DoD loses key IT exec; two formers are lured back to government

M ark Orndorff, a long-time and well-respected cybersecurity executive, is calling it a government career on Jan. 31.

Orndorff confirmed that he is retiring after about 36 years in government, both as a civilian and an Army officer.

Orndorff, whose title recently changed to risk management executive under the Defense Information Systems Agency reorganization, spent much of his career focused on cybersecurity challenges.

He was the mission assurance executive and designated accrediting authority for the last 16 months. In that role, he managed the development and implementation of the Defense Department information assurance and network operations capabilities to ensure the Pentagon could securely operate the Global Information Grid.

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Orndorff’s bio is filled with cybersecurity accomplishments, including developing and maintaining Security Technical Implementation Guides (STIGs), DoD’s NetOps and IA training program and creating DoD’s NetOps and Computer Network Defense Service Provider (CNDSP) certification program.

It’s unclear at this time who will replace Orndorff.

While DISA is losing a key executive, two former leaders were lured back into government.

Bev Godwin retired from the General Services Administration in May only to be come back as a senior advisor to the State Department’s Bureau of International Information Programs.

Godwin, who tweeted out the news of her return to government, wrote on her LinkedIn page that she will be “connecting people with policy; taking advantage of the rapidly evolving information space and leveraging the potential of digital tools” at the bureau.

A former GSA co-worker, Kelly Olson returns to government as well, coming back to GSA in the Office of Citizen Services and Innovative Technologies (OSCIT) as a senior innovation adviser.

“In this role, I will be an advisor and strategist for open innovation methods, such as prize competitions, challenges, ideation and crowdsourcing,” Olson wrote in an email to her co-workers at Government Executive Media Group and Defense One, which was obtained by Federal News Radio. “I will also serve as the program director for Challenge.gov, the centerpiece of the President’s Strategy for American Innovation and winner of the Harvard Kennedy School’s Innovations in American Government Award. I will work in close collaboration with the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and NASA’s Center of Excellence for Collaborative Innovation (CoECI) to lead the strategic expansion and increase visibility of this platform across the federal government to help agencies save resources and re-imagine the way they use open innovation to engage and serve citizens.”

Olson’s return also coincides with GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini naming Phaedra Chrousos as the associate administrator of OCSIT. Chrousos, who joined GSA in 2014 as its first chief customer officer — CCO, I guess — replaces Dave McClure, who left government in June.

One more interesting personnel note, David Bray, the chief information officer of the Federal Communications Commission, is taking advantage of an awesome opportunity.

Bray, who is not really leaving government but using his personal time, has been named a 2015 Eisenhower Fellow. In that capacity, Bray will travel for about five weeks to Taiwan and Australia, where he will meet with industry and government leaders about cyber strategies for the Internet of Everything.

This fellowship is not a sabbatical or something he’s doing for or on behalf of the FCC, but using vacation leave to take advantage of a fascinating opportunity.

Bray said in addition to the fellowship, he also will serve as a visiting associate on cybersecurity and culture at the University of Oxford and term- member for the Council on Foreign Relations.

“It will be an instance my role as ‘digital diplomat’ transcends interagency endeavors to truly international ones,” he said by email.

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