Say Employers

September 24, 2012 Work-life balance was officially obliterated for me in November of 2010. In that fateful month, I got a smartphone. I had resisted pitching my dumbphone knowing what would happen--I'd be on call 24/7, I'd play with it constantly and the war of attrition between my work-life and my home-life would...

Bum Contractors Get the Boot

September 21, 2012 More federal contractors than ever are being shown the door, says a new report. According to the Interagency Suspension and Debarment Committee, agencies have increased suspensions and debarments of contractors that fail to follow the rules, from just over 1,900 in fiscal 2009 to more than 3,000 in 2011. Whether...

Video: Leading From the Middle

September 21, 2012 Jackson Nickerson saw a problem. "Most people engaged in leadership are leading from the middle of the organization," he said. "Most approaches to leadership assume you're at the top." In response, Nickerson, Associate Dean and Director of the Brookings Executive Education, developed a new philosophy of leadership he calls "Leading...

Why Meetings Are a Waste of Time

September 21, 2012 Too long. Too boring. Too unorganized. Oh, and that one guy, he talked for too long. The reasons we find meetings wanting are many and The Wall Street Journal recently did us the favor of pointing out what many of us already knew deep in our bones--meetings are often a...

NASA, Angry Birds and the Question of Gamification

September 20, 2012 I remember the first time I played Angry Birds on an iPhone, slingshotting differently powered birds at a horde of evil green pigs and thinking, "This? This?? How has this been the top App in iTunes Store for months?" And then I shut up and kept playing--and I understood. The...

3 Rules for Hiring Contractors

September 19, 2012 Not all contractors are created equal. With budgets cinching and personnel needs growing, making sure you get the most bang for the taxpayer buck is more important than ever. Matthew Swyer, a contributor at, tells the story of when contract help proved indispensible--almost too much. When his contractor became...

Apple's iOS 6 Arrives Today--How to Prepare

September 19, 2012 The latest iteration of Apple products are upon us--and folks who use an iPhone for work are expected to get the latest update this afternoon. Accompanying the reveal of the iPhone 5 last week came the announcement that a new mobile operating system would be available this week for most...

When Did 'Apology' Become a Dirty Word?

September 18, 2012 When thinking about apology, I've always appreciated the notion that you can't dig up. No matter how hard you try, you just keep digging that hole deeper and deeper. Sometimes, you need to put down your shovel, eat a little crow and offer an apology. "An apology?" said comedian Steven...

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