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It's who you know: First lady's Princeton classmate designed 'Obamacare' Web site

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
October 28th, 2013
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

In the world of business, they say, it's who you know . Although at this point in time, not many people would want the highly fragile and unstable "Obamacare" Web site on their resume! Michelle Obama's Princeton classmate Toni Townes-Whitley takes credit for that national debacle. A top executive at the company that earned the contract, it's not known if she will be taking part in repairing the disabled Web site.

LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of '85, is senior vice president at CGI Federal. Her company won the no-bid contract to build the $678 million Obamacare enrollment Web site at Healthcare.gov.  Both Townes-Whitley and her Princeton classmate Michelle are both members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni.

A onetime policy analyst with the General Accounting Office, Townes-Whitley previously served in the Peace Corps in Gabon, West Africa.

In turn, George Schindler, the president for U.S. and Canada of the Canadian-based CGI Group, became an Obama 2012 campaign donor after his company gained the Obamacare Web site contract.

CGI was one of 16 companies qualified under the Bush administration to provide certain tech services to the federal government.

A senior vice president for the company testified this week before The House Committee on Energy and Commerce that four companies submitted bids. Those companies, or an explanation of why only CGI's bid was considered was not revealed.

It runs in the family: Construction of the deeply flawed Healthcare.gov Web site was overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), a division of longtime failed Web site-builder Kathleen Sebelius' Department of Health and Human Services.

The company told reporters that there would be "nothing coming out of CGI for the record or otherwise today."

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