Sustained Performance Improvement in Government – On the Importance of Good Governance

While we see some examples of agencies successfully delivering highly complex programs, there are too many agencies struggling with significant management issues, resulting in, at best, mediocre service to citizens, wasted opportunities, and inefficient operations. During my time in government, I learned much from seeing and being part of management successes as well as failures. Wanting government to improve is what prompted me to research and then write my second book, Government Can Deliver – A Practitioner’s Guide to Improving Agency Effectiveness and Efficiency.

Richard A. Spires, Government Can Deliver

Richard brings substantial experience in consulting for private sector companies and in working directly for government agencies.

Richard A. Spires

Richard A. Spires is currently the CEO and Director, Learning Tree International, a leading provider of workforce development and hands-on IT and management training services.   

Mr. Spires was appointed and served as the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chief Information Officer (CIO) from 2009 till 2013.  Mr. Spires also served as the Vice-Chairman of the Federal Government CIO Council and the Co-Chairman of the Committee for National Security Systems (CNSS), the committee that sets standards for the US Government’s classified systems.

The Need to Improve Government IT: Lessons from Congress' Second Swing

From the processing of tax returns at the IRS, to payment of checks from the Social Security Administration, to advancing the state of science through supercomputers at the Department of Energy, to providing services to more than 10 million veterans at the Department of Veteran’s Affairs, these and many other services from federal government agencies can only be accomplished through IT.  IT is at the core of much of the government’s response to the current COVID-19 efforts.  Federal Chief Information Officers and their teams and colleagues have provided significant leadership in advancing I

Richard A. Spires

Richard A. Spires was appointed in September 2009 to serve as the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chief Information Officer (CIO). In this capacity, Mr. Spires was responsible for the department’s $6.4 billion investment in Information Technology (IT). He lead and facilitated the development, implementation, and maintenance of the department’s IT architecture. Mr. Spires was the chairman of the DHS Chief Information Officer Council and the Enterprise Architecture Board.

Author and Former Government Executive
United States

Richard brings substantial experience in consulting for private sector companies and in working directly for government agencies. Besides serving as CIO at both the IRS and U.S. Department of Homeland Security, he served in several leadership roles in the private sector, including president of Mantas, Inc. and CEO and a director of Learning Tree International. During his tenure at the IRS, he led the Business Systems Modernization (BSM) program, one of the largest technology modernization programs ever undertaken and that has served as a blueprint for organizational transformation. A theme that has run through his career has been using advanced technologies and operational systems to transform the way organizations function. Richard is currently an independent consultant providing advice to companies and government agencies in strategy, digital transformation, operations, and business development. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors of MAXIMUS Federal, a leading federal system integrator, and RateReset Corporation, a leading provider of loan reset products serving the banking and credit union industries. He also serves on the Palo Alto Networks Public Sector Advisory Council, MetroStar Systems Advisory Board, and he recently served as the chairman of the board of ACT-IAC, a leading non-profit organization serving government IT. Richard has won numerous awards for his leadership in IT, including the 2020 ACT-IAC Industry Executive Leadership Award, 2012 Fed 100 Government Executive Eagle Award, TechAmerica’s 2012 Government Executive of the Year, and Government Computer News 2011 Civilian Government Executive of the Year. He was inducted into The George Washington University Engineering Hall of Fame in 2019 and named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering in 2006. Richard received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.A. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Cincinnati. He also holds an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from The George Washington University.