DorobekInsider: Germain to lead NAPA’s Collaboration Project, while NAPA’s Munz joins GSA

Thursday - 1/7/2010, 12:15pm EST

We told you yesterday that Danielle Germain decided to step down as the General Services Administration’s chief of staff for “other opportunities.” Her last day was yesterday.

That left many questions about what those opportunities are. The DorobekInsider has learned that Germain will return to the National Academy of Public Administration as the director of it’s innovative Collaboration Project, which helps federal agencies use these collaborative tools to accomplish their missions. The Collaboration Project has really been one of the remarkable under-reported stories. In fact, back in 2008 when NAPA launched the Collaboration Project, I thought it was important enough to put on the cover of Federal Computer Week. And I think the NAPA team have proven that was a good decision. The Collaboration Project has enabled some of the very innovative ideas ranging from the Bush administration’s dialogue around health IT security and privacy the the current Better Buy Project with the General Services Administration. The Collaboration Project also highlighted wonderful projects such as Virtual Alabama, which is becoming a prototype for a Virtual USA, and TSA’s Idea Factory, which the Homeland Security Department has just decided to use across the agency.

Meanwhile, NAPA’s Dan Munz, who has been working with NAPA’s Collaboration Project, has announced that he is joining GSA’s Office of Citizen Services And Communications.

In my new role, I’ll be helping to build an initiative that’s still in its developing stages, but couldn’t come at a more important time: the GSA citizen engagement program.

The note he sent to friends:

If you’re getting this note, it might be because you, like me, have spent some portion of your life — maybe years, maybe weeks — being interested in how collaboration and social media can bring people together and help build a better government from the outside in. “Government 2.0,” as it’s sometimes called, has a lot of different moving parts to it. For about the past two years, my interest and passion have been particularly drawn to public engagement: The question of how technology can enable leaders in government to hear the voices of citizens and leverage the wisdom of crowds.

That’s why I’m so excited to share the news that, as of January 11th, I’ll be joining the U.S. General Services Administration’s Office of Citizen Services and Communications. In my new role, I’ll be helping to build an initiative that’s still in its developing stages, but couldn’t come at a more important time: the GSA citizen engagement program.

GSA has long been a leader in connecting citizens to government using the Internet, and some of GSA’s recent initiatives — like go.USA.gov and the Apps.gov portal — have been some of the coolest innovations I’ve seen in enabling government to really take advantage of the ubiquity of social platforms. I’m so excited to be joining an incredible team with an incredible mission.

So what, exactly, is the mission? Well, it’s rapidly evolving — that’s part of the fun! — but it’s basically this: Over the past few years, I’ve been honored to meet hundreds of public servants who are passionate about engaging people in the work of government, and leveraging their effort and expertise to make government better. That passion deserves to be matched by easy access to the tools, resources, and best practices that can make this vision a reality. That, broadly, is our mission: Connecting people with each other, challenges with solutions, and citizens with their government.

The team is also, as the great philosopher Peter Griffin once put it, friggin’ sweet. I get to work with Bev Godwin, Dave McClure, Martha Dorris, and tons of other great folks at GSA. And, of course, the thousands of innovators across and outside of government who share this mission. I count among my colleagues a pretty amazing community.

So while it was a big decision to leave my current home at the awesome National Academy of Public Administration, I’m really excited about this new opportunity — I think I have a lot to share, and I know I have a ton to learn. It’s been an honor to be part of the Gov 2.0 movement so far, not least because of the incredible partnerships and friendships that I’ve built and hope to keep building. I can’t wait to get started.