Acting management head Cummiskey to leave DHS

Chris Cummiskey, the acting undersecretary for management at the Homeland Security Department, is leaving government after 24 years.

Cummiskey said in an email to staff, which Federal News Radio obtained, that his last day will be Oct. 31 and he plans to “pursue opportunities in the private sector.”

Chris Cummiskey (File photo)
He took over on an acting basis for Rafael Borras in February. Borras left DHS in February after serving four years as the undersecretary for management. Previously, Cummiskey served as the deputy undersecretary for management at DHS for more than three years and chief of staff to the management directorate for a little more than a year before being named deputy undersecretary.

“I am proud to have worked with an exceptional team of dedicated public servants here in the Management Directorate,” Cummiskey wrote in his email to staff.

Cummiskey’s departure comes as the Senate is likely to confirm President Barack Obama’s nominee to be the permanent undersecretary for management Russell Deyo in the next month. Deyo sailed through his nomination hearing in September, detailing his priorities ranging from further improvement of DHS’ financial management to adding more rigor to the procurement process.

Over the last year, Cummiskey focused on several of the areas Deyo outlined in his testimony.

Cummiskey said in his goodbye email that DHS made a lot of progress in strengthening its acquisition framework, moving the department toward removal from the Government Accountability Office’s High-Risk list, and improving employee morale through communication, training and recognition.

“There is still work to be done, though, and I hope you will continue to respond to new challenges with the same commitment and dedication you have shown during my tenure,” he said. “Given our important mission, we all know that DHS can be a challenging place to work. I wish you all the best as you continue to protect the Homeland and deliver better management throughout the enterprise.”

If confirmed by the Senate, Deyo will inherit an agency that is much more focused on using data to make better decisions. DHS launched the management cube initiative in 2013 and will have more than a year’s worth of data to help guide decisions going forward.


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