Beth Cappello, the Department of Homeland Security deputy chief information officer, is retiring after 33 years in government on March 9. And DHS didn’t waste any time finding her replacement.
Eric Hysen, the DHS CIO, said in an email to staff, obtained by Federal News Network, that Rear Adm. Christopher Bartz will be the next deputy CIO.
Bartz currently is the Coast Guard’s assistant commandant for command, control, communications, computers and IT and CIO.
“He has an extensive cybersecurity background, previously serving as the director of training and exercises at U.S. Cyber Command and USCG chief information security officer,” Hysen wrote in the email. “I have seen Chris’s technical and leadership acumen firsthand, and can’t wait to see him bring his skills and experiences to continue driving transformational change in OCIO and across the entire department.”
Bartz will start at headquarters on Feb. 5, giving him about a month to work with Cappello on the transition.
Cappello, who has served as deputy CIO since 2019, joined DHS in 2003 where she worked in a variety of senior leadership roles. She was the deputy CIO at Immigration and Customs Enforcement for two-plus years before joining DHS headquarters. She also served as executive director at the Customs and Border Protection for five years.
“It has been an honor to work alongside her for the past three years, and I could not be more grateful for her 33 years of service to our country across the Marine Corps, legacy U.S. Customs Service, CBP, ICE, and DHS headquarters,” Hysen wrote. “Beth is leaving a lasting impact on our department and our country, as recognized by her 2023 Presidential Rank Award.”
During her tenure as deputy CIO, Cappello helped lead an assortment of initiatives including the agency’s move to zero trust and ensuring the security of networks and systems when employees worked from home during the pandemic.
She also worked on the agency’s Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure Provider Suite (ECLIPS) program to establish a vehicle to more easily buy infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
As for Bartz, he comes to headquarters after spending his career in the Coast Guard. Along with being the assistant commandant for C4&IT and CIO, he also was the commanding officer of the Coast Guard’s Operation’s System Center, where he led software development efforts for 55 enterprise software applications and oversaw the service’s enterprise data center. He also served as the chief of C4&IT capabilities where he managed IT requirements for afloat, aviation and shore-based assets.
Bartz earned a Bachelor of Science in marine engineering and naval architecture from the Coast Guard Academy in 1990 and a Master of Science in aerospace engineering from the University of Alabama in 2002. He also holds a certificate in enterprise architecture from the National Defense University.