Not even technical difficulties can slow Phyllis Cheng down!

She’s our latest GovTech Innovator, recognized for her work as director of California’s Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH), and she came through calm and composed on camera despite some technical issues.

California’s budget crisis prompted the DFEH to get creative when it came to completing projects, and under Cheng’s leadership, the department has accomplished quite a bit.

Take the cloud-based case management system the DFEA’s implemented, which allows people to file complaints online. Using this system, government employees see these complaints more quickly and easily than they would on paper.

Another project involves ongoing training, free for public agencies, that teaches them how to handle workplace issues like sexual harassment, discrimination and other human rights incidents.

Cheng likened her department’s activities to a phoenix rising from the budgetary ashes, and other departments can learn from its example.

Check out our discussion below for a more in-depth look at what she’s done. If you want to connect with the DFEH, check out their Facebook and YouTube pages. You can also connect with Cheng herself on her Twitter feed.

Hilton Collins, Staff Writer Hilton Collins  |  GT Staff Writer

By day, Hilton Collins is a staff writer for Government Technology and Emergency Management magazines who covers sustainability, cybersecurity and disaster management issues. By night, he’s a sci-fi/fantasy fanatic, and if he had to choose between comic books, movies, TV shows and novels, he’d have a brain aneurysm. He can be reached at and on @hiltoncollins on Twitter.