Matthew Cornelius, Executive Director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation
“Maria Roat is the perfect choice to become OMB’s deputy federal CIO. She is an incredibly competent, highly effective communicator and manager with the skills to turn broad strategy into successful implementation,” said Matthew Cornelius, the executive director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation and a former OMB senior technology and cybersecurity advisor, in an email to Federal News Network. “To be effective in such a large role, you must be both an effective orator and operator—and Maria clearly embodies those two critical competencies.”
Before she took over, SBA has been struggling to modernize its technology systems and infrastructure.
As Roat likes to say, she burned the bridges behind her and moved SBA to the cloud, took innovative approaches to cybersecurity and focused on the customer.
SBA now is considered, by many, to be an excellent of example of how IT modernization should work in the government. It’s not that SBA has been perfect; it did suffer a data breach during the coronavirus pandemic, but behind Roat, the agency is a much different place today than two or three years ago.
Cornelius said Roat demonstrated while at SBA that she is someone who understands how to take smart chances.
“Her strong embrace of cloud capabilities, sharp focus on improving digital service delivery for citizens, and willingness to pilot new technologies or processes to meet SBA’s mission have made her a pioneering leader in the broader federal IT community and OMB is very lucky to have her in such a pivotal, necessary role during these extraordinary times,” he said.
“I think this is a tremendous opportunity,” he said.
– It’s Official: Roat is the New Deputy Federal CIO, Federal News Network (May 12, 2020)