PROFILES OF LEADERS: Featured CEVO®, CRQO™, ChPCO™, EVMD™, EVMO™, EVMP® – Ms. Holly Beckstrom, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)

Featured CEVO® Chief Earned Value Officer®, CRQO™ Chief Risk & Quality Officer™, ChPCO™ Chief Project Control Officer™, EVMD™ Earned Value Management Director™, EVMO™ Earned Value Management Officer™, EVMP® Earned Value Management Professional® – Ms. Holly Beckstrom

Ms. Holly Beckstrom, Master of Education (Instructional Technology), Bachelor of Science in Information Technology (BSIT) (Information Technology Business Management); National Information Assurance Training and Education Center (NIATEC) Graduate; USDA IT Fellow; CNSS Certifications 4011-4016; EVMI Certifications held: EVMP®, EVMD™, EVMO™, CRQO™, ChPRO™, ChPCO™; CEVO® (ongoing)

Program Manager/IT Project Manager (801, 802) Information Security (INFOSEC, 2210), Compliance and Policy Branch (CPB), Information Security Center (ISC), Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO),

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Washington DC, USA (USDA is a United States Federal Government Department/Agency)

EVMI® Earned Value Management Institute® Certifications Held:

EVMP® Earned Value Management Professional®;

EVMP – Government™;

RQMP® Risk & Quality Management Professional®;

EVMD™ Earned Value Management Director;

EVMO™ Earned Value Management Officer™;

CRQO™ Chief Risk & Quality Officer™;

ChPCO™ Chief Project Control Officer™;

CEVO® Chief Earned Value Officer® (ongoing);

C-Suite Institute Certifications Held:

ChPRO™ Chief Program Officer™

Leadership Achievements/Accomplishments:  

Program & Project Management –

  • Led the successful development and management of several high-level Information Technology (IT) projects and Programs during Fiscal Years (FY) 2009 -2020.
  • Developed high level USDA Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), Flow charts, and Forms that are in compliance with OMB, NIST, FITARA, Presidential Directives, and USDA agency-wide policy
  • Developed functional requirements for USDA Risk Management and Ad-Hoc requests.
  • Led and managed multi-agency and inter-agency teams of Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) consisting of 6 USDA Agencies and direct participation from NIST resulting in products with trusted baselines and ongoing, extensible, processes. (PRISMA, CERT Incident Management, and Risk-based Decisions)
  • Created the RBD Advisory Board Charter for governing the transparency and managing the augmented risk and impact to the USDA. The Risk Charter Board consists of Mission area AO headed by the USDA CISO and defines, risk definitions, thresh-holds, parameters, and tiered levels of authority with complete oversight of all RBD. ONGOING – estimated full implementation by FY21.
  • Led the FY19 POAM Team in significantly improving the vulnerability management security posture to OMB and Congress, by creating methodology and recommendations to close 14 delayed OIG Audit Recommendations, resulting in improved IT Congressional Funding consideration.
  • Led the FY19 POAM Team to significantly improved the USDA CDM AWARE Security Posture Score by reducing the average age of POAM findings by 500 days and the average POAM daily count more than 200; resulting in a significantly improved AWARE Security Posture Baseline Score to begin FY20 pilot rollout.
  • Managed several Information Technology Security projects, tasks and met deadlines


Subject Matter Expertise:  

  • Leader, Applied Analysis and Research
  • Member, Compliance Oversight, USDA
  • Voting Member at USDA on the Change Advisory Board (CAB)
  • Voting Member and Compliance Oversight, USDA Enterprise Architecture Committee meetings
  • Member and Compliance Oversight, USDA Cloud Technical Working Group
  • Member, CDM Governance IPT
  • SME and Analyst, Policy reviews and impact assessments on newly released Presidential, OMB, DHS, NIST, and Congressional drafts and actions.
  • Section 508 Representativefor Information Security Center (ISC), OCIO, USDA
  • Commitment Memo Manager, Created and maintain the Commitment Memo Program to provide CISO/CIO oversite of Authorizing Official’s project plans and milestones to bring operational systems under an authorization to operate (ATO), to include rogue systems.


  • Governance and Common Sense – By Holly Beckstrom  – book in progress
  • Internal USDA SharePoint Sites
  • Private Sector Consultations

General Advice/Words of Wisdom:

“Building security and project controls into the lifecycle of a system and project is a definite recipe for success. Earned Value management (EVM), Risk Management and Quality Management tools are the key functional requirements of Governance. They are used to identify, monitor, and track the critical path and are essential for controlling, managing and maintaining technical scope, resources, and schedule. EVM, Risk Management and Quality Management tools should be built into ALL business processes and provide a common language for understanding and applying common sense to complex issues. EVM, Risk and Quality tools are necessary to aid in the communication of value-added information flows between technicians, operations, and management. They provide direction and focus at the team level, which leads to esprit-de-corps, resulting in tangible achievements. If given the opportunity, I would insist they were requirements for entry level and career advancement.” – Submitted by Ms. Holly Beckstrom, 30th October 2019.