By Patrick Tremblay
DCMA Public Affairs
Three years is a lifetime when it comes to information technology. When Ray Coleman arrived at the Defense Contract Management Agency in the spring of 2018, the agency was struggling with dated systems and online tools, trying to keep pace as the rest of the Defense Department looked to the future. Now, as Coleman prepares to depart DCMA, the agency is firmly aligned to DoD’s IT infrastructure, and following a realistic, sustainable and secure modernization plan.
“The time was right at DCMA when I arrived,” said Coleman. “The agency leadership understood we needed to move quickly, and the IT team was standing by to execute. I provided the direction and understanding of federal systems necessary to get us moving.”
During Coleman’s time in the Senior Executive Service with DCMA, he built personal and digital relationships with the Defense Information Systems Agency and other federal organizations that have transformed the cost, security and accessibility of everyday tools, like email, as well as positioned DCMA as a partner for larger efforts like the ongoing shift to cloud-based applications.
“Ray has been a true leader at DCMA right from the start,” said John Lyle, the agency’s deputy director, who cited Coleman’s direction during the Fourth Estate Network Operations, or 4ENO, initiative that included closing agencies data centers in 2019.
Army Lt. Gen. David Bassett, DCMA director, said it was Coleman and his team that made the agency a leader in DoD’s transition to the cloud. “Just a few short years ago, we were running our own data centers,” said Bassett, “today, those centers are closed and we are on the leading edge of leveraging military and commercial cloud capabilities.”
While DCMA worked to modernize its IT, and planned for an increasingly digital future, an unexpected pandemic changed everything. Almost overnight, the agency went from about 25% telework to as high as 99%. This seismic shift meant connectivity, equipment and training would be put to the full test.
“I’m proud of the way Ray increased the bandwidth of DCMA virtual processes to accommodate the high-demand telework environment,” said Lyle. “His leadership facilitated the path for the great majority of the agency’s workforce to telework during the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Coleman will be staying with the federal government, bringing his talents and experience to the Internal Revenue Service. DCMA will conduct a full search to find a replacement at the Senior Executive Service level.
“Leading this exceptional team at DCMA has been a highlight of my career,” said Coleman. “I know they are in good hands from the first-line supervisors to Lt. Gen. Bassett and Mr. Lyle. I want to thank everyone for their leadership, friendship and outstanding performance.”
“We’ll miss Ray for sure, and will name an acting director shortly to help the IT team continue its progress on the agency’s Modernization Analytic Initiative that he started in 2020,” said Lyle.
“Sometimes organizations get the leader they need at exactly the right time,” concluded Bassett. “Ray Coleman was that leader and we’re grateful for his leadership at exactly the right time for DCMA.”
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