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Ed Grace, Craig Hoover, Fish and Wildlife Service

It's been about six months since the Fish and Wildlife Service began the process of implementing a near-complete ban on commercial trade in ivory. There are very few exceptions, like for musicians traveling internationally. The service recently cracked one of the biggest wildlife trafficking rings to date. Ed Grace is the deputy assistant director for the agency's Office of Law Enforcement and Craig Hoover is chief of the Wildlife Trade and Conservation Branch in the International Affairs Program. Hoover told Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive how this new effort got started.

Tags: Ed Grace , Craig Hoover , Fish and Wildlife Service , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 08:46am EDT

Carrie Hessler-Radelet, Director, Peace Corps

The Peace Corps is simplifying its application process in a bid for more recruits. It is also giving volunteers more freedom to choose where they want to serve and what they want to do. The number of volunteers has steadily dropped over the last few years. The agency hopes to regain its popularity among college graduates. Peace Corps Director Carrie Hessler-Radelet joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss the changes.

Tags: Carrie Hessler-Radelet , Peace Corps , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Thursday - 07/17/2014, 10:07am EDT

Joe Petrillo, Procurement Attorney, Petrillo & Powell

Congress back in 2012 ordered Defense agencies and contractors to get a handle on counterfeit or non-conforming electronic parts. The FAR Council has taken a liberal reading of the law, and now we're beginning to see the scope of the reporting that will be required. How does a half million new reports per year grab you? In this week's legal loop segment, Procurement Attorney Joe Petrillo joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive for an explanation.

Tags: Joe Petrillo , Petrillo and Powell , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Thursday - 07/17/2014, 10:00am EDT

Jim Traficant, Managing Director, Accenture Federal Services

The Veterans Affairs Department hired ASM Research to modernize its electronic health records systems. The three-year task order is worth $162 million. ASM will work on VA's Vista and Enterprise Core Services system and will create a web access front-end for VA's Computerized Patient Record System. Jim Traficant is president of ASM Research and managing director at Accenture Federal Services. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss what his company hopes to do under the deal.

Tags: Jim Traficant , Accenture Federal Services , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Thursday - 07/17/2014, 09:57am EDT

Levi Gundert, Technical Lead, Cisco

The Justice Department is asking Congress for more resources to fight cybercrime. Yesterday, a top official told Senators cyber criminals are becoming so sophisticated that the department, and the FBI in particular, are adapting their tactics and tools on a minute-by-minute basis. That might not be fast enough. The FBI estimates 500 million computers are infected by botnets each year, meaning that there are 18 victims per second. Levi Gundert is a former secret service agent and now a technical lead with Cisco's Threat Research, Analysis and Communications team. He told Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive that the government deserves credit for building partnerships that can track and find cyber criminals.

Tags: Levi Gundert , cybersecurity , Federal Drive , cisco

Wednesday - 07/16/2014, 08:57am EDT

Ben Goad, Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

President Barack Obama pledges to hit the accelerator on key policy goals, with or without Congress' help. The White House has released a report recounting more than 40 administrative actions taken this year and hinting at more to come. It's fodder for a lawsuit filed by House Republicans. But the administration makes no apologies. Ben Goad is a staff writer at the Hill Newspaper. He joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss what's happened and what we can expect before year's end.

Tags: Ben Goad , The Hill , Congress , Federal Drive ,

Tuesday - 07/15/2014, 09:26am EDT

Judge Dana Leigh Marks, National Association of Immigration Judges

The Justice Department is appointing temporary immigration judges to help handle the surge of unaccompanied minors who are crossing the Southwest border. The Executive Office for Immigration review has so many cases that it's created a backlog for the 243 full-time immigration judges. In part two of her interview, Judge Dana Leigh Marks joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain it's not just undocumented immigrants filling the dockets.

Tags: Dana Leigh Marks , National Association of Immigration Judges , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Tuesday - 07/15/2014, 09:33am EDT

John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

About 1.5 million white collar federal employees get paid according to the General Schedule. But the system predates the personal computing era. Today, a Congressional panel dares to raise the question: Is the general schedule viable in 2014? John Palguta is the vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss why the current system is not viable.

Tags: John Palguta , Partnership for Public Service , Federal Drive , GS system

Tuesday - 07/15/2014, 09:22am EDT

Jennifer Keister, Visiting Research Fellow, Cato Institute

The U.S. cannot be the world's policeman. But it can advise, train and equip friendly nations facing conflicts of their own. It's doing that in Iraq right now, in the country's fight against the military group ISIS. And it's doing that in Nigeria, where hundreds of schoolgirls remain missing. This type of defense aid will be pondered, debated and questioned at an event today hosted by the Cato Institute. Visiting Research Fellow Jennifer Keister joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to talk about the event she is moderating today.

Tags: Jennifer Keister , Cato Institute , Federal Drive ,

Monday - 07/14/2014, 08:47am EDT

Judge Dana Leigh Marks, National Association of Immigration Judges

Health and Human Services Secretary Sylvia Matthews Burwell spent much of the weekend trying to rally support among governors for the administration's efforts to cope with a surge of migrants coming across the Southwest border. The Justice Department issued regulations to name at least 15 temporary immigration judges. That will help the overloaded courts a smidgen. For a first-hand look at the immigration court system, Tom Temin and Emily Kopp spoke to Judge Dana Leigh Marks on the Federal Drive. She is president of the National Association of Immigration Judges, and she likens her job to deciding death-penalty cases with traffic-court resources.

Tags: Dana Leigh Marks , National Association of Immigrant Judges , Federal Drive , Tom Temin ,

Monday - 07/14/2014, 08:20am EDT
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