GSA loses 3 technology execs; DHS, Air Force, FDA gain new ones

The Transportation Department and the FDA have new chief information officers, while the Air Force and the Homeland Security Department have new chief technolog...

The General Services Administration saw two long-time career executives head to the private sector and a third executive take a job with a new agency.

At the same time, the Air Force and the Homeland Security Department filled open technology executive positions. And the number of acting agency chief information officers continues to shrink.

Welcome to another edition of As the Technology World Turns, where the drama happens in the boardroom, not the bedroom, and when folks reappear it’s usually after a brief vacation and not coming back from the dead.

The latest movements are centered on GSA, for some reason.

Stacy Riggs, GSA’s former lead of the human resources Quality Service Management Office (QSMO), retired from federal service after more than 15 years.

Dominic Sale, the deputy assistant commissioner for General Supplies and Services in GSA’s Federal Acquisition Service, left after 15 years in government.

Dominic Sale left GSA after seven years to join the private sector.

Riggs and Sale both are joining Dynamic Integrated Services, a service-disabled veteran-owned business. They join Mark Forman, the former administrator of e-government and IT at the Office of Management and Budget, John Condon, who co-founded the Ambit Group and was president of Touchtone Consulting, and several other long-time government contracting veterans to lead this IT and management consulting firm.

Riggs and Sale bring a broad range of experience to DIS.

Sale worked at the Transportation Department as a program analyst before heading over to OMB for six-plus years where he focused on data analytics, federal policy development and oversight of agency IT budgets. He joined GSA’s Office of Governmentwide Policy in 2014 and also worked for the Technology Transformation Service.

During his time at GSA, Sale helped lead OGP’s efforts to improve the Federal Identity, Credential, and Access Management (FICAM) process, oversaw the DotGov domain management, ensured agencies had modern IT accessibility guidance and tools and pushed forward the data center optimization initiative. At TTS, Sale helped start successful initiatives using emerging technologies like robotics process automation, and supported the organization’s drive to promote innovation across the IT modernization spectrum.

Riggs spent two years at the Agriculture Department in the office of the chief information officer before joining GSA in 2009 also as part of OGP.

She served as an associate CIO for enterprise planning and governance for the agency before joining FAS. Along with her work at GSA, Riggs served on the board of AFFIRM, including as president of the volunteer, non-profit organization in 2020-2021.

During her tenure at GSA, Riggs worked on several high-profile initiatives, including category management and the human resources QSMO.

The third person to leave GSA over the last month or so is Bryan Lane, the director of data and artificial intelligence.

Industry sources confirm Lane moved to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation last week as its new chief of Business Intelligence Services.

Bryan Lane is leaving GSA to join the FDIC.

Lane also was the co-founder of the Artificial Intelligence Center of Excellence for the IT Modernization Center of Excellence. In that role, he helped the CoE work with the Defense Department’s Joint AI Center to design an agile acquisition strategy for AI, provided unified program management and infrastructure support, and developed an AI Capability Maturity Model and AI Workforce Model.

Lane came to GSA in 2019 and previously worked in industry and for the Defense Department, including serving five years in the Marine Corps.

Along with Riggs and Sale leaving federal service, another long-time technology executive, Stacy Dawn, retired after more than 24 years of federal service. Dawn, who was the senior advisor to the CIO for cybersecurity and privacy at the Department of Housing and Urban Development before leaving in August, joined CGI on a part-time basis working on cybersecurity issues.

She also held similar roles at the EX-IM Bank and the Securities and Exchange Commission during her career.

Portia Crowe, who served as the Army Futures Command’s Network Cross Functional Team chief data officer for two years, left in July to join Accenture Federal Services as its new chief data strategy director for Defense.

Crowe also served as the chief of Cyber Engineering and Operations and as CIO for the Army’s Program Executive Office Communications, Command, and Control Tactical (PEO-C3T).

The people on the move were not all leaving the government.

The Department of Homeland Security named David Larrimore as its new chief technology officer. He replaced Brian Teeple, who left in October 2020 to join industry.

Larrimore joined DHS headquarters after serving as a solutions engineering for Salesforce for the past two years. This is his third stint at DHS. He served the CTO for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement directorate for two-plus years and worked in the CFO’s office for two years starting in 2009. Larrimore also worked at GSA and the Agriculture Department.

Along with DHS, the Air Force filled its vacant CTO role. Jay Bonci joined the service in August after spending the last 14 years with Akamai Technologies.

Bonci replaced Frank Konieczny, who retired in February 2021 after more than 10 years in the CTO role.

You also may have missed that two agencies filled key CIO roles.

The Biden administration tapped another state and local technology executive to take over an agency CIO. The Transportation Department named Cordell Schachter to replace Ryan Cote, who left in January, as its CIO. Schachter comes to Transportation after spending the last 13 years as the New York City Department of Transportation chief technology officer and CIO. Before joining the state government, Schachter worked at several large companies including IBM and Siemens. He inherits a $3.5 billion IT budget and 31 major projects at DoT.

The Food and Drug Administration removed the “acting” title from Vid Desai’s CIO title and put him in charge of its new Office of Digital Transformation.

Vid Desai is the new CIO at the FDA, where he leads the Office of Digital Transformation.

Desai has been acting CIO since April 2021 and joined the agency in 2019 as its CTO.

Desai has worked in the technology industry for 30 years as a technology executive with several medical device and services companies.

As the permanent CIO, Desai inherits an agency in the middle of an IT modernization journey. Over the past few years, the FDA has been moving applications to the cloud, developing software-defined networking capabilities and taking more advantage of its data.

Do you know of a long-time federal executive who recently joined your agency or left government, let me know via email.

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