A senior General Services Administration (GSA) official said on September 13 that bold leadership from the top, and a willingness to explore new approaches, is driving the agency forward in efforts to remake the next generation of Federal workforces and work places.

Traci DiMartini, who took over as GSA’s Chief Human Capital Officer in 2020, said during an address at the DocuSign Public Sector Symposium that she loves her job helping to guide GSA’s workforce of 12,000 civil servants. But she said that would not be possible without heavy reliance on technology and efficient agency leadership.

GSA recently ranked fourth in a survey that assesses Federal employees’ experiences within their agency, and DiMartini gives all the credit to GSA leadership as they “figure out how to leverage technology to increase services to the workforce.”

“We at GSA are always on the cutting edge of doing things ahead of the other agencies,” she said.

Along with keeping on the leading edge of technology use, the CHCO also applauded GSA leadership for supporting experimentation and new approaches.

“The leadership at the top of any agency really is where the difference is,” she said, adding, “it’s great to have an administrator that’s not afraid for us to shake up the status quo and to do things differently,” she said.

GSA, she said, is currently bringing digital tech to bear on two projects that will “revolutionize” the Federal government: workplace 2030, and future of the workforce.

DiMartini said the former will look at how post-pandemic government buildings will change over the next 10 years, and how they will become more user friendly for employees, but also continue to deliver services to the public.

The latter effort will explore questions like how to remain competitive, attract the best and the brightest talent, and reform ways of working without missing a beat on delivering services and being that face of the Federal government.

These two examples are ways that GSA and its leadership can be a model for other agencies by using technology effectively, DiMartini said. But it’s not as easy as it sounds, she said, as the Federal government is already heavy on rules.

“But we have a history of doing things right, and we’re able to look at how we can become a model once again for how the government can do this right,” DiMartini said.

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.