Senior Fellow
IBM Center for The Business of Government
600 14th Street, NW Second Floor
Washington, DC 20005
United States
202-551-9341

Mr. Kamensky is a Senior Fellow with the IBM Center for The Business of Government and an Associate Partner with IBM's Global Business Services.

During 24 years of public service, he had a significant role in helping pioneer the federal government's performance and results orientation. Mr. Kamensky is passionate about helping transform government to be more results-oriented, performance-based, customer-driven, and collaborative in nature.

Prior to joining the IBM Center, he served for eight years as deputy director of Vice President Gore's National Partnership for Reinventing Government. Before that, he worked at the Government Accountability Office where he played a key role in the development and passage of the Government Performance and Results Act.

Since joining the IBM Center, he has co-edited six books and writes and speaks extensively on performance management and government reform.  Current areas of emphasis include transparency, collaboration, and citizen engagement.  He also blogs about management challenges in government.

Mr. Kamensky is a fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration and received a Masters in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, in Austin, Texas. He can be reached at: john.kamensky@us.ibm.com

The New Obama Performance Team

Yesterday, Jeff Zients testified before a Senate Committee on an ambitious agenda to reform governmentwide performance management. Zients is President Obama’s Chief Performance Officer and the deputy director of management at the Office of Management and Budget.

Falling Behind on Appointments

According to the Washington Post’s Al Kamen, “President Obama's personnel operation, which got off to a record-breaking start early this year in filling top administration jobs, has stalled a bit in recent months. In fact, it's well behind the pace set by the Bush administration in 2001 for the top 500 or so administration jobs -- and time is quickly running out to close the gap.”

ISO Good Ideas: Ask Employees Part II

Sixteen years ago in the heyday of reinventing government, if the White House wanted good ideas, it had to go look for them. The reinvention team had a team of 250 career civil servants and a network of teams in each agency that did the looking.

Engaging Citizens in Oversight

There’s a great lead article by Elise Castelli in this week’s Federal Times, “Feds to Empower ‘Citizen IGs’ to Watch Stimulus Spending.” This is a real experiment in the ultimate use of crowdsourcing – providing the data on spending via recovery.gov and letting on-the-ground citizens to help interpret and make sense of it in their communities.

Recognizing Civil Servants

One of the things I learned working on the Reinventing Government initiative in the 1990s for Vice President Gore was that civil servants do some pretty amazing things. And they get little recognition for it. But now it's time to make government cool again!

Ask Employees How to Fix It

Optimists believe that two data points constitute a trend. So here’s a trend. Ask employees why things don’t work and how to fix them!

Using Crowdsourcing in Government

For years, democracy advocates have promoted the notion of engaging citizens in their government. There are different ways of doing this (public hearings, debates, dialogue panels, etc), and at different points in the policy cycle (proposing, debating, implementing, reviewing, etc.).

Citizen Participation: An Update

Increasing participation in government by citizens is a key element of President Obama’s Transparency and Open Government initiative. He signed a directive his first full day in office to create guidance for agencies on how they should go about implementing the principles in the directive, but delays in appointing officials have led to a delay in the development and release of the guidance.

Using Czars to Govern

The media, and some members of Congress, continue to focus on President Obama’s use of “czars.” An article today by the Wall Street Journal’s Neil King examines how this dust-up highlights the ongoing challenge of how government is increasingly facing problems that reach across traditional agency and program boundaries. These problems include food safety, climate change, and the Recovery Act.

Lessons of Reinvention

Sixteen years ago today Vice President Gore presented the first report of the National Performance Review to President Clinton in a ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House. At the time, I was on the NPR staff and thought that the six-month review was over and that we’d all be going back to our home agencies. But it turns out that ceremony was just the beginning.

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