OPM names DoD’s DeVries as its new CIO

Dave DeVries is leaving the Defense Department to be the new chief information officer at the Office of Personnel Management.

DeVries currently is DoD’s principal deputy CIO, and will join OPM in the coming weeks.

“I’m elated that David has decided to join our team here at OPM,” said Beth Cobert, acting director of OPM, in a statement. “David has decades worth of the technical and management experience necessary to hit the ground running as we continue our technology transformation efforts, and work with our partners at DoD to stand up the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB).”

Dave DeVries is heading to OPM to be its new CIO after spending 35 years at DoD.
Dave DeVries is heading to OPM to be its new CIO after spending 35 years at DoD.

DeVries decision to move comes as OPM and DoD work closely to get the NBIB to full operating capability. DeVries has worked for the Pentagon for 35 years, including the last seven in the CIO’s office so he knows the culture and intricacies of DoD.

The National Background Investigations Bureau will absorb the current responsibilities that the Federal Investigative Service (FIS) with DoD designing, building, securing and operating its IT and cybersecurity systems.

Experts in and out of government agree that DoD’s role and experience with secure networks and systems will be key to the NBIB’s success.

“Dave will be missed by DoD, but DoD isn’t losing his expertise,” said Terry Halvorsen, DoD’s CIO in a statement. “As DoD and OPM continue to improve current IT systems and begin the development of the new IT services and environment to support the NBIB, he will play a key leadership role, ensuring integration between OPM and DoD.”

DeVries replaces Donna Seymour, who resigned amid congressional pressure in the aftermath of the massive data breach that impacted more than 21.5 million current and former federal employees. Lisa Schlosser, who had been deputy federal CIO in the Office of Management and Budget, has been acting CIO since March after Seymour left February.

Margie Graves took a detail from her role as deputy CIO at the Homeland Security Department to replace Schlosser at OMB. Schlosser is expected to return to OMB and Graves to DHS.

Along with the NBIB, DeVries will have to continue to focus on securing OPM’s network and data. OPM says it made significant progress over the last year in how it applies cyber tools and techniques, and trains its employees.

Additionally, DeVries will oversee several other ongoing initiatives, including another attempt to modernize the agency’s retirement systems, the enterprise migration to the cloud and 12 other major IT investments.

OPM’s IT budget for 2016 is $147 million and it requested $152 million for fiscal 2017. The agency currently spends just under 62 percent of its budget on operations and maintenance, 28 percent on modernization efforts and 10 percent on provisioned or cloud technologies, according to the Federal IT Dashboard.

DeVries holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a Master of Science in electrical engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle. He also is a graduate of the Army Senior Service College and served as a Corporate Fellow with IBM Business Consulting Services while participating in the Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellowship Program.

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