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Joanne Collins Smee to Depart GSA


TTS director leaves lasting legacy of improvement to agency's IT modernization offerings

WASHINGTON, D.C. - After a year of dedicated service to the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) and the American public, Federal Acquisition Service (FAS) Deputy Commissioner and Director of Technology Transformation Services (TTS) Joanne Collins Smee will be returning to the private sector for a new career opportunity. Collins Smee, who has overseen the creation and development of the Centers of Excellence (CoE) at GSA since last September and who was named to her current position in December, will depart the agency at the end of August.

“It has been an honor to serve in government, and I am so pleased at the enormous progress that GSA has made in modernizing government IT in such a short time,” Collins Smee said.  “I am thankful to Emily Murphy, Alan Thomas, and my very talented colleagues in TTS for the support they have provided in carrying out this important work, and I am excited to see its continuation for years to come. The TTS team is incredibly gifted and dedicated to their mission of improving the public’s experience with government through technology and it has been a privilege serving with them. Additionally, I am grateful for the efforts of the White House Office of American Innovation - particularly Chris Liddell, Jared Kushner, and Matt Lira - in helping us turn the CoE vision into reality.  Finally, I am appreciative of the tremendous collaboration I enjoyed with the remarkable group at USDA headed by Secretary Sonny Perdue, Deputy Secretary Stephen Censky, and CIO Gary Washington.”

Collins Smee’s work in reimagining TTS and creating the CoEs has earned her recognition from across government and industry. Dubbed the “modernization mogul” by FCW when naming her one of their Federal 100 in March, she was also honored by FedScoop as a Top Woman in Tech for 2018.

“I am incredibly thankful for Joanne’s tremendous accomplishments during her time at GSA,” said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy. “In just one year, Joanne has turned the Centers of Excellence into one of the most highly regarded IT modernization initiatives in the federal government and helped deliver results for USDA and America’s farmers, ranchers and producers. Additionally, she has implemented lasting and positive change in helping guide the seamless merger of TTS within FAS. She has made immense progress in furthering our Administration’s goal of transforming technology from a perennial challenge into one of government’s greatest strengths. Both FAS and TTS are in a stronger position today, and better positioned for future development, because of Joanne’s talent, work ethic, and passion for making government operate better for the American people.”

“Joanne has done an outstanding job building the Centers of Excellence,” said Assistant to the President and Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination Chris Liddell. “She took a concept and made it an operational reality.”

“Joanne Collins Smee has helped create the foundation for long-lasting change in the Federal government,” said Assistant to the President and Senior Advisor Jared Kushner. “The Centers of Excellence will deliver benefits to the American people for many years ahead. The Administration continues to prioritize this important work and looks forward to building on the foundation that Joanne helped construct.”

Over the past year, Collins Smee has grown GSA’s CoE initiative from an idea to a fully functional program. The CoE initiative was formally introduced through a Request for Information (RFI) issued on October 20, 2017. Following an Industry Day at the White House in December 2017, GSA moved quickly to finalize an Interagency Agreement with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and issue solicitations for its Phase I strategy and consulting work. As part of Phase I, CoEs worked with USDA to strategize IT modernization efforts. In the forthcoming Phase II work, CoEs will implement the Phase I recommendations to accelerate the modernization of IT infrastructure by leveraging private sector innovation and existing government services, and by centralizing best practices and expertise.  

“GSA remains committed to completing the important work Joanne has begun at USDA, and to bringing the CoE model to other federal agencies,” Administrator Murphy added. “I am confident that the talented team Joanne has put in place will be able to bring about significant, meaningful change in federal IT for years to come.”