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Ross Gianfortune

Engagement Editor Prior to joining Government Executive’s staff, Ross Gianfortune worked at The Washington Post, The Gazette Newspapers, WXRT Radio and The Columbia Missourian. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism from University of Missouri and a master's in communications from the American University.
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Federal Rhino Raiders Crack Down on Smugglers

February 23, 2012 Of the five species of rhinoceros, three are critically endangered due to habitat loss and, mostly, poaching. The rhino's horn -- made of keratin, the same substance making up fingernails, hooves and hair -- is used in Eastern medicine to cure any number of ailments, from cancer to bunions. There...

This Time, Feds Are Heroes on the Big Screen

September 20, 2011 Academy Award-winning director Steven Soderbergh's latest film, Contagion, opened recently to rave reviews and even placed second in box office earnings over the past weekend. The film follows the response to a mysterious pandemic as it rapidly spreads across the United States. While the movie references recent federal emergency failures...

Twitter Drone Comedy

September 9, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Social networking? Micro-blogging? News aggregation? Twitter has seen many uses for defense IT and national security professionals since the service was rolled out in 2006, but one use has been flying under the proverbial radar: Comedy. Fake twitter accounts have been in the news before, with a fake Rahm Emmanuel...

Obama Highlights Science, Technology on UK Trip

May 25, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow President Obama's European trip this week began in the United Kingdom and while there, he focused some attention on science and technology issues of global interest. In a joint press conference, United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron and Obama both spoke on a key collaboration initiative between the two nations:...

Despite Benefits, Hurdles Remain for EHR

March 16, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Even though health IT efforts are worthwhile despite the costs, two anecdotal newspaper stories illustrate the serious roadblocks to implementation. Under the 2009 economic stimulus package, providers can qualify for Medicare and Medicaid incentive payments if they demonstrate successful use of electronic health records. That could pump more then $25...

Open Government and Wikileaks: Is There a Connection?

February 17, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow A recent report from the Congressional Research Service suggests that open government can cause scandals not unlike Wikileaks. The report states that these releases ultimately are dangerous for those working in government as compared to the benefits of President Obama's open government initiative, stating "increased government transparency may prompt security...

Clinton: Internet Freedom a 'Foreign Policy Priority'

February 15, 2011 FROM NEXTGOV arrow At George Washington University Tuesday, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used a major policy speech to announce support for Internet freedom across the world. The diplomatic agency will provide $25 million to help promote online activism worldwide, she said. Clinton cited freedoms and cyberfreedoms, such as "expression, assembly and association"...

Smokey on the Freeze

December 1, 2010 Proving that the federal pay freeze has become a national phenomenon, TBS late night host Conan O'Brien made light of Obama's announcement on his Tuesday evening show. Watch the video below (and for those with sensitive ears, beware of the bleeped language). brightcove.createExperiences();

What's Cookin'? Federal employees show off their culinary skills

April 22, 2010 So it wasn't exactly an episode of Iron Chef. But it was a lot more fun. The Office of Personnel Management on Wednesday hosted its first "Feds Get Fit Cook-off," as part of the agency's governmentwide initiative to promote healthy living among the federal workforce. Melissa Knoll of the Social...

OMB Staffer Faces Discipline Over Intimidation Charges

March 8, 2010 By Tom Shoop Remember the allegations back in January that an Office of Management and Budget employee had threatened "to make life miserable" for an official at the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general office if the IG complained to Congress about his budget? OMB Director Peter Orszag promised an...