HHS IT executives finding new homes

Dave Nelson is leaving the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to be the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s CIO while Karen DeSalvo left her role as coord...

Dave Nelson and Frank Baitman are taking what they learned at the Department of Health and Human Services and applying it to other organizations.

Nelson, the former chief information officer and the director of the Office of Enterprise Information at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, took a new job as the Nuclear Regulatory Commission’s CIO. His first day will be Aug. 22.

Baitman, the former HHS CIO who left the agency Nov. 30, is working as a part-time advisory fellow with Cisco.

“I’ll be working with Alan Balutis, senior director at Cisco, along with Martha Dorris, who has also joined the Cisco team as a fellow,” Baitman told me via email.

Nelson replaces Darren Ash, who left NRC in February to be the CIO of the Agriculture Department’s Farm Service Bureau.

Dave Nelson is leaving CMS to be the chief information officer at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

“In the recent years as CIO and director of OEI, Dave has consistently and vigorously provided leadership and support for implementation of some of the agency’s most important initiatives such as HealthCare.gov and the Social Security Number Removal Initiative,” wrote Andy Slavitt, acting CMS Administrator, Patrick Conway, the acting principal deputy administrator; Mandy Cohen, chief operating officer; and Karen Jackson, deputy chief operating officer; in an internal email obtained by Federal News Radio. “Over the past year, Dave’s name has become synonymous with cybersecurity. He has become one of the agency’s strongest champions of the development of a comprehensive and integrated strategic vision for a risk-based privacy and security system to improve the process for managing cyber threats through the establishment of the agency’s Cybersecurity Incident Center. We thank him for his many contributions, not only to OEI, but to CMS overall, and wish him every success in his new position as chief information officer with NRC.”

Nelson has been the CMS CIO since January 2014 and with the agency for more than a decade. George Hoffman, the deputy director of the Office of Technology Solutions, will become acting director and interim CIO, according to the CMS email to staff. Janet Vogel will continue to be deputy CIO.

NRC has been on the slow side to modernize IT systems, so Nelson will have his work cut out for him. The IT Dashboard reports the NRC is spending 79.1 percent of its $153.3 million IT budget on operations and maintenance, and only 6.5 percent on modernizing systems. The agency is spending 14.3 percent of its IT budget on provisioned or cloud-based systems.

Chat with Alastair Thomson, CIO of NIH’s National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, Aug. 16 at 11 a.m. Sign up here.

NRC requested $157 million for IT in its 2017 budget request.

Additionally, Karen DeSalvo, the National Coordinator for Health IT at HHS, stepped down Aug. 11 and Secretary Sylvia Burwell named B. Vindell Washington to take her place. Washington comes to HHS after serving as the president of the Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System (FMOLHS) Medical Group and as the health system’s Chief Medical Information Officer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

DeSalvo will remain with HHS, but will spend her time as the acting assistant Secretary for Health. Her nomination is pending before the Senate.

Beyond CMS looking for a new CIO, the Treasury Department’s Bureau of Engraving and Printing put out a job announcement for a new CIO as well.

BEP is separating the CIO’s role from the associate director for management position. Will Levy currently holds both positions. Applications for the job are due Aug. 15.

A few other interesting job openings: The General Services Administration is looking for two experts to help with category management. The first is for a technical expert in the areas of facilities and construction. The second is for a technical expert in the area of office management. Applications for both jobs are due Aug. 29.

Finally, the Army is hiring a chief data officer and a director for the Army Architecture Integration Center. The Army is looking for someone to advocate, defend, and implement the architecture vision in the current and near term environment. The person is expected to “create an environment where innovation and service empowers Army and mission partners through an unsurpassed responsive, collaborative and trusted information enterprise and lead the organization and staff through change in a fiscally lean environment while maintaining mission requirements. Formulates and institutionalizes Armywide policies related to architecture development/Clinger-Cohen Act requirements.”

Applications are due Aug. 16.

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