This event has been postponed, please check back for updated information.

Friday, February 20, 2015
8 a.m. to 10:30 a.m.

Robert H. Smith School of Business Suite
Ronald Reagan Building & International Trade Center - Concourse Level
1300 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, D.C. 20004 [map]

Digital Technologies, Cloud Computing, Big Data, Mobile and Social  Platforms are dramatically changing the business landscape around us. Large  organizations are looking for ways to better leverage these new  technologies through Digital Platforms and Digital Services. The General  Services Administration (GSA) is at the forefront of driving new  initiatives such as 18F Digital Services Delivery and Common Acquisition  Platform (CAP). Agencies like US Treasury and US Interior amongst others  are also driving large modernization initiatives to help deliver new  services faster and more cost effectively. Join us at the DIGITS Center of  Excellence at the  Robert H Smith School of Business, University of  Maryland,  and interact with thought leaders from Industry, Academia and  Government.


Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia

Sonny Bhagowalia

Mr. Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia serves as the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Systems and Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the U.S. Department of the Treasury overseeing a $ 3.5 Billion IT Portfolio. Mr. Bhagowalia served in the State of Hawaii Government from 2011-2014 reporting directly to the Governor. As the Governor’s Chief Advisor on Technology and Cybersecurity, Mr. Bhagowalia published a comprehensive plan aligning Hawaii with the President’s National Cybersecurity Framework. As State’s First CIO, Mr. Bhagowalia led the business and technology transformation for the State, with a comprehensive plan and Top 10 enterprise programs. Mr. Bhagowalia’s transformation efforts garnered 25 national awards.Mr. Bhagowalia served as Deputy Associate Administrator, U.S. General Services Administration from 2010-2011, helping the Federal CIO and CTO implement Digital Government Programs (,, Federal Cloud Initiative, Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative) in an agile manner with Government-wide impact. He has had held multiple senior executive leadership positions with organizations such as US Department of the Interior (DOI), US Department of Justice and Boeing. Read more about him at

Saman Michael Far 

Mr. Far is the Senior Vice President of Technology at Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). He is the executive leading the extensive transformation of big data processing and analytics system to an open source and Amazon Web Services cloud platform. Mr Far has a broad and successful track record transforming ideas into teams, software and ultimately revenue. He was one of 4 people that built OpenText Corporation ( from a $300k startup to a $250 million IPO. Saman went on to found World Shape Inc. which partnered with venture capital firms to assess and realign over 100 ventures. He has Deep experience several technology and business domains, including text search, financial markets, Big Data, Multimedia/TV content delivery. He is currently helping re-platform FINRA’s infrastructure deriving $10-$20 million annual savings through the use of commodity hardware, elastic cloud based computing and automation.

Panel Speakers

Lydia Leong

Lydia Leong

Lydia Leong is a Research VP in the Technology and Service Provider group at Gartner. Her coverage is focused on cloud computing, particularly infrastructure as a service (IaaS), along with data centers, hosting, content delivery networks (CDNs) and Internet infrastructure services. Because cloud computing is reshaping the IT landscape, her research covers a broad range of topics related to the transformation of IT organizations, data centers and technology providers. She works primarily with IT organizations, but also produces strategic and quantitative research targeted at service providers, vendors and investors. She was Gartner's Analyst of the Year in 2010. Read more.

Stu Vaeth

Stu VaethStu Vaeth is currently with SecureKey Technologies as SVP Business Development, responsible for SecureKey’s US identity network business. This includes the Connect.Gov program for enabling citizen access to federal e-Gov services using trusted identities. SecureKey provides a FedRAMP compliant cloud-based, privacy-assured identity and authentication service that allows users to conveniently access online services (or Relying Parties) through a network of pre-approved Identity Providers.

Brian Johnson 

Brian JohnsonBrian Johnson is co-founder and CEO of DivvyCloud, a next generation cloud management technology company.  Brain has been coding software since he was 12 years old.  He is a seven year veteran of the on-line Gaming Industry. He and his co-founders worked at Electronic Arts where they ran large scale global infrastructure for massive, multi-player on-line games.  Brian managed one of the first migrations to the Amazon cloud of Massively Multiplayer Online Games, and broke new ground in hybrid cloud deployment.  


Individuals and Corporate: $30
Government Emplyees (registering with .gov or .mil): $15
Students: $5


8:00 – 8:25 a.m. Registration, and Networking 
8:25 – 8:30 a.m. Welcome and Introduction 
8:30 – 9 a.m. Address by Speaker 1 
9:00 – 9:30 a.m. Address by Speaker 2 
9:30 – 10:00 a.m. Address by Speaker 3 
10:00 –10:30 a.m. Panel Discussion and Interaction with Audience 
10:30 – 10:35 a.m. Closing Remarks 


Government and Industry Co-ordinator: Gaurav “GP” Pal, MBA
GP is a senior technology executive delivering cloud computing and big data solutions for Public Sector and Commercial clients. GP has an MBA from the Robert H Smith School of Business, University of Maryland and a BS in Computer Science from IIT-India. He is currently with Smartronix.
Gaurav Pai
DIGITS Co-Director: Dr. Il-horn Hann
Il‐Horn Hann is an associate professor of information systems at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business and co‐director of the Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy (DIGITS).
Il-horn Hann
DIGITS Co-Director: Dr. Siva Viswanathan
Siva Viswanathan is an associate professor of information systems at the University of Maryland’s Robert H. Smith School of Business, and a co‐director of the Center for Digital Innovation, Technology and Strategy (DIGITS).
Siva Viswanathan


DIGITS – the Center for Digital Innovation, Technology, and Strategy at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland serves to leverage intellectual capital across academia, industry, and government. The center focuses on the study of emerging digital technologies and the impact of digital innovation on business functions, firm strategies and policy across a number of industry verticals. The center’s mission is to disseminate scholarly research, connect research with practice and policy, and to foster experiential learning for students. Prof. Il-Horn Hann and Prof. Siva Viswanathan serve as the Co-Directors of DIGITS.