Two IT executives on the move from DHS

The Homeland Security Department lost two senior IT officials over the last month.

Greg Capella became the deputy director of the Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) after working at DHS since 2009.

Capella served as the deputy executive director and acting executive director of the Enterprise System Development Office of the Office of the Chief Information Officer. He replaced Keith Trippie at DHS, who left in 2013. Rob Palmer, the acting deputy executive...

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The Homeland Security Department lost two senior IT officials over the last month.

Greg Capella became the deputy director of the Commerce Department’s National Technical Information Service (NTIS) after working at DHS since 2009.

Capella served as the deputy executive director and acting executive director of the Enterprise System Development Office of the Office of the Chief Information Officer. He replaced Keith Trippie at DHS, who left in 2013. Rob Palmer, the acting deputy executive director, likely will become the acting executive director.

As deputy director of NTIS, Capella will help run an organization that says it’s the largest central resource for government-funded scientific, technical, engineering and business-related information, with approximately 3 million publications covering over 350 subject areas.

Along with Capella, Sandy Peavy, the CIO for the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC), has left the department.

A FLETC spokeswoman confirmed Peavy retired in January after more than 35 years in government, including being one of the longest-serving federal CIOs. FLETC named her CIO in November 1999.

Mike Vesta is the acting CIO at FLETC. He’s been the deputy CIO at FLETC since 2006.

As CIO, Peavy focused moving FLETC into the modern IT era by taking better advantage of mobile computing and virtual desktops.

Prior to joining the FLETC, Peavy worked at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command, where she served as the deputy director for communications and information and serving in a variety of positions in the Office of Personnel Management, the Air Force and the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Another piece of sad news in the federal community this week occurred as we learned that Brand Niemann, a long-time federal employee and vocal advocate of improving how agencies used data and enterprise architecture, died suddenly on Jan. 26 in Virginia.

Niemann, 74, worked for the government for 30 years before retiring in 2010. He served as a senior enterprise architect and data scientist at the Environmental Protection Agency.

After he retired, Niemann was the director and senior data scientist for the Semantic Community, which had a goal of bringing together chief data officers and others to solve the challenges of big data.

Niemann was a thoughtful person who always was willing to help others understand the importance of enterprise architecture or data standards and interoperability.

FCW first reported the news of Niemann’s death.

A ceremony to honor Niemann’s life was held Feb. 6 at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in Fairfax, Virginia.

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