Fedscoop Names VA CIO In Top 50 Women List

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LaVerne Council
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Fedscoop LaVerne Council

Benjamin KrauseThe VA CIO was included in the Fedscoop.com top 50 women in technology at the end of Women’s History Month last week.

Chief Information Officer (CIO) LaVerne Council was selected for inclusion in the list as one of the key influencers within Information Technology (IT) inside the Beltway. Counsil has her sights set on modernizing VA’s IT systems within her $4.2 billion annual budget.

Council was appointed to the roll by President Obama in 2015 after serving three years as CEO of Council Advisory Services, LLC. She previously worked at the March of Dimes Foundation, Johnson & Johnson, and Dell, Inc. Council attended college in Illinois.

LAVERN COUNCIL TENURE TO BE SHORTLIVED

She anticipates only a short tenure at VA given that she is a presidential appointee:

“A political appointee, Council knows only too well that she will likely be ushered out — along with President Barack Obama and the rest of his administration — when a new president takes office in 2017. And that’s made developing her strategy for VA’s Office of Information and Technology and its $4 billion budget much harder.”

RELATED: VA Executive Biography LaVerne Council

FEDSCOOP.COM EXCERPT

About the Top 50 list, Council commented on her selection to lead VA’s struggling IT department, “I never ever thought that I would be in government…. But when the call came, I just felt maybe this is what everything else was preparing me for.”

Some excerpts from Fedscoop.com are as follows:

“As a presidential appointee coming in, I couldn’t do one or two projects. I really had to leave this organization better than I found it and in a place where it could really run itself,” she told FedScoop.

“That’s why her biggest initiative since confirmation as VA CIO, where she exercises a $4.2 billion budget to serve Veterans, has been laying out an IT strategy that will last well beyond her tenure. Within that, she’s pioneered cybersecurity and digital health pathways not just for the near term, but for decades beyond.

“I never, ever thought that I would be in any kind of governmental service, but when the call came, I just felt maybe this is what everything else was preparing me for.”

LAVERN COUNCIL BIOGRAPHY

About Council’s background, according to VA.gov:

“Prior to joining VA, Ms. Council served as CEO of Council Advisory Services, LLC and Chair of the National Board of Trustees for the March of Dimes. In December 2011, she retired from Johnson & Johnson after serving as Corporate Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Johnson & Johnson’s global Information Technology group. In this capacity, she was responsible for managing information technology and related systems for the $61.6B Johnson & Johnson worldwide enterprise. She was a Member of the Corporate Global Operating Committee and her organization included more than 250 operating companies with over 4,000 information technology employees and 7,000 contractors.

“Ms. Council is a proven visionary senior executive with global experience in the development and execution of cutting-edge information technology and supply chain strategies in the healthcare/life sciences, consumer products and telecommunications/hi-tech industries. In 2011, Ms. Council received the Alumni Business Achievement Award from Ernst & Young. Business Trends Quarterly named her as one of the top four CIOs in America in 2010. The New Jersey Technology Council inducted her into their CIO Hall of Fame in 2009, and the Global CIO Executive Summit named her a Top 10 Leader and Change Agent in 2009 and a Top 10 Leader and Innovator in 2008.”

THE T4NG VA IT CONTRACT

I would be curious to see how Council has impacted the contracts awarded as part of the $22 billion IT update project announced recently.

RELATED: VA Awards Shocking $22 Billion IT Contract Called T4NG

Lately, veterans have speculated that many such contracts and many such policial appointments have some linkage to campaign contributions during various election cycle dealmaking behind the scenes.

Nonetheless, Council has an impressive background. Hopefully, she can interject some common sense strategies from business into the culture of her division during her short tenure.

Source: http://fedscoop.com/top-50-women-in-tech-2016/dcs-50-women-in-tech-2016-page-4

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15 Comments

  1. Impressive!
    Only let’s leave this one on the table, for now.
    She may, like Shinazi, see how screwed up the VA really is – then resign!

      • THAT is funny! Sad, but true, and sadly funny. Made me LMAO. The IT ‘fix’ might be only am imperative in order for VA Employees to be able to play modern video games at work because the 1985 Commodores will not play the big boy games….LOL! Not so much for serving Vets more efficiently.

      • I thought that was funny too. T4NG (more like Lockheed Martin already) is a GRAND federal (small s) contractor that has their hands in everything fediousse, defensiousse, weaponiousse, ITdiousse. There ain’t no political appointments that have some linkage to campaign contributions here now …is there? Council may be called “the great fixer” making Lockheed’s stuffola work at least in the planning stages – – which is the shine this administration wants to put on all this, now isn’t it? I remember interviewing with Lockheed Martin IT a long time ago…the workers there told me the people making the money at their company are their lawyers – not the managers or tech experts or their sales people. What does that tell us all?

      • Another question. I wonder how many will be brought in on that “Work Visa” B/S to take over the (high paying) jobs of Americans!?

      • @crazyelf-
        On those “Work Visa BS”, you know Disney has been under a lot of scrutiny for doing exact thing as I recall the interview of these USA citizens that are IT and Creative genius, all let go and hired-up their Work Visa ‘tax-exemptions with heart-beats’, and left Americans high and dry.
        Am really hoping there was some sort of hiring mandate of % of Veterans and Veteran-Owned sub contracting, et al. Who knows. Lockheed is like that huge company in all the Alien Movies with same company name on everything. Always thought that would bring walmart spaceships or something but Lockheed-Martin and Rayeothon make much more sense.

  2. It is an impressive Vitae, but like crazyelf so rightly stated, this is a wait and see type of thing, too early to make a call on it. If she’s indeed effective, it definitely will not be a “good match” for the VA, as she will be viewed as a threat to the VA’s culture of malfeasance.
    On a side note: I have been a bit under the weather last few days, living pretty much in bathroom, so please do not interpret my scant presence here as not being engaged, as could be further from truth.
    Peace, always.

  3. Has anyone heard about lawsuits against some of the “IT schools?”
    It was just told to me that some of the schools charged more $$$ than was reported to the students! Basically, the schools told the students one price, then charged the VA a higher price!

    @Robin Mitchell
    Good. I agree you should start letting info out! As long as you CYA. No one wants you to get into any trouble!

    I keep putting articles on here, Facebook and Twitter to help people get the “facts” about how corrupt our government is all over. From city, up to the feds!
    Information, if it’s fact checked, is an invaluable form of warfare! It’s what some might equate to “PSYOPS”! Just like what our government is doing to our countrymen and women!
    Our Main Stream Media isn’t playing fair, why should we!!!???

  4. I think the real “stress-testing of VA’s IT capacity” will be whether like past several such HUGE $$$ investments to bring the VA “up to speed”, at least post-Amiga/Commodore 64 computer/1985-ish, to present day, but again, like accountability, IT seems to be VA’s only Kryptonite. May we pray an asteroid-sized helping radiates the VA and makes it a better place for Veterans and the good VA employees, the rest can jump ship or better yet…bite me.

    (thanks for the well-wishes re: health)

    • CONGRESS COWARDS THE VA IS ONE BIB BIG FEDERAL RICO CRIME RACKET DEFUND VA DC HQ @ GIVE ALL VETS VOUCHERS ASAP CONGRESS I DARE YO TO DO IT ASAP !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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