|By Bob Gourley||
|February 17, 2017 05:32 PM EST|
Editor's note: Dave Mihelcic has been a leader, mentor and friend to thousands, including me. I wish him the very best in his transition from government service. It was great to see how DISA honored him with with a farewell release on their site. Find and follow Dave on LinkedIn here. -bg
The following is from: DISA CTO Retirement
Chief technology officer to retire after 31 years of government service
The man who ensured the services and capabilities the Defense Information Systems Agency develops are technically in sync with the director’s strategic vision will retire after 31 years of government service in a ceremony at the agency’s Headquarters Feb. 21.
David Mihelcic, DISA’s chief technology officer (CTO), served 19 years at the agency and his legacy endures through the programs the Office of the CTO was responsible for.
Mihelcic’s team developed the Global Information Grid (GIG) Convergence Master Plan, which lays the foundation for transforming the DOD network and business and command and control applications into a converged, modern set of services riding on a single Internet Protocol (IP) network. He was responsible for planning and fielding the DOD’s first two-way Global Broadcast System, providing service at 21 sites in Southwest Asia in support of post-9/11 contingency operations. He also orchestrated an unprecedented agreement between the Chief Information Officers of the DOD and the intelligence community, which identified an area of sharing that avoided $12 million in redundancy and served as a precedent for future opportunities.
Prior to his appointment as CTO, Mihelcic served as the deputy program director for the Global Information Grid Bandwidth Expansion (GIG-BE), chief executive engineer (CEE) for the Defense Information System Network (DISN), commander of the Center for Horizontal Integration, and deputy CEE for Information Processing at DISA. He also worked at the Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) for 14 years, and had a brief stint as a senior consultant in private industry.
His decision to pursue government service at the NRL and DISA, as well as his plans for the future, are heavily influenced by his willingness to support the military services and, specifically, the warfighter.
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in electrical engineering, he sought to work for the Department of Defense. He eventually chose an engineer position with NRL after looking at jobs within the various military services, and with industry positions in support of the military services.
"I started as a GS-7. I left as a GS-15," said Mihelcic. "I started as an engineer working in communication security, basically working with National Security Agency encryption products, and eventually ended up being one of the founders of what would become the Navy's information assurance program."
Mihelcic remarked that his proudest accomplishment in government service was before his appointment as the DISA CTO.
While serving as the deputy program director and CEE for the GIG-BE program, his team virtually eliminated the bandwidth constraints in the DOD’s terrestrial network.
"We had an $877 million investment. We acquired commercial fiber optic cable. We lit that cable with the most leading-edge technologies available. We made it available to warfighters as high-speed IP, with NIPRNet and SIPRNet services available," said Mihelcic. "Really, that's completely changed how the Department does business, and quite frankly, it has changed DISA as well."
In addition to the technological advancements the DOD and the military services would reap from GIG-BE, there were other benefits DOD and DISA would gain from the program.
"Not only did we get this huge infusion of technology, but we got the infusion of skills and people," said Mihelcic. "There were contractors that worked for us when we conducted the GIG-BE program that subsequently came to work with us as government employees … and I feel that today, the reason that we are so successful in the long-haul communications business is because of that great work we did in the GIG-BE program and the great people we attracted to DISA."
Following his service with NRL and industry, his tenure at DISA almost didn’t happen. After applying, and subsequently being offered the job, he initially declined the job offer.
"The chief of staff at DISA, Army COL Frank Whitehead, called me to say, 'I can't offer you more money, but I can guarantee that you are going to help the warfighter,'" said Mihelcic. "I thought about that, and I thought about the importance of the DISA mission, so I took the job and I’ve been here ever since."
Mihelcic said the DISA CTO is responsible for oversight of all technology at the agency through the Chief Engineers Panel, which brings together the senior technical representatives of all of DISA's projects and programs. He stated that in addition to this oversight, his team ensures DISA has a pipeline of relevant concepts and technologies to inform and guide the agency's activities moving forward.
"We ensure that what DISA does is technically in sync with the Director's strategic vision, has good systems engineering, and is scalable, secure, and survivable," said Mihelcic.
The CTO went onto say he is going to miss the people and the mission.
"The CTO has some of the best and brightest in all of DISA, and they have a very difficult job because instead of working on one of the core programs, whether it be the DISN, or computing, or Global Command and Control, they really have to work in support of everything DISA does – the entire mission."
He said CTO has to interact with the Chief Strategy Office, work with all of the left- and right-side functions, as well as to work with industry, academia, and other government organizations.
"I think the people we have in the CTO, because they have this broad experience in everything that DISA does, they are really the right people for that job," said Mihelcic.
In addition to missing the people at DISA, he reiterated the reason he came back to government service after his brief time as a consultant was primarily due to the DISA mission and the opportunity to support the warfighter.
"The one thing that COL Whitehead told me that I could get at DISA that I couldn't get anywhere else was that ability to influence the mission and really help the warfighter," said Mihelcic. "I am really going to miss that, because I think DISA has done great things for the Department of Defense and the warfighter. I think we’re going continue to do great things, and I really hope in my next job I can find at least some semblance of that. A place where I can actually influence the future."
After reminiscing about his 31 years of service, Mihelcic ended with these words.
"We have great people. We have a great mission. And as long as DISA leadership empowers and trusts our people to do the right thing, we will accomplish whatever goal is set forth."
Posted February 17, 2017
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
Mar. 25, 2017 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 4,086
Have you ever noticed how some IT people seem to lead successful, rewarding, and satisfying lives and careers, while others struggle? IT author and speaker Don Crawley uncovered the five principles that successful IT people use to build satisfying lives and careers and he shares them in this fast-paced, thought-provoking webinar. You'll learn the importance of striking a balance with technical skills and people skills, challenge your pre-existing ideas about IT customer service, and gain new in...
Mar. 25, 2017 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,337
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
Mar. 25, 2017 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,912
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Mar. 25, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,979
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Mar. 25, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,713
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
Mar. 25, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 13,901
SYS-CON Events announced today that Juniper Networks (NYSE: JNPR), an industry leader in automated, scalable and secure networks, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Juniper Networks challenges the status quo with products, solutions and services that transform the economics of networking. The company co-innovates with customers and partners to deliver automated, scalable and secure network...
Mar. 25, 2017 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,141
Historically, some banking activities such as trading have been relying heavily on analytics and cutting edge algorithmic tools. The coming of age of powerful data analytics solutions combined with the development of intelligent algorithms have created new opportunities for financial institutions. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Sebastien Meunier, Head of Digital for North America at Chappuis Halder & Co., will discuss how these tools can be leveraged to develop a lasting competitive advanta...
Mar. 25, 2017 07:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,556
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,032
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 740
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,704
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,511
What if you could build a web application that could support true web-scale traffic without having to ever provision or manage a single server? Sounds magical, and it is! In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Munns, Senior Developer Advocate for Serverless Applications at Amazon Web Services, will show how to build a serverless website that scales automatically using services like AWS Lambda, Amazon API Gateway, and Amazon S3. We will review several frameworks that can help you build serverle...
Mar. 25, 2017 06:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,623
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
Mar. 25, 2017 05:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,378
Culture is the most important ingredient of DevOps. The challenge for most organizations is defining and communicating a vision of beneficial DevOps culture for their organizations, and then facilitating the changes needed to achieve that. Often this comes down to an ability to provide true leadership. As a CIO, are your direct reports IT managers or are they IT leaders? The hard truth is that many IT managers have risen through the ranks based on their technical skills, not their leadership abi...
Mar. 25, 2017 05:00 AM EDT Reads: 10,854