Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States
202-551-9341

Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com

How Leaders Make a Difference

 

In the wake of the Katrina disaster, one Louisiana state agency leader used the “clean slate” provided as an

opportunity to re-design the eligibility determination process for health care benefits provided to citizens in need.

Balancing Innovation, Risk, and Control

A Canadian think tank has released a report on how senior government executives can support innovation by their employees as a way of solving societal problems and delivering better value to citizens. The report’s insights have some useful application to U.S. government executives, as well.

Topic 4: Technology, Transparency, and Participatory Democracy

President Obama issued a memorandum on Transparency and Open Government following his inauguration in early 2009. The memo outlined his commitment to greater transparency, increased citizen participation, and more collaboration. This commitment acknowledges that government cannot solve by itself the challenges facing our nation.

Topic 3: Federal Contracting and Acquisition

Over the past two decades, a series of trends have resulted in a chorus of voices in Congress, the media and the public concluding that the current federal contracting system is broken. Between 1989 and 2000, Congress mandated deep cuts in the Defense acquisition workforce. During the 1990s, the federal government shifted its contracting approach from one focused on buying supplies to one buying services, using new flexible contracting vehicles. Beginning in 2000, federal contracting increased from $220 billion to over $530 billion in 2008, with no increase in contracting staff.

Topic 2: Implementing the Recovery Act

Congress passed the $787 billion Recovery Act in early 2009. The Act – sometimes referred to as the stimulus bill – focused on job creation, but it does so through hundreds of existing and new federal programs. Implementing these programs falls on the shoulders of thousands of state, local, non-profit, and private organizations. The Act also spawned new governance models. What are the implications of these models for national policy leadership, accountability, and our federal system?

Topic 1: Performance Improvement and Analysis

Since the enactment of the Government Performance and Results Act in 1993, all agencies now have strategic plans and performance measures supported by an infrastructure of staff and processes build to collect and deliver performance data. The Obama Administration took office promising to appoint a “chief performance officer” to improve performance.

Framing a Public Management Research Agenda

The IBM Center for The Business of Government hosted a forum in November 2009 to examine the Obama Administration’s themes for a high-performing government and to frame a public management research agenda.

Participants included nearly 50 of the nation’s top public management researchers, scholars, and distinguished practitioners.  The forum was an effort to help bridge the gap between research and practice, and to collectively develop a research agenda that would help government executives move things forward.

Doing What Works

The Obama Administration’s favorite think tank, the Center for American Progress (CAP), has launched a new project, “Doing What Works.” Led by Reece Rushing and Jitinder Kohli, it has three objectives:

Recovery Act Reporting

The Recovery Transparency and Accountability Board posted its second set of updates onto its Recovery.Gov website last week. The new data covered Recovery Act spending in the last quarter of 2009 (October – December).

Managing Guerrilla Employees

Do you have “guerilla employees” in your organization who work around (or against) their leadership? How do you deal with them?

This is the focus of a provocative article in the current issue of the Public Administration Review by Maxwell School professor Rosemary O’Leary, “Guerilla Employees: Should Managers Nurture, Tolerate, or Terminate Them?”

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