Energy Department CIO Ann Dunkin talked about strategies for creating a whole-of-agency approach to solutions and strategies for IT-related challenges during a presentation today at ACT-IAC’s Imagine Nation ELC 2022 event.

She said that Department of Energy (DoE) leaders bring together all staffers to get a clear understanding of how the agency is utilizing emerging technology, implementing cybersecurity practices, and to explain related research projects to support strategic efforts.

“We bring our people together to understand not just our solutions, but the body of research that we do at DoE,” Dunkin said. “For example, when we talk about 5G we looked across the agency and asked what everyone in the enterprise was doing in or with 5G.”

Bringing together the workforce – including the agency’s wide-ranging research organizations – allowed DoE to take a whole-of-department approach to take advantage of new wireless communication research and applications, the CIO said.

Dunkin explained that the agency was able to string together the information it gathered on each sector’s use of 5G to put together an initiative to help DoE fully take advantage of the wireless technology.

In 2021, DoE’s Office of Science established its 5G initiative and awarded $6 million to research and development. Currently, there are several 5G efforts underway at the agency’s National Laboratories, program offices, and other sites across the department.

“It’s not simply about what are we doing to deliver capabilities to improve infrastructure. it’s also about what are we doing in research,” Dunkin said. “It’s about understanding our role as users, system developers, and researchers.”

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Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez
Lisbeth Perez is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.