VA CIO Roger Baker Receives Prestigious John J. Franke Award at 31st Annual Management of Change Conference

Press Release | ACT-IAC | May 17, 2011

Last night, the American Council for Technology and Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC) presented Roger Baker, Assistant Secretary for Information Technology (IT) and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Department of Veteran Affairs (VA), with the 2011 John J. Franke Award. This award is bestowed annually at the Management of Change (MOC) conference to a federal employee who exemplifies the best of government service.

As the CIO of the VA, Mr. Baker has been recognized as one of the leaders in the government IT community. He has demonstrated a commitment to ensuring that taxpayers are getting full value for their dollar – and he has the courage to terminate programs that are not meeting that standard. Baker has also demonstrated a commitment to modernizing government IT systems and introducing innovative new solutions. Under his leadership, the VA developed the Program Management Accountability System, which has saved the agency millions of dollars and is often recognized by federal CIO Vivek Kundra as a model example of how technology projects should be managed across all levels of government.

The VA CIO is known for applying transparency towards IT performance in his department, and promotes the use of innovative technologies such as cloud computing and popular electronic devices like iPads.

Baker is also a strong supporter of collaboration both within and outside government. He has reached out to major constituencies to encourage collaboration and innovation. ACT-IAC was pleased to respond to his request for industry perspectives on how best to bring VistA – the VA’s premiere electronic health care record – into the 21st century.

“It is a great honor and privilege to recognize Mr. Baker’s long-standing commitment and proven track record for advancing public service through ‘good government,’” said Prashant Gaur, ACT President. “Amid increasing budget challenges, Mr. Baker is a model for driving innovation and change, and we look forward to many years of his exceptional leadership.

Baker’s commitment to collaboration has been evident throughout his career. He has been a long-time participant in – and supporter of -- ACT-IAC and other industry organizations. Prior to taking his current position, Baker co-chaired the ACT-IAC 2008 Transition Study Group project with former government official Mark Forman.

John J. Franke was a long time senior executive who was committed to the idea of a government that truly and effectively serves the public. Although not an IT expert, he recognized the importance of technology to the operations of government. He was also a strong believer in collaboration and believed strongly in encouraging and supporting his employees. He made a difference for the people who looked to public servants for help, and for the public servants with whom he worked. Each year the ACT Board of Directors pays tribute to Franke by recognizing another exception government employee with the John J. Franke Award.

Past winners include: Jim Williams (GSA), John Johnson (GSA), Karen Evans (OMB) and David Wennergren (DoD).

Roger W. Baker was nominated by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Information and Technology for the VA and subsequently confirmed by the Senate on May 18, 2009. As Assistant Secretary, Baker serves as the CIO for the department, directly managing an organization of over 7,500 IT professionals and a budget of over $3.3 billion.

Prior to his appointment, Baker was most recently president and chief executive officer of Dataline L.L.C., a mid-sized IT services and integration company based in Norfolk, Va. Prior to joining Dataline, Baker was CIO at General Dynamics Information Technology, and executive vice president and general manager of the telecommunications and information assurance business group for CACI International.

From 1998 to 2001, Baker was the CIO at the U.S. Department of Commerce, where he led efforts to convert old systems and processes to e-commerce, improve technology management, reduce costs and create the federal CIO position.

In addition to his federal service, Baker has extensive experience in the IT industry. His industry positions included president of Dataline and CIO of General Dynamics Information Technology. , He also helped grow and sell three software/Internet companies. Baker has a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science and a Masters in business administration, both from the University of Michigan.

ACT-IAC has been recognized as the premier government IT community’s public-private partnership and is an example of how government and industry work together. We are a non-profit educational organization created to advance government in serving the public through the effective application of IT resources. Our education, training, programming and collaboration opportunities enhance and advance the government IT profession. ACT-IAC’s objective, vendor and technology-neutral, and ethical forum allows government and industry to collaborate and improve government through technology.

Learn more about our organization and how to become a member at or call (703) 208-4800.


Sage Communications (for ACT-IAC)
Jessica Klem
Phone: 703.207.0941