Commerce shuffling CIO chairs as Murphy moves on, Mendes moves up

The Commerce Department is moving on to its second acting chief information officer in seven months.

Current acting CIO Terryne Murphy announced this week she is heading to a new position in the government after taking over for Rod Turk, who retired in February. Murphy didn’t announce what her new role would be.

Andre Mendes will become the acting CIO of Commerce in mid-August after spending the last 18 months as the CIO of the International Trade Administration.

Commerce announced in an email obtained by Federal News Network that Andre Mendes, the CIO of the International Trade Administration, will take over as acting CIO when Murphy leaves on Aug. 16.

In an email to staff, Murphy said the reasons for the change were family related and the opportunity to move closer to home.

“I feel very fortunate to have been given this brief opportunity to serve in this capacity,” Murphy writes in an email obtained by Federal News Network. “You all have been great to work with and I have learned so much from you. Andre Mendes, the current ITA CIO, will step into the role of acting CIO as I step away. I am confident that you and the entire DOC IT Community will be in the best of hands. Please afford him the generosity you provided to me as he transitions into the position in the coming weeks.”

Murphy has worked at Commerce since April 2018 where she served as the deputy CIO for solutions and service delivery. She has more than 25 years of federal service, having served in the Army as a telecommunications officer and with the Justice and Homeland Security departments.

“Working with Terryne has been a true pleasure. Her three decades of experience in a variety of federal IT positions proved incredibly valuable to the department and the OCIO organization,” said Deputy Secretary Dunn Kelley in the email to staff. “I know I speak for everyone at the department when I say we wish her well as she takes on a new federal government senior leadership position.”

Mendes came to Commerce in April 2018 after spending more than eight years at the Broadcasting Board of Governors — now known as the United States Agency for Global Media — as its CIO, chief technology officer and other senior leadership positions.

During his tenure at BBG, Mendes cleaned up and reconfigured the agency’s networks after the Chinese hacked into the systems.

Along with his time at BBG, Mendes served as senior vice president for strategic planning and global CIO for Special Olympics International and helped the Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) through its migration to digital television as its chief technology integration officer (CIO/CTO).

Mendes will take over as the acting CIO just as the fiscal 2021 budget development hits the final stages. Commerce has an IT budget of $3.3 billion in 2019 and a request of $3.8 billion in 2020. Most of the increase over the last few years can be attributed to the Census’s preparation for the 2020 count.

The Federal IT Dashboard says 77% of Commerce’s major IT projects are on schedule and 60% are on budget. The dashboard also says the agency hasn’t moved into iterative or agile development for many of its projects with 36% still using the waterfall methodology.

New Energy CIO has been there before

Along with Commerce, the Energy Department has a new CIO.

Rocky Campione replaced Max Everett, who left in July to be the vice president and CIO of the Committee on Arrangements for the 2020 Republican National Convention. He was the CIO for the Republican National Convention previously in 2007 in preparation for the 2008 election.

Chris “Rocky” Campione became the Energy Department’s CIO in July.

Everett had been CIO at Energy for just over two years.

Campione rejoined Energy only in July as its principal deputy CIO after spending the last decade in the private sector with Planet Technologies, an IT security consulting firm.

But he isn’t unfamiliar with Energy or its CIO office. Campione spent more than four years working for Energy as senior adviser to the CIO as well as other executive positions.

He also worked on Capitol Hill and for the State Department during his career.

Along with Campione, Energy recently brought in Mark Kneidinger as its senior adviser for policy and IT transformation in June, but now has been promoted to principal deputy CIO, according to the CIO’s website.

Everett’s decision to leave is mildly surprising as he was making real progress at Energy. The agency was one of only five to win money from the Technology Modernization Fund. Energy is using $15 million to consolidate and modernize its email and collaboration tools in the cloud.

He also focused Energy’s cyber efforts, getting the national labs to play a bigger role in protecting the agency’s data and networks.

Campione takes over an IT budget of $2.3 billion in 2019 and a request of $2.4 billion in 2020.

The Federal IT Dashboard says Energy’s major IT projects are in good shape with 87% being on schedule and 74% on budget. Additionally, Energy has only 12% of its projects still using the waterfall approach, while 36% are using an iterative or agile methodology. The rest are undefined or not a software or systems development project.

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