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Adrian GardnerAdrian Gardner
Where the Information meets the Space Age: IT at the Goddard Space Flight Center

Wednesday, May 19, 2010
Building 3 Auditorium - 3:30 PM
(Reception to follow)

Information Technology has now grown to over a $3 Trillion annual market according to the research firm Gartner, Inc. IT is a major investment in almost every sector and is often the competitive edge enabling firms to gain market share with operational excellence, winning products, and exceptional customer intimacy. In the public sector, the vast array of services citizens have come to expect would simply not be possible without major IT systems. From national defense to weather forecasting, providing student loans and making benefit payments, agencies simply could not perform their missions without their computers.

The NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center is similarly dependent on IT to conduct its missions of scientific exploration and discovery, develop new space systems with partners such as NOAA and DOD, steward the vast amount of data collected by past missions and provide easy access for the public and other stakeholders to the information collected from space with public money. In this talk, I will provide a perspective of how far we have come with IT and where we might be going. I will describe the strategies that will be necessary to get to that new place. Also, I will touch upon the importance of innovation and mention some of the key technologies and trends that will soon be impacting our work. Finally, I will end with some thoughts on how I see the workforce changing to step up to these new challenges and the exciting future ahead of us.

Mr. Adrian R. Gardner's Federal career is distinguished by over 20 years of federal service enabling mission capability and readiness within the Scientific and Defense-related sectors in an innovative and secure manner. Mr. Gardner was the recipient of 2005 Federal 100 award, which honors individuals from government, industry, and academia whose ideas and accomplishments had the greatest impact in shaping the missions, solutions, and results achieved by the government information technology community.

Mr. Gardner is a member of the Senior Executive Service and currently serves as the Director of the Information Technology and Communications Directorate (ITCD) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Goddard Space Flight Center. As such, he is responsible for providing the GSFC workforce the information infrastructure and tools that adapt and evolve to effectively and securely support management, science, research, and technology programs; developing, implementing, and operating specialized IT systems to support NASA mission planning and operation; and providing systems that disseminate information to the public and that preserve NASA's information assets. Other recent IT leadership positions Mr. Gardner has held include:

  • Chair of POC Working Group for DATA.GOV, May '10 to present
  • Chief Information Officer for the National Weather Service, Jan. '07 to Feb. '10
  • Deputy Associate CIO for IT Reform, Department of Energy, Oct. '06 to Jan. '07
  • Deputy Associate CIO for Cyber Security, Department of Energy, Sep. '05 to Sep. '06

Also, from January 2004 to September 2005, Mr. Gardner led the Department's Cyber Security Program through a major expansion in size and scope, incorporating many new missions and security initiatives.

Mr. Gardner is a Doctoral Candidate at the University of Southern California, School of Public Policy and Planning where he holds a Masters degree in Public Administration. He also holds a Master of Science degree in Environmental Studies from Hood College and a Bachelor of Science in Biological Science and Ecology from the esteemed Tuskegee Institute. Mr. Gardner serves on the Board of the District of Columbia Urban League and is a volunteer and mentor to several academic and youth programs.

An Air Force veteran, Mr. Gardner was commissioned as a Launch Control Officer in 1986 and served with distinction until he separated in 1989 and was honorably discharged in 1994. He received the Air Force Achievement Medal in 1987.

IS&T Colloquium Committee Host: Paul Hunter

Sign language interpreter upon request: 301-286-8313