As the Department of Justice (DOJ) Chief Information Officer, I am often asked which new products or technology advancements will support our critical missions of litigation and law enforcement. Although I frequently engage with industry and government agencies about products or services to best suit our immediate and future needs, there is one, often overlooked resource – its people. Workforce is a critical component for any successful IT organization to effectively support the mission.
Developing and maintaining a highly talented and agile team is the lifeblood of DOJ’s day-to-day operations. Since I joined the Department two years ago, we have taken aggressive and innovative steps to ensure we are doing everything possible to recruit, train, and retain the best and brightest individuals.
Working with our human capital partners, we took the lead in recruiting talent at cyber-centric universities through the Scholarship for Service (SFS) CyberCorps Program. CyberCorps candidates are eager to apply their undergraduate and graduate-level cybersecurity education to real-world work, which serves to better position the Department against the constantly evolving cyber threat landscape. Similarly, our Pathways Recent College Graduate Program allows us to continue feeding the IT workforce pipeline, as employees move on to more senior positions or retire.
I am particularly proud of our new DOJ Distinguished IT Fellows Program, in which we bring industry experts to the Department on term appointments to help solve our most challenging and high-visibility issues. Their combination of technical expertise and fresh perspective on federal government business processes offers a unique and innovative approach to our challenges. The goal of the program and its associated initiatives is two-fold. It aims to re-think, re-engineer, and optimize existing technology solutions and to implement new technologies based on proven IT delivery models from the private and non-profit sectors. DOJ’s IT fellows have already made significant contributions – including exploring improvements to re-entry technologies and processes, improving tribal access to federal law enforcement information, developing a Department-wide employee notification system, and re-engineering a consolidated national FOIA portal for federal agencies.
Investments in training, internal job rotations, and recruitment of top talent continue to drive our IT workforce strategy. Our employees are what makes us strong, and here at DOJ, we are constantly working to build a future-ready workforce.