They are on the front lines of accountability.
You hold in your hands the first-ever directory of chiefs across federal departments and agencies-contact information for nearly 500 officials whose portfolios encompass acquisition, finance, information technology and human capital.
Because some "chief" positions are relatively new, agencies still are figuring out where they fit and what titles they should hold. So compiling the data required weeks of work by
Bruce Brownson and his team at KnowWho, specialists in VIP data compilation. The list will live online as well (govexec.com/chiefs), where it will be the only such compendium to be regularly updated and refreshed.
Congress and the White House want chiefs in key administrative posts because there's virtue in accountability. All handle large management initiatives and sign off on actions with wide-reaching impact for government's business leaders and their staffs. Peer behind massive personnel system changes, consolidation and sharing of administrative services, implementation of broad-scope security and information sharing initiatives and financial management improvements, and you'll find C titleholders.
Why track the chiefs? Because we believe, as do many in government, that there is much to be gained through collaboration across the C titles. Each has its own council, but no cross-cutting forum yet exists to aid in cross-fertilization, the sharing of lessons learned and the simple, yet profound, process of improving communication. This is our modest contribution and, we hope, the beginning of something bigger.
Sad news came our way late last month when we got word that William N. Rudman, a longtime member of the Government Executive family, had passed away. Bill wrote at least 20 columns for the magazine beginning in the mid-1990s; he spoke at our conferences; and he was a wise and trenchant adviser on the ins and outs of work in the federal government.
He knew that world intimately, having gone directly into the federal government after graduating from Harvard magna cum laude. He worked his way through Suffolk University Law School and became an agent for the Federal Bureau of Narcotics. He spent 22 of his 26 years in government as a criminal investigator and held every management position from first-line supervisor to administrator of an agency.
Bill could see the ironies of life, and had a great sense of humor that sometimes came through in his columns about the perils of being a federal manager. Don't take your boss out for a drink in a GOV, he wrote in 1997, lest a court decide, as one did, that such "frolics and detours" are inappropriate use of that government-owned vehicle.
Bill taught a self-defense course in the law for federal managers at the Brookings Institution. His lectures were fun and funny, and so he was a big success. Bill was one of a kind, a true friend, and we will miss him.