The 15th Annual Senior Government Executive Forum and InnovateIT Awards

Harnessing the Power of Innovation Emerging technologies are changing the…

August 17, 2022

Harnessing the Power of Innovation

Emerging technologies are changing the way innovative organizations work today – and creating opportunities for further transformation. That central idea, “Harnessing the Power of Innovation,” was the theme of AFCEA Bethesda’s 15th annual Senior Government Executive Forum.


Information technology (IT) leaders of various types – public-sector executives, emerging government leaders, and industry trailblazers – convened this summer to talk about IT innovations and disruptors affecting the missions of government agencies. Held at the Hotel Washington, the July 14 event also honored recipients of AFCEA Bethesda’s annual InnovateIT Awards.


During the COVID-19 pandemic, many federal agencies pursued novel strategies for overcoming unprecedented challenges, all in the name of enhancing citizen services and improving public engagement. Government agencies invested in artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), and robotic process automation (RPA) to modernize work processes and streamline the delivery of services. At times, the primary catalyst of progress has been conversation.


“Our AFCEA chapter serves a critical need in our community by encouraging dialogue and partnership between the federal government and industry to solve today’s most immediate IT challenges,” said Kathleen Cowles, president of AFCEA Bethesda.


Dialogue ensued as attendees engaged in roundtable discussions, sponsored by Octo Consulting and Microsoft Federal, that centered on themes of innovation.  Moderators and industry leaders initiated conversations on four topics:


  • Digital Transformation and Customer Experience
  • IT Modernization and Cloud Migration
  • Cybersecurity and Zero Trust
  • Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence


Attendees shared knowledge and gained insights from other participants’ experiences. Among the takeaways, participants’ conversations reinforced the idea that government agencies and industry partners, despite their different missions, share many of the same IT challenges, especially in the realms of cybersecurity, IT modernization, and the remote workforce.


Thought Leadership