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

Obama's Stealth Management Revolution

“Where is Obama’s big-bang reform of government?” laments an insightful article by University of Maryland public administration dean, Donald Kettl, in a forum on President Obama’s management initiatives in the current issue of The Public Manager. He says that President Obama is quietly reshaping the way government works and dubs it a "stealth revolution."

The Open Government Dialogue

With little fanfare, the While House announced that 29 agencies launched their Open Government weblinks on schedule (per an OMB directive), on Saturday, February 6th. Virtually all of them also invited citizens to participate in a dialogue on how they could improve their approaches to transparency, participation, collaboration, and innovation.

Redefining the Role of Citizen in a Gov 2.0 World

What does it mean to be a citizen in a Gov 2.0 world? President Obama’s FY 2011 budget is being dissected for its shift in the size and scope of government. But several initiatives in the budget, and things happening at the state and local levels, point to subtle -- but significant --shifts in the role of citizens in their government.

Obama's FY 2011 Management Initiatives

Most of the news media focused on the size of the budget and which agencies gained or lost. However, the budget also included an overview of the Obama Administration’s management initiatives, as well.

The overall emphasis of these initiatives is on achieving defined mission-oriented results. It de-emphasizes (but still addresses) improvements to mission-support functions and the reporting of performance information.

Finding Bright Spots

The latest issue of FastCompany magazine has a terrific piece by Chip and Dan Heath, “Find a Bright Spot and Clone It.” While it uses private sector examples, their insights apply equally to government.

Veterans Affairs: "Transformation 21" and Beyond

The Department of Veterans Affairs, like HUD, is undertaking significant transformation efforts with congressional support. Its initial “Transformation 21” plan was framed around its fiscal year 2010 budget. Subsequently, more is on the way, but it has not yet been fully released.

Calling on Corporate Leaders: Now vs. Then

The White House sponsored a forum last week of about 50 corporate executives to seek insights about how to successfully transform large organizations. These included the leaders of Facebook, Southwest Airlines, Microsoft, and Whirlpool. Listening to the videos, it was quite reminiscent of a similar forum, sponsored by Vice President Gore’s reinventing government initiative almost 17 years ago.

Leadership Matters

The new administrator of the long-rudderless U.S. Agency for International Development is a real-time case study of how leadership matters. Rajiv Shah, 36, stepped into the job just five days before the devastating earthquake shattered Haiti. According to the Washington Post, Shah suddenly found himself designated the "unified disaster coordinator" and in meetings with the President in the Situation Room in the basement of the White House.

HUD Transformation Initiative

As mentioned here a few days ago in blog entry on innovation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been given in fiscal year 2010, what seems to be a large pot of money and new authority to conduct a transformation initiative in four areas that have been historically underfunded in HUD as well as most other agencies:

Chances to Innovate

Two departments received special authorities this past year that are intended to improve their abilities to manage. It will be interesting to watch to see how they use these authorities. If these agencies can demonstrate success, then there’s a good chance that Congress might extend these authorities to other agencies.

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