IT executives at DHS, OMB on the move

Kshemendra Paul spent 6 of his 13 years in federal service focused on data and information sharing.

Now in many ways, he’s going back to that world.

Paul, who was the program manager for the Information Sharing Environment from 2010 to 2017, is the new chief data officer at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

He joined VA earlier this month after spending the last almost three years with the Department of Homeland Security as its cloud action officer and deputy director of mission and strategy in the Office of the Chief Information Officer.

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Kshemendra Paul  joined the Veterans Affairs Department as its new chief data officer.

Paul replaced Dat Tran, who was the interim CDO and moves back to his current role as deputy assistant secretary for data governance and analysis.

The Evidence-Based Policymaking Act required every agency to name a chief data officer by July 13.

In his new role, Paul will have a great opportunity and huge challenge. VA collects mounds of data from assorted mission areas, and given the complex nature of its network, making the information more valuable will not be easy.

VA launched an open data portal in 2013 and now lists more than 1,500 data sets on the Data.gov site.

“Open Data is an initiative that seeks to advance government transparency and promote innovation by making data accessible to the public. Using machine-readable data that the public can access, use and share, federal agencies can promote a more open and efficient government, identify creative solutions that can address existing challenges, and spur economic growth,” VA states on its open data portal. “VA’s Open Data team is working to establish a new and robust portal where users can access data, application programming interfaces (APIs), tools and resources that can be used to develop web and mobile applications, design data visualizations, and create stories directly from VA resources. When VA establishes this new tool, a more comprehensive Open Data Portal will be made available.”

Before coming to VA and working at DHS and as the PM-ISE, Paul also worked as the chief architect at the Office of Management and Budget and at the Justice Department.

Paul was one of several federal executives on the move over the last month.

Joining in the migration to new agencies are Bill Hunt, Nicholas Andersen and Shila Cooch.

Hunt, who spent the last two years as the cloud policy lead at OMB as part of the U.S. Digital Service, is the new chief architect at the Small Business Administration.

Hunt led the effort to update key cloud policies, including the Cloud Smart strategy and the new data center optimization and consolidation regulation.

In joining the SBA, Hunt becomes another impressive team member to the group CIO Maria Roat continues to build.

Over the last two years. SBA has been on an IT modernization journey. Hunt will help the agency rationalize more than 50 applications, continue its move to the cloud and ensure the security of its data through innovative approaches.

“I’m looking forward to applying the lessons I’ve learned working on the Cloud Smart, Data Center Optimization, and Application Rationalization policies — and discovering where I got it wrong,” Hunt tweeted earlier this month.

While Hunt left OMB, the Federal CIO’s office started to fill some key openings.

Andersen joined as the federal cybersecurity lead in OMB and Cooch is the new senior policy adviser.

Nicholas Andersen joined OMB as the federal cybersecurity lead in September.

Andersen joined OMB after serving as the chief information security officer for the Vermont government over the last nine months. He replaces Josh Moses, who left in November to join the private sector.

In addition to his time in Vermont, Andersen also is a Marine Corps veteran and worked as a civilian for the Navy and Coast Guard in cybersecurity roles.

Meanwhile, Cooch also fills a key position at OMB. She comes to the Federal CIO’s Office from the Homeland Security Department where she was the chief of staff for the CIO for the last four years. In all, she worked at DHS for the last 15 years.

In her new role, Cooch will lead the development and implementation of IT policy across the government.

And speaking of DHS, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is looking for a new CIO.

Michael Brown left ICE after four years to join Gartner as a senior director analyst.

Irfan Malik is the acting ICE CIO. He joined the agency in 2015 as the chief of IT Operations Division where he oversaw the operations and maintenance of IT across the agency.

Brown worked in government for more than 24 years, including for DHS components since 2000, before Congress created the agency, and for the Navy and Marines Corps.

Finally, Lou Charlier is the Labor Department’s new deputy CIO.

He has worked at the agency for 13 years spending time as its director of infrastructure services where he was the principal adviser to the CIO leadership, departmental executives, and key agency managers for large-scale IT initiatives. He also assisted in the planning, directing, and administering of a comprehensive IT program for the department that provided tactical day to day leadership, organization stability, and technical expertise.

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