DHS CIO Staropoli resigns

This story was updated on Aug. 7.

Richard Staropoli, the Homeland Security Department’s chief information officer, resigned suddenly Aug. 3.

Sources say Stephen Rice, the principal deputy CIO at DHS, announced the decision at the agency’s CIO Council meeting.

President Donald Trump appointed Staropoli to be DHS CIO on May 1. He spent 25 years as a special agent for the Secret Service, where he served within the Presidential Protective Division, the Counter-Assault Team, the Hostage Rescue Unit and the Intelligence Community. He came to DHS from Fortress Investment Group, an international hedge fund, where he served as chief information security officer/managing director for global security and counter-party risk.

A DHS spokeswoman confirmed on Aug. 7  Starpolio would be leaving Sept. 1.

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Sources say Rice told DHS IT executives that Staropoli’s reason was the commute from New Jersey was weighing too much on his family.

But other sources say Staropoli had a run-in with former DHS Secretary John Kelly over comments he made at an industry event.

Other sources say Staropoli’s resignation was only mildly surprising as he was a bit disengaged and didn’t necessarily have the background to be a federal agency CIO.

Sources said Rice didn’t say who would be acting CIO once Staropoli leaves nor did he say when Staropoli’s last day would be.

The assumption among DHS observers is Rice, the former CIO at the Transportation Security Administration, likely will be the acting CIO in the near term.

Another source said DHS’s IT efforts should continue to move forward as Rice played a big role in setting the direction and working internally to make progress.

The source said from the beginning Staropoli was an “up and out” type while Rice is more comfortable being “down and in.”

Staropoli replaced Luke McCormack who left in January.

Fedscoop first reported Staropoli’s decision to resign.

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