MeriTalk News Briefs: New DHS S&T Head Nominated, DEA IT Contract, TechGirls Exchange Program

Welcome to MeriTalk News Briefs, where we bring you all the day’s action that didn’t quite make the headlines. No need to shout about ‘em, but we do feel that they merit talk.

Bryan Nominated to Head DHS S&T

The White House on July 5 announced President Trump’s intention to nominate William Bryan to be Under Secretary for Science and Technology at the Department of Homeland Security. He has been acting in that role since May 2017, with the official title of “senior official performing the duties” of Under Secretary for S&T. He was president of ValueBridge International’s Energy Group, and before that was a deputy assistant Secretary for infrastructure security and energy restoration at the Department of Energy, and director for critical infrastructure protection in the Defense Department’s Office of Under Secretary of Defense for Policy.

ASRC Federal Lands $202M DEA Contract

ASRC Federal, based in Greenbelt, Md., won a potential five-year, $202 million recompeted contract with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA). Under the new contract ASRC Federal will continue to provide IT support and services to the DEA’s diversion control division. The National Forensic Laboratory Information Support Services begins with a one-year base period and then offers four one-year options, according to ASRC Federal. Under the contract ASRC will provide call center support operations, IT infrastructure support, software development and scientific support for the closed loop system of controlled substance distribution.

State Department to Host TechGirls STEM Program

The State Department is holding its TechGirls exchange program from July 8 to August 1, inviting twenty-eight teenage girls from Algeria, Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, and Tunisia to develop technical skills for potential careers in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM). The program includes an eight-day, interactive Java coding camp hosted and led by the Department of Computer Science Training at Virginia Tech, and activities in Washington, D.C., including leadership clinics, action planning workshops, community service opportunities, and a day of job shadowing with top tech companies in the area. “The TechGirls initiative empowers girls around the world to become leaders in the STEM fields,” the State Department said in a press release today. “TechGirls exchange alumnae, now totaling 158, have utilized the program’s lessons to train more than 3,100 peers in their home countries. The achievements of these alumnae and the talent of the incoming class contribute to the U.S. global commitment to grow the global economy and advance the rights of women and girls around the world, as well as STEM education.”

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