Federal Spotlight: Mary Davie
Mary Davie serves as Assistant Commissioner, Office of Integrated Technology Services (ITS) at the General Services Administration (GSA). She was recently named a Federal 100 award winner – her third to date. Mary was also named the Meritorious Executive Winner in the 2015 Presidential Rank Awards, which recognize SES members for their exceptional service. Here’s our Federal Spotlight interview with Mary Davie:
MC: How long have you been in Federal Service and what is your main responsibility in your role today?
MD: I actually started working for the Federal government (GSA) in college as a summer job. So 26 years later, here I am. I’ve held a number of different positions at GSA and I currently serve as the Assistant Commissioner for the Integrated Technology Services (ITS) Portfolio in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service. In this role I develop and manage IT and telecommunications programs providing access to private sector solutions to Federal, state and local agencies worldwide. These programs include IT services, hardware, software, telecommunications and IT infrastructure, cyber security, identity management, data center, cloud, mobility, and wireless – $23B is spent through ITS annually through thousands of contract vehicles.
MC: What keeps you motivated and passionate to stay in the public sector?
MD: I absolutely love the work we do and what GSA delivers. Throughout my career, I’ve worked with just about every DoD and civilian agency and have been involved in delivery of solutions that impact everything from our environment, to homeland defense, to improving citizens’ and veterans’ access to services for things like housing, healthcare, and transportation. In addition, I’ve been able to help shape and implement governmentwide policy and laws for IT and acquisition. Some examples are the Open Government Directive, Cloud First Policy, Strategic Sourcing, Category Management, 25 Point Implementation Plan to Reform Federal Information Technology Management, Data Center Consolidations, FITARA, Cybersecurity Sprint and Implementation Plan, to name a few.
MC: What is one of your biggest achievements?
MD: Not sure that I’d characterize it as an “achievement,” but I think the collaboration and relationships we’ve developed across government and with industry in almost all of our programs is most significant. We partner with agencies and with industry on everything we do. We have very strong partnerships with many agencies which have resulted in higher quality and more effective solutions and contracts for them. As a result we are seeing more demand for and adoption of the governmentwide solutions GSA puts in place which reduces duplication and cost for everybody.
MC: What advice would you share on making public service a career and not a pit stop?
MD: The government is a big place and there are so many opportunities for people to make a career of it, whether it’s the agency, the location, the type of work, how you work, etc. I think the government provides the most diversity in giving people choices for career paths. You can follow your passion and make a difference – anywhere in the world. I’ve traveled across the US and overseas supporting delivery of a host of missions and am thankful for the opportunities and experiences I’ve had.
MC: What advice would you share with young people on entering government?
MD: Take advantage of those opportunities and experiences public sector service has to offer. It’s up to you to raise your hand to ask or volunteer for work assignments that may be outside your comfort zone but the more you do, the more people you’ll meet, the more experience you’ll get and the more fun you’ll have. I never thought much about where I was headed or what my next job might be, but I knew I wanted to continually learn and be challenged. You have to assess each role or job in a couple of ways – are you right for the job and is the job right for you – will you be able to contribute in a way that is good for the organization and the people, and will you be happy doing it.
*Answers reflect Mary’s own personal views and do not reflect those in her official capacity.
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