Justice CIO to retire after almost 40 years in government

One of the longest serving chief information officers is retiring. Joe Klimavicz, the Justice Department CIO and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Management Division, announced to staff he is leaving federal service after almost 40 years.

Klimavicz has been CIO at Justice since 2014 and vice chairman of the CIO Council since May 2018.

“Closing this chapter of my career, I am excited and energized by what opportunities lie ahead of me, however I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge the bittersweet nature of this transition,” Klimavicz wrote to staff in an email, which Federal News Network obtained. “During my tenure in leading OCIO and service as deputy assistant attorney general within the Justice Management Division, I have operated under the mantra that we need to keep pace with innovation. Every decision I have made has been grounded by that resolution to drive the Department of Justice toward a more modern approach to mission delivery and evidence-based governance.”

Joe Klimavicz, the Justice Department CIO and deputy assistant attorney general in the Justice Management Division, is retiring after almost 40 years in government.

Klimavicz intends to retire at the end of February. His email didn’t say what his plans are after federal service.

Melinda Rogers, Justice’s deputy CIO, is the most likely candidate to be acting CIO until the agency names a permanent one.

During his tenure at Justice, Klimavicz, who also held the role of chief data officer, accomplished a lot around IT modernization, cybersecurity and shared services.

He said since 2014, Justice has avoided spending more than $600 million on technology services and products. He reduced the agency’s IT footprint by consolidating 23 email systems to one, and moving from more than 110 data centers to less than a dozen.

Klimavicz issued Justice’s first strategy to help make the data more valuable, and created an IT strategy in 2019.

His biggest accomplishments may be around cybersecurity. Klimavicz led a pilot to get Justice off of the prescriptive Trusted Internet Connections (TIC) requirements and developed and made available cybersecurity services for Justice and other customer agencies, including security operations center and assessment and continuous monitoring.

Justice’s IT budget request for fiscal 2021 is $3.3 billion, up from $3.1 billion in each of the last two years.

Before coming to Justice, Klimavicz served as the CIO and director of high performance computing and communications from January 2007 until May 2014 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Klimavicz career began with the CIA as an imagery scientist, developing photogrammetric math models in the National Photographic Interpretation Center. He subsequently served in line management positions within the CIA and the Defense Department leading information technology programs. He also served as the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency deputy CIO, and as the DoD Senior Agency Official for Geospatial Information (SAOGI).

In 2012, Klimavicz received a Presidential Rank Award for Distinguished Executive Service — the highest honor attainable for federal government work.

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