OMB cyber exec heading to private sector

The White House is losing one of its key cyber leaders. Trevor Rudolph, the chief of the Office of Management and Budget’s Cyber and National Security Unit, will be moving to the private sector after almost five years in the White House.

Sources confirm Rudolph is joining a cyber startup called Whitehawk, run by Terry Roberts, the former deputy director of naval intelligence, vice president for cyber engineering and analytics for TASC, which was bought by Engility in 2015, and executive director of the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute. Along with Roberts, Luis Jose Cruz-Rivera is the chief technology officer. He comes from industry, spending 14 years at TASC and ManTech.

trevor rudolph
Trevor Rudolph is leaving OMB after almost five years of working on cyber challenges.

Sources say Rudolph will become chief of business operations and cybersecurity at Whitehawk. The company’s mission is to mainly help small- and medium-sized companies improve their cyber postures through a series of tools, assessments and services. Whitehawk plans to launch the first-ever cybersecurity online community focused on enabling mid-sized and small businesses to make more informed cybersecurity decisions.

As chief of business operations and cybersecurity, Rudolph will manage the company’s customer operations while also providing thought leadership within the global cybersecurity industry.

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Rudolph’s last day at OMB will be toward the end of November. It’s unclear who will replace him, especially with expected changes to the office’s structure now that retired Air Force Gen. Greg Touhill has taken over as the new federal chief information security officer.

Over the last five years, Rudolph has played key roles in the cyber sprint, the development of the Cybersecurity National Action Plan and the Cybersecurity Strategy and Implementation Plan.

Rudolph also is credited with creating OMB’s cyber team of about 20 federal experts and contractors to perform CyberStat reviews across the government.

According to Rudolph’s LinkedIn page, he managed a budget of $5.8 million and oversaw a 40 percent increase in federal multi-factor authentication use, a 50 percent reduction in time-to-detect incidents, a 99 percent decrease in active critical vulnerabilities, and a 35 percent increase in federal cybersecurity spending.

The loss of Rudolph is big for OMB, but not necessarily surprising. Most former OMB executives have said over the years that five years in the White House are both the best and hardest jobs they’ve ever held, and usually there comes a time for transition to a less hectic job.

Two other agencies also are experiencing turnover in the technology executive ranks.

Chuck Riddle joined the Securities and Exchange Commission as its chief technology officer after spending the last five-plus years as the chief information officer of the Government Publishing Office (GPO).

That means GPO promoted Tracee Boxley to acting CIO from deputy CIO, a position she’s held since 2012.

Before coming to GPO, Boxley was chief of the American Housing Survey Division at the Census Bureau and served as deputy CIO and chief of the Technical Services Division at the Food Nutrition Service (FNS) in the Agriculture Department. She also worked as the director of IT operations for the Office of the Secretary of the Army and for the Air Force CIO in developing a portal for employees’ personnel and career data.

As for Riddle, he will be taking over what looks to be a new position at the SEC. The agency’s job announcement on USAJobs.gov from May outlines the CTO’s roles and responsibilities.

The CTO will drive innovation through everything from the infrastructure to the operations to the data management efforts.

This will be Riddle’s second tenure as a CTO. He served as the CTO of USDA’s Food and Safety Inspection Service (FSIS) for three years between 2007 and 2010.

During Riddle’s time at GPO CIO, he led the agency into the cloud and completed the modernization of its FDSys platform.

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