HUD, USDA bureau get new CIOs; OMB’s Springer to retire

The Department of Housing and Urban Development and an Agriculture Department bureau have new chief information officers. The Energy Department is getting closer to filling their top IT executive spot with someone from the Longhorn state.

Three prominent former federal CIOs also have new roles.

The end of June is a busy time for people news in the federal community.

Let’s start off with the newcomers:

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Johnson Joy joins HUD as its new CIO, bringing more than two decades of experience in the IT field.
He comes to HUD after running J3 Global Inc., a IT and management consulting firm in Houston, Texas, the agency confirmed to Federal News Radio.

Joy earned a Master’s in Information Systems from Steven’s Institute of Technology, and a bachelors and master’s degrees in physics from Mahatma Gandhi University in Kerala, South India.

Joy replaces Rafael Diaz, who left in January after serving just over two years.

One of Joy’s initial focus areas will be getting the agency’s infrastructure program back on track. The HUD Enterprise Architecture Transformation (HEAT) program is behind schedule and costing the agency millions of dollars in extra costs to keep its current 12-year-old contract in place.

Meritalk first reported Joy coming to HUD.

At the Agriculture Department, Ron Thompson has joined as the CIO of the National Agriculture Statistical Service (NASS).

Thompson comes to NASS after spending the last six months at the Environmental Protection Agency as its chief information security officer.

As CIO of NASS, Thompson will collaborate with agency headquarters and other bureaus on the consolidation of 17 disparate networks as well as addressing commodity IT duplication particularly around software licenses.

The Department of Health and Human Services Department filled its chief technology officer role by naming Bruce Greenstein.

Greenstein comes to HHS after serving as president of Quartet Health, a technology company focused on improving the integration of behavioral health and physical healthcare for patients, providers and payers.

Before that job, Greenstein ran an advisory firm called Blend Health Insights that focused on the health care, government and technology markets across North America and China.

He also served for three years as the chief executive of Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals and as the Governor’s chief health care advisor. In that role, he was responsible for the development and execution of policy for, and the management of, the state’s health, public health, and healthcare systems that has a budget of approximately $9 billion and more than 11,000 employees.

Greenstein replaces Susannah Fox, who left in January.

With all the changes going on at the General Services Administration, the Federal Acquisition Service is turning to a familiar face to be the new chief of staff. Judith Zawatsky takes on that role after having been the multiple award schedule transformation program manager since January 2016. She has worked at GSA since 2006.

It’s unclear whether Zawatsky will continue in her former position helping to transform the MAS program.

But with a new FAS Commissioner, Alan Thomas, starting on June 26, having someone who understands the service and has been trying to improve it over the last year can only be beneficial.

GSA recently announced it would be merging the Technology Transformation Service into the Federal Acquisition Service, and less than a week later the top two FAS executives announced they were leaving.

While these executives have found new homes or positions, there are a couple of other who are leaving.

Linda Springer, a senior adviser at the Office of Management and Budget, decided to retire as of June 30.

Springer told Federal News Radio said the reason for her decision was two-fold. Most importantly, Springer said her mother has been having some recent health problems and needs to be with her on a full-time basis.

Second, Springer said several initiatives have moved more quickly than she initially thought so the timing makes sense.

Springer joined the Trump administration in February as a senior adviser to lend some government management experience at the political level. She helped shepherd several management programs through their initial phase, including the government reorganization and restructuring, and the more recent effort to get rid of outdated or duplicative policies and regulations.

We first reported the decision by Mark Schwartz, the CIO of the Homeland Security Department’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service to leave government after seven years. We now know Schwartz is heading to Amazon Web Services to be its Enterprise Strategist and Evangelist.

Amazon’s job announcement said the position entails guiding their enterprise efforts and advising large companies on how they can use technology to better deliver business value.

“Our enterprise strategists use their personal experiences building on AWS, combine them with the experiences of other customers, and help enterprises understand the business value they can unlock using the AWS platform. This role is part technical vision and strategy and part cultural guidance and advisement,” the job announcement stated. “Ideal candidates will be able to speak to all aspects of technology delivery in large organizations – leadership, application development, security, business case development, technology budgeting, etc. They will help create content through blogs, presentations, and other customer-facing content, deliver that content to customers both individually and at events ranging from dozens to thousands of customers, and make sure our customers and partners are successful at building and transforming their business on AWS.”

Two other former CIOs have found new homes as well.

Tony Scott, the former federal CIO, started his own firm, the TonyScottGroup. According to his LinkedIn page, Scott is providing IT consulting and advisory services to public and private sector organizations in the areas of IT modernization/transformation, cybersecurity, risk management and IT governance.

Meanwhile, Rob Klopp, the former CIO of the Social Security Administration, founded his own company called Skyland Technologies, which also is focused on IT modernization and transformation.

July 1 usually is a busy time for federal employees to retire. Do you know anyone who deserves to be recognized for their efforts in the Reporter’s Notebook? Send me an email.

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