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Profiles in Excellence: Interview with Elizabeth Cappello, Acting Chief Information Officer and Deputy Chief Information Officer, Department of Homeland Security

Stay tuned as we continue to highlight our 2020 Award Winners!

Each year, Homeland Security Today honors shining stars in the community who are making their own unique, invaluable contributions to advance the mission of keeping America safer from myriad threats. Their strong commitment to mission touches every part of their work, from day-to-day operations to special projects and work in the community. This year, with the unprecedented coronavirus pandemic affecting every facet of homeland security, HSToday is interviewing these individuals for a Profiles in Excellence series: to highlight the stories and successes from our winners.

This interview features Elizabeth Cappello, a recipient of our Mission Award for 2020 for how she managed the COVID-19 pandemic. With extensive management and leadership expertise after a 27-year career in government service, Elizabeth Cappello leads with authoritative decision-making and expert insight in every endeavor. Cappello has passion, understanding and commitment in service to the DHS mission set and her strategic focus at the departmental enterprise level, coupled with her keen understanding of the necessary support to operational sets, is invaluable. Her exceptional executive stewardship during major IT transitions resulted in little to no disruption to the field or staff operators’ daily activities as COVID-19 sent home scores of workers who have not traditionally teleworked. A transition of this scale – including Microsoft Office 365, cloud migration and a Windows 10 upgrade – with such minimal disruption is an impressive feat and it is thanks to her conscientious attention to detail paired with her incredible competency as she led the organization and its assessments.

Cappello sat down with HSToday Executive Editor Kristina Tanasichuk to discuss the need for continuity of operations at DHS no matter what is taking place in the world; as well as how previous moments that required updates of technology prepared them for a smoother transition to telework during the COIV-19 pandemic. Cappello also shares a few of her personal leadership keys and techniques for navigating through big transitions: and how something as simple as a brown-bag lunch can have massive impacts on connection and communication within the office.

Watch the full interview below & stay tuned as we continue to highlight our 2020 Award Winners:

 

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