When she assumes her new role in January, Nelson is expected to use her expertise and connections as a public-sector IT executive to better understand what government clients are looking for in the way of E-government infrastructure technology. Nelson will report to Scott Suhy, Microsoft's U.S. industry unit general manager and leader of the company's worldwide partner strategy.
Nelson has been the EPA's CIO since November 2001 and during her tenure oversaw the creation of the agency's Central Data Exchange as well as the implementation of the agency's enterprise architecture. The Central Data Exchange was built as an Internet-based network to provide businesses, government agencies, and environmental groups across the country with fast, easy access to local data on air and water quality as well as other environmental conditions.
Nelson also serves on the executive council of the Federal CIO board and is co-chair of the CIO Council's Architecture and Infrastructure Committee. The CIO Council was created by the E-Government Act of 2002 to improve federal-agency IT-management practices and encourage IT operations that support the paperwork-reduction legislation that spawned the E-government concept.
Nelson is part of a generation of public-sector IT leaders who over the past few years have begun to see government agencies more as enterprises and applied IT to achieving their goals of improving services and cutting costs.