Lytwaive Hutchinson, the chief information officer at FEMA since 2019, is retiring from federal service.
Hutchinson confirmed to Federal News Network that she plans to join industry after a 41-year career in government.
“I hope the next chapter will bring an opportunity within the IT industry,” she said in an email.
She didn’t say when her last day at FEMA would be nor did she say who would be the interim CIO.
FEMA’s website lists two deputy CIOs: Monica Langley, who oversees disaster support, and Scott Bowman.
Hutchinson joined FEMA in April 2019 after spending her entire career with the Defense Department. She served 21 years in the Army and then spent 17 years working in various senior leadership roles in the DoD CIO’s office.
During her tenure at FEMA, Hutchinson focused on several IT modernization paths.
She said in February during an event sponsored by ACT-IAC that her four focus areas were:
Major program initiatives inside FEMA
Customer/user experience, such as disaster survivors
“We are moving workloads into the cloud. By the end of this year, we will have at least 50% of all systems and services that are cloud ready to move into the cloud,” Hutchinson said at the event. “Just doing lift and shift is my last resort because the first thing is to look at which capabilities need to be modernized or moved into cloud because they are cloud ready.”
She said the cloud is an important factor in FEMA being able to reduce its costs and gain speed and agility to help citizens during any disaster.
So far, Hutchinson said FEMA has about 53 systems that are cloud ready with about 50% of those already in the cloud. She said another set of systems which are not cloud-ready will have to go through a modernization phase and then FEMA will move them to the cloud.
“Our goal is by fiscal 2026 all of our systems and services will be in the cloud,” she said. “That includes our financial management systems, which is one of largest modernization programs.”
The CIO has “FEMAwide responsibility for the approval, management and oversight of FEMA IT and cyber security resources,” and “is responsible for implementing the programs necessary to align FEMA’s IT and cybersecurity personnel, resources, and assets including systems and infrastructure that support FEMA missions and activities,” the job announcement states.
Applications for the position are due April 12. The pay range is $163,333 to $203,700.
The new CIO could be in line for a serious infusion of cash. In its 2023 budget request to Congress, FEMA asked for $99.1 million for IT modernization efforts.
“The budget includes $51 million for grants management modernization to streamline grants management across the agency’s 40 plus grants programs; $36.1 million and 13 full-time equivalents for the enterprise data analytics modernization initiative to enable FEMA to work smarter through data analytics and ultimately deliver better outcomes for survivors and communities; and $12 million for financial systems modernization to modernize the aging 25+ year-old system,” DHS stated in its budget justification.