Modernization News

The Alliance for Digital Innovation Announces Its New Executive Director

Washington, DC – November 17, 2021 – The Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI), which represents a cohort of organizations in the IT, cybersecurity, cloud, and digital technology sectors, is pleased to announce that it has appointed Ross Nodurft as Executive Director.

Ross Nodurft comes to ADI with extensive experience in the public sector technology space, having worked across the security and technology landscape on issues including cybersecurity, digital identity, and security compliance. He has counseled technology and cybersecurity companies on business management, government policy standards, regulatory compliance, and incident response management.

Nodurft plans to work closely with ADI Members to advocate for key priorities, which include:
      1) Enabling public sector entities to invest in modern, cloud-based technology that underpins critical public sector missions and creates a more digital government.
      2) Ensuring that public sector acquisition practices allow for and encourage investments in emerging technology.
      3) Building smart cybersecurity policies, practices, and programs that leverage and promote modern technology and practices.
      4) Helping government agencies attract and grow the right technology talent to capture the efficiencies and opportunities created by use of a modern, cloud-based technology.

During his career in both the government and private sectors, Nodurft has worked closely with federal procurement officials and ‎other information technology leaders. He also collaborated on policies to advance modernization efforts and ‎adoption of cloud based technology‎. He has served as chief of the Office of Management and Budget’s (OMB) cyber team in the White House overseeing federal government cybersecurity policy and federal agency incident response. In partnership with the White House’s senior leadership, he developed, implemented, and transitioned key cybersecurity and risk management policies and initiatives across two administrations, including the Cybersecurity National Action Plan (CNAP), the IT Modernization report and plan and the OMB breach memorandum. In his role at OMB, he led efforts to modernize federal IT systems and modernize risk management practices to ensure secure infrastructure across the federal government.

“I am thrilled to join ADI and work closely with the membership to engage on the critical topics of technology modernization, security, acquisition, and workforce. I look forward to advancing ADI’s mission by working with government leaders and policy makers to drive adoption of innovative technology that can advance the missions of our public sector partners,” said Ross Nodurft.

Nodurft also served as a legislative director for a U.S. House of Representatives member, a senior policy advisor for a U.S. senator and a professional staff member with the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship, where he started the cybersecurity/IT portfolio in the Small Business Committee.

“Ross is uniquely qualified to lead ADI,“ noted ADI Chair and CEO of Telos Corporation John Wood. “He possesses both the range of experience and the skillsets ADI needs to advance our mission and grow our organization and influence. We look forward to working with Ross to further ADI’s objectives.”

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Federal Government Will Maintain Expansive Work-From-Home Policies After the Pandemic

The Washington Post (June 10, 2021)

The Biden administration on Thursday told federal agencies that more employees can return to their offices as the threat of the coronavirus pandemic ebbs, but it also laid out a permanent work-from-home expansion that will drastically alter the federal government’s workplace culture.

Federal agencies no longer have to limit the number of staffers allowed in their offices to 25 percent occupancy, the administration said in the first major announcement on pandemic staffing it has issued since January.

But the 20-page memo to federal agencies also maintains what started as an experiment in March 2020 to contend with the public health crisis — for the immediate future and potentially the long term.

As they make plans for a post-pandemic workplace, agencies across the government will be allowed to offer employees flexible schedules and remote work, depending on their needs, according to the guidance from the acting heads of the Office of Management and Budget, the Office of Personnel Management and the General Services Administration.

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ADI’s Executive Director Matthew Cornelius: The Hidden Power of the Federal Citizen Services Fund

FCW (May 25, 2021)

It can be hard to breathe in the federal IT space these days, with the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF) taking up so much of the oxygen. Flush with $1 billion, courtesy of the American Rescue Plan (ARP), the opportunity for agency digital transformation efforts has rarely been greater. Such a substantial infusion of capital into the TMF has rightly increased the intense focus on the TMF from both the White House and industry.

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ADI Executive Director Matthew Cornelius Interviewed on New Technology Modernization Fund Repayment Rules

Government Matters (May 9, 2021)

New guidance from the Office of Management and Budget gives agencies opportunities to pay back the loans over time or, in some cases, not at all. Matthew Cornelius, Executive Director of the Alliance for Digital Innovation, said the minimal repayment option is beneficial because some very important, timely projects, such as cybersecurity improvements, might not generate cost savings. Cornelius said he applauds the Office of Management and Budget and the General Services Administration for the “simple and yet sophisticated” rule changes.

New Technology Modernization Fund repayment rules expand opportunities for cross-agency efforts

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ADI Executive Director Matthew Cornelius Quoted in Protocol Braintrust on Effect of Biden’s Infrastructure Bill on Tech’s Private Sector

Protocol Braintrust (April 29, 2021)

President Biden’s American Jobs plan has numerous explicit opportunities for the tech industry — such as ‎broadband expansion, massive investments in R&D and securing supply chains. However, some of the most ‎interesting, and potentially powerful, investments are more implicit. At the most fundamental level, Biden’s ‎plan does not distinguish between — but rather interconnects — America’s physical and digital infrastructure in ‎nearly all elements of his vision. Like an iceberg, this means much of the opportunity for the tech industry is ‎hidden under the surface.‎

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ADI Member Organization Salesforce Testifies to Senate on IT Modernization: Cloud Adoption Is A Must

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

On Tuesday, April 27, 2021 ADI member organization Salesforce participated in a hearing for the U.S. Senate’s Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee of the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. Casey Coleman, Senior Vice President for Global Public Sector at Salesforce, was invited to testify to share her insights as the former CIO of the General Services Administration (GSA). The key takeaway from Coleman’s testimony was that modern, cloud-based platforms can support federal IT modernization.

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Cloud Software Marketplaces Are Linchpin to Driving Innovative Technology Solutions Into DoD

C4ISRNET (April 24, 2021)

By Matthew T. Cornelius, Executive Director, Alliance for Digital Innovation

The American military is entering an era of great power competition, where agility and quick adaptation matters more than ever. For too long, emerging capabilities failed to bridge the valley of death and get integrated into Department of Defense programs of record. In recent years, the DoD has launched groups aiming to change the tech insertion reality, such as the Defense Innovation Unit, Joint Artificial Intelligence Center and Army Futures Command, which accelerate adoption of innovative technologies across the department.

Even so, disruptive innovation in the commercial sector still struggles to enter the federal market, including at the Pentagon. The recent trend toward the defense industrial base consolidating down to a handful of large system integrators tuned toward winning contracts that require custom-developed solutions must cease. Their hold on DoD means innovative software startups and small businesses find the federal government market increasingly complicated, lacking transparency and fraught with misaligned incentives, which further supports the incumbents.

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ADI Joins Multi-Association Letter of Tech And Business Groups Urging Investment In IT Modernization Of Face Recognition Vendor Tests

Internet Association Press Releases (April 14, 2021)

Washington, DC – Today, Internet Association (IA), Alliance for Digital Innovation (ADI), Security Industry Association (SIA), and the U.S. Chamber Technology Engagement Center (C_TEC) are calling on U.S. congressional leaders to support the modernization of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s (NIST) information technology (IT) infrastructure. More specifically, the coalition hopes Congress will require improvement of NIST’s testing capabilities to include cloud-based face recognition products and services among those that can be tested. With this support, Congress will provide NIST’s Face Recognition Vendor Test (FRVT) the ability to develop proper standards and guidelines for any implementation of the technology.

“Face recognition is one of the most cutting-edge technologies on the market today, and its upward trajectory is currently outpacing NIST’s ability to form essential national technology standards,” says IA Director of Cloud Policy Omid Ghaffari-Tabrizi. “Congress must support activities that will ensure that NIST is able to build a test environment capable of matching the marketplace.”

Representing a broad portion of the American economy, the coalition is asking for Congressional leaders to address the inability of NIST’s FRVT team to perform tests on cloud-based products. Under current conditions, all vendors must convert their products to a version that fits within NIST’s testing capabilities. As a result, NIST is unable to test some products as they are actually being used, leaving the FRVT team and policymakers with an incomplete picture of the current state of facial recognition technology and the performance of widely used software. This impediment has the potential to prevent NIST from properly verifying that all active systems on the market are mitigating bias.

By requiring the modernization of NIST’s information technology infrastructure, IA is confident that NIST will be able to continue developing standards that will promote the responsible use of all modern technology, face recognition included.

Read the letter here.

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Lawmakers Ask Biden Administration for Technology Modernization Fund Spending Plan

FedScoop (April 13, 2021)

Lawmakers want to know what IT improvements the Biden administration is planning with the $1 billion recently injected into the Technology Modernization Fund, according to a letter sent by five Democratic members of the House Oversight Government Operations Subcommittee on Tuesday.

The letter asks the Office of Management and Budget, General Services Administration, and TMF Board to submit a spending plan to Congress for the funds appropriated in the American Rescue Plan Act, as well as for partial repayment by agencies.

TMF spending is perhaps the fastest way to invest in critical IT and cybersecurity projects across government. But agencies are expected to pay the money back within five years so the fund remains self-sustaining, which is an “unduly burdensome” ask on “inherently riskier projects,” according to industry.

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