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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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Wanted: Competent Management

September 13, 2017 Federal agencies are finalizing their grand reform plans and four-year strategic plans to submit to the White House Office of Management and Budget this week, but it’s worthwhile to stand back and look at whether they’re doing the basics right. A team of researchers led by Raffaella Sadun, Nicholas Bloom...

The Federal Managers Who Aren’t Afraid to Take Risks

August 24, 2017 The common perception is that, as a group, federal managers tend to be risk averse. However, new research based on data from the Office of Personnel Management’s annual federal employee viewpoint survey suggests that’s not exactly the case: Managers in both high-performing and low-performing organizations tend to be risk takers....

Funding What Works

July 18, 2017 Results for America is a leading proponent of distributing $600 billion in federal grants to recipients based on whether the grant programs work or not. It recently released a nine-point agenda recommending actions that Congress can take to make funding decisions on this basis. One of those actions is to...

10 Factors for Successfully Implementing Large Initiatives

July 6, 2017 Failed initiatives hog the headlines, but successes in government rarely see daylight. However, the federal government recently managed to quietly and successfully implement a key element of the DATA Act: It took a website of financial data from across the government live and nothing bad happened! What lessons were learned...

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...