Federal Drive Show Blog – December 13, 2013

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today’s Interviews:


Molly Dunigan, Ph.D., and Carrie Farmer
Political Scientist and Policy Researcher
RAND Corporation

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Defense contractors working in battle zones suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, just like many of the troops they support. A new study by the RAND corporation says one difference is how little help contractors have available. Political scientist Molly Dunigan and policy researcher Carrie Farmer are both from RAND.

James Fleming
Division Chief for the Asia, Latin America and Europe Response Division in the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance

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12.2 million people were swamped by that gigantic typhoon that hit the Philippines last month. The UN is calling for nearly $1 billion in aid. The biggest donor is the United States. In fact, USAID is still on the ground there. James Fleming is division chief for the Asia, Latin America and Europe response division in the Office of Foreign Disaster Assistance at USAID.

J.J. Green
National Security Correspondent

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It’s being called one of the most serious scandals in the recent history of the CIA. An unapproved spy mission, organized by CIA analysts apparently in secret, results in an American vanishing in Iran nearly seven years ago. With more on this bizarre story that spans almost a decade is WTOP National Security Correspondent J.J. Green.

Jonathan Powers
Federal Environmental Executive
White House Council on Environmental Quality

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President Obama says agencies are well on their way to meeting stringent energy savings goals based on his 2009 executive order. Now the administration is taking green government a step further. A new executive order says agencies have until 2020 to get a fifth of their energy from renewable source. Guiding the effort is Jonathan Powers, the federal environmental executive with the White House Council on Environmental Quality.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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The Homeland Security Department has a leadership vacuum. Nearly 40 percent of its political appointee positions either are vacant or filled by an acting official. This on-going management problem is causing Congressional overseers to ask if there are bigger challenges that need to be addressed. Federal News Radio’s executive editor, Jason Miller, has more on the missing leaders at DHS.

Julia Ziegler
Web Manager
Federal News Radio

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Members of Congress have reached an agreement on a two-year budget deal. Some parts of the deal will come at a cost to federal employees. Federal News Radio Web Manager Julia Ziegler has details.

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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It’s now up to the Senate to pass its version of the defense authorization bill. The House passed its version last night with a vote of 350 to 69. Provisions include stripping military commanders of their ability to overturn jury convictions, and dishonorable discharge for any person convicted of sexual assault. Federal News Radio’s DoD reporter, Jared Serbu, has an update.

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The Air Force is cracking down on the ability of its IT program managers to build their own technology infrastructure every time they create a new system. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu reports, the service is implementing a service-oriented model for IT infrastructure that the entire Air Force will use.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don’t see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.