The guiding principles used to create the RA were 1) develop a vendor-neutral architecture that is consistent with the NIST definition and 2) develop a solution that does not stifle innovation by defining a prescribed technical solution. This solution will create a level playing field for industry to discuss and compare their cloud offerings with the US Government (USG). The resulting reference architecture and taxonomy for cloud computing was developed as an Actor/Role based model that lays out the central elements of cloud computing for Federal CIOs, Procurement Officials and IT Program Managers. The cloudscape is open and diversified and the accompanying taxonomy provides a means to describe it in an unambiguous manner. The RA is presented in two parts: a complete overview of the actors and their roles and the necessary architectural components for managing and providing cloud services such as service deployment, service orchestration, cloud service management, security and privacy. The Taxonomy is presented in its own section and appendices are dedicated to terms and definitions and examples of cloud services.