Federal IT execs on the move: DHS promotes one, VA loses one

Roopangi Kadakia, the Veterans Affairs Department’s chief cloud strategist, is leaving for the private sector.

It was a busy week of people news in the federal technology community. Over the last two weeks, three agency chief information officers have left or have been moved out of their positions and two cybersecurity executives decided to leave federal service.

Let’s add one more to the growing list.

Roopangi Kadakia, the Veterans Affairs Department’s chief cloud strategist, is leaving for the private sector.

Sources say Kadakia is joining a non-federal related industry.

Emails to Kadakia seeking comment were not immediately returned.

Kadakia has been at VA since July 2016, when she came over from NASA to be its chief information security officer. She transitioned to the cloud strategist role in February.

Prior to coming to VA, Kadakia worked at NASA, the Homeland Security Department, the General Services Administration and the Peace Corps.

Along with Kadakia, Sean Kelley, the Environmental Protection Agency’s chief information security officer, announced he’s moving to industry as well.

Sources confirmed Kelley is joining Leidos.

Kelley is leaving EPA on Aug. 18. Kelley, who also is the president and board member of the Government Information Technology Executive Council (GITEC), has been at EPA since January.

Prior to coming to EPA, Kelley was a deputy CIO for benefits and veteran experience at the Veterans Affairs Department. He also served in several other roles at VA, including National Capital Region CIO, chief of staff for the Office of Information and Technology and as a health IT business analyst.

Kelley spent 20 years in the Navy as a medical services corps officer and then worked at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland.

The news isn’t all bad when it comes to executives moving around the federal community.

The Homeland Security Department announced Rick Driggers would take over for Danny Toler as the deputy assistant secretary for Cybersecurity and Communications in the National Protection and Programs Directorate.

A DHS official confirmed Driggers is currently the principal deputy director of the National Cybersecurity Communications and Integration Center (NCCIC). Driggers has been with the NCCIC since September 2016 and has worked at DHS since 2003, beyond a two-year stint with the National Security Council starting in 2013.

Driggers will gradually assume the responsibilities of his new position over the next few weeks.

Toler announced he will retire after almost 38 years of federal service earlier this week.

“I am extremely grateful to Danny Toler, as he has done a great job keeping the ship afloat as the acting assistant secretary,” said Jeanette Manfra, assistant secretary for cybersecurity and communications, in an email. “His contributions to the organization over the past five years will endure. I believe the department is in a better place as a result of his work, and I will personally miss his wise counsel.”

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