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Tom Shoop

Vice President and Editor in Chief Tom Shoop is vice president and editor in chief at Government Executive Media Group, where he oversees both print and online editorial operations. He started as associate editor of Government Executive magazine in 1989; launched the company’s flagship website, GovExec.com, in 1996; and was named editor in chief in 2007.
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Is Burning Man Really a Government-Free Zone?

August 5, 2014 Last week, our friends at National Journal reported on Grover Norquist’s announcement that he would be attending this year’s Burning Man event in Nevada’s Black Rock Desert. This was noteworthy for two reasons: Norquist is a buttoned-down, conservative, Washington-based longtime anti-tax activist. Burning Man is an annual artistic adventure in ...

What We Talk About When We Talk About the VA

August 1, 2014 This week, Defense One co-hosted a symposium on veterans issues with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The timing couldn’t have been better: the day after House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., reached a deal with his Senate counterpart, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on VA reform legislation, Miller appeared ...

What We Talk About When We Talk About the VA

August 1, 2014 This week, GovExec’s sister publication, Defense One, co-hosted a symposium on veterans issues with Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America. The timing couldn’t have been better: the day after House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller, R-Fla., reached a deal with his Senate counterpart, Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on VA reform ...

Which Federal Agency Has the Rowdiest Employees?

August 1, 2014 There’s a simple notation near the beginning of the White House transcript of President Obama’s remarks at the Housing and Urban Development Department Thursday: “(Applause).” Apparently, the reaction from the assembled HUD employees went a little beyond mere polite clapping, though. “Clearly, HUD has the rowdiest employees,” Obama said of ...

She Never Stopped Working to Make Government Better

July 31, 2014 Sometimes in life, you’re lucky enough to encounter people who are willing to take the time to help you learn how to do your job better. For a journalist, that means finding someone who guides you through complex subjects until you reach at least a minimal level of understanding of ...

Umm, Congressman, Those Federal Executives Testifying Before You Are Not Foreigners

July 25, 2014 Just when you thought things couldn’t get any more strange on Capitol Hill comes this story of an embarrassing case of mistaken identity. On Thursday, Nisha Biswal, assistant secretary of State for south and central Asian affairs, and Arun Kumar, assistant secretary of Commerce for global markets, testified before the ...

Government’s Biggest Failures, 2001-2014

July 14, 2014 With scandals at agencies ranging from the IRS to the Veterans Affairs Department fresh in the public’s mind, a longtime scholar of federal management has published a new assessment of government’s failures since 2001. In the paper, called A Cascade of Failures: Why Government Fails, and How to Stop It, ...

For Some Feds, Shutdown Was Baby-Making Time

July 11, 2014 Last fall, federal employees experienced growing anxiety as a government shutdown loomed, and then became a reality on Oct. 1. Nine months later, it looks like some feds found a (re)productive way to deal with the situation. Washington news station WNEW reports that there may be something of a baby ...

The 99 Percent

July 9, 2014 In late June, President Obama felt compelled to stick up for federal employees, albeit in a somewhat odd way. “Are there some federal workers who do some boneheaded things? Absolutely,” Obama said at a town hall meeting in Minneapolis. The president recalled something that former Defense Secretary Robert Gates told ...

This Guy Definitely Has the Strangest Federal Job

July 9, 2014 Among the many challenges of space missions is the fact that you can’t just crack a window up there and get some fresh air. That means astronauts have to be very careful about what they bring aboard spacecraft, lest they get stuck with a pungent odor they can’t escape -- ...