As the IT, acquisition world turns: Army gets new deputy CIO

A s the World Turns ran on television for more than 50 years before ending in 2010. What does this soap opera have to do with federal IT or acquisition? Well not much, but it is a good analogy to the never-ending turnover among federal executives.

The churn among federal CIOs and others in the IT community has been uncommonly high over the last year (Hint: be on the lookout for my special report on CIO turnover over the last 12 months later this fall.)

The latest change comes in from the top civilian in the Army. Gary Wang has been named to replace Mike Krieger as the Army’s deputy chief information officer/G6.

Krieger is retiring after more than six years as the Army’s top civilian IT guy and 35 years in military government service. He has been acting CIO several times, and among his biggest accomplishments is leading the service’s move to enterprise email in the cloud.

Wang will start Nov. 1, and comes to the Army’s CIO office after serving the last two-plus years as the director of the Intelligence, Surveillance, and Reconnaissance Infrastructure Division in the Office of the Deputy Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence Strategy, Programs and Resources in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Wang spent most of his career in the Army’s archrival, the Navy, where he spent seven years at the Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) as director of Corporate Operations and Command Information Officer (CIO). He also served as SPAWAR’s science and technology national competency lead and the chief technology officer (CTO) and director of the Science, Technology and Engineering Department at SPAWAR Systems Center Pacific.

Wang comes into an Army that’s in the middle of a technology transition. Lt. Gen. Robert Ferrell, the Army’s CIO, is leading efforts to move more applications to the cloud, to rationalize how many software titles the service uses, implement new joint security stacks and a host of other initiatives.

Krieger oversaw a host of issues for the Army including the network and the enterprise network infrastructure, $10 billion in IT investments, enterprise IT architecture, IT policy compliance and many other technology priorities.

It’s too early to tell whether Ferrell will use this opportunity to reorganize or shuffle responsibilities for the deputy CIO/G6.

Another significant DoD person on the move is Andrew Hunter, the executive secretary of the Warfighter Senior Integration Group and director for the Joint Rapid Acquisition Cell. Check out Federal News Radio anchor Tom Temin‘s interview with Hunter on Oct. 16 as part of our special report on the Missing Pieces of Procurement Reform — it’s well worth listening.

Hunter is joining the Center for International and Strategic Affairs as senior fellow and the lead for the think tank’s defense industrial research group.

“Andrew’s expertise and talent on defense industry and acquisition policy issues are well known inside government circles,” said John Hamre, president, CEO, and the Pritzker chairman at CSIS. “I am confident that, through his analytic leadership on these issues at CSIS, he will have an even greater impact on the policy and resource choices facing the acquisition community.”

Hunter joined DoD in 2011 after spending the previous six years as a professional staff member for the House Armed Services Committee, where he focused on acquisition policy, defense industrial base, technology transfer and export controls. In all, he spent 17 years working on Capitol Hill on DoD issues.

It’s a big loss for DoD. Hunter was a well-respected expert on DoD acquisition issues, obviously well-known on the Hill, which would have been an important strength as lawmakers continue down the path of acquisition reform.

One other personnel move of note, Jose Arrieta, the Homeland Security Department’s procurement ombudsman, is heading to the Treasury Department to be its small business director.

Arrieta said he starts his new job on Oct. 20 and will try to promote Treasury’s small business contracting efforts.

In the latest scorecard from the Small Business Administration, Treasury awarded almost $827 million to small firms last year — 39 percent of all prime contracts, beating its goal of 32 percent.

Arrieta’s hiring means Treasury is removing one of the hats Nani Coloretti wears as the assistant secretary for management. Arrieta now will be the director of the Office of Small Disadvantage Business Utilization (OSDBU) instead of Coloretti.

And one more personnel move of note, Robert Griffin got to remove the “acting” from his title and is now the permanent deputy undersecretary of the DHS Science and Technology Directorate.

Reggie Brothers, the director’s undersecretary, announced his decision to appoint Griffin as his permanent deputy Oct. 5.

“Bob Griffin brings a unique mix of more than two decades of experience in emergency response and emergency management leadership, and academic grounding” said Brothers, in a press release. “It is that experience and insight that I rely on, and why I chose him as my deputy.”

Griffin brings more than 20 years of experience in local government and first responder communities and has been serving as acting deputy undersecretary since May. Before becoming acting deputy undersecretary, Griffin led S&T’s First Responders Group, which focuses on strengthening the first response community’s ability to protect the homeland and respond to disasters.

This post is part of Jason Miller’s Inside the Reporter’s Notebook feature. Read more from this edition of Jason’s Notebook.