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CivicActions Appoints Mike Gifford as Open Standards & Practices Lead, Expanding Commitment to an Open Ecosystem of Vendors and Agencies

Date: Tuesday, July 9, 2024

CivicActions, a leading provider of digital services to the Federal government, is proud to announce the appointment of Mike Gifford to the newly created position of Open Standards & Practices Lead. This strategic move underscores CivicActions' longstanding commitment to free and open source software, open data, and open practices in government digital services.

Since its founding twenty years ago in 2004, CivicActions has been at the forefront of advocating for and implementing open systems in the public sector. The creation of this new role formalizes the company's commitment to openness, transparency, and collaborative innovation in government technology.

Mike Gifford, formerly a Senior Strategist at CivicActions, brings extensive experience in open source technologies, accessibility, sustainability, and digital government practices to this role. As an internationally-recognized subject-matter expert, Gifford has been instrumental in shaping conversations around digital accessibility and open source solutions in the public sector.

In his new role, Mike Gifford will build upon his leadership in creating OpenACR (Open Accessibility Conformance Report) for the US Federal General Services Agency (GSA). OpenACR aims to standardize and streamline the reporting of digital accessibility compliance. This effort was proposed as a concept to GSA by CivicActions.

Gifford's vision extends beyond individual projects, focusing on collaborating on improving best practices with other firms, as well as fostering inter-agency open practices across Federal agencies. He will work to help create a more collaborative ecosystem where information and innovative approaches are freely shared and implemented. This approach not only aligns with CivicActions' commitment to openness, but also promises to accelerate the adoption of best practices in government technology, ultimately leading to more transparent, accessible, and effective public services.

Mike Gifford currently serves as the Board President of the Digital Services Coalition (DSC), where he has been instrumental in sharing best practices and building a global community around delivering modern digital services.

Recent accolades further highlight Gifford's impact on the industry. He was recently named an Acquisition Lifecycle Leadership Award Honoree by GovTech Connects. Previously, he was recognized as a 2023 Disruptive Tech Change Agent by FORUM (formerly FedHealthIT), underscoring his thought leadership in digital government. Additionally, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals (IAAP) honored him with the 2023 IAAP A11y Impact Award for his significant contributions to the field of accessibility.

"After dedicating nearly 25 years to advancing free and open source software, I'm thrilled to step into a role that truly embodies the principles I've championed throughout my career," said Gifford. "Open standards, open source, open data, and open practices are not just buzzwords—they're the foundation for fostering collaboration, driving innovation, enhancing accessibility, and promoting sustainability in the digital realm. In this new position, I'm excited to lead our team in not only implementing these practices, but also in sharing and evolving best practices across the government sector. This role represents a unique opportunity to amplify the impact of open technologies and methodologies in creating more efficient, transparent, and inclusive digital services for all."

This appointment reflects CivicActions' ongoing mission to promote open knowledge as a cornerstone of effective, efficient, and transparent open government services. By investing in leadership focused on open standards and practices, CivicActions reaffirms its position as a pioneer in bringing the benefits of open source to the public sector.

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