Formerly of Pixar, Rob Cook has been named head of the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service and has been impressed with the civic-minded technology workers he has met in the agency’s 18F group.
“I felt like I was in a group that was full of people that were as good as people I’d ever met in the private technology sector,” said Cook.
Cook aims to save the government money over the years by better IT acquisition and implementation.
“By far the largest impact I think we can have is to make the government a better buyer of technology,” he said. “It’s just not a very good buyer of technology. The way it works excluded a huge amount of the talent out in the private sector. It requires companies to go through a process that almost sets it up to be super expensive and a lot of extra work and frustrating and not work very well in the end. It’s amazing people can get anything done through that process.”
He continued “It’s just a matter of getting the best brains in here”, while emphasizing that the organization would not grow much because “the impact we’re going to have is through the leverage into the agencies and industry.”