ITA CIO Caron moving on to industry

The Commerce Department's International Trade Administration will be looking for a new CIO and DISA executives shift into new roles.

Gerry Caron, the chief information officer at the Commerce Department’s International Trade Administration, is leaving federal service after more than two decades.

Federal News Network has learned Caron is heading to a new job in industry. The specifics about where he is going is unknown. His last day at ITA will be May 31.

Gerry Caron is leaving after more than a year as the ITA CIO.

Caron, who is well-known on the federal speaking circuit, has been the ITA CIO since February 2023.

Before that, he was the CIO for the inspector general office at the Department of Health and Human Services and worked for the State Department for 18 years, including the last two years as director of enterprise network management.

Caron also has played a big role in helping drive the development of zero trust concepts through the CIO Council’s Innovation Counsel for Zero Trust.

During his time at ITA, Caron focused on moving ITA to a more modern network and security infrastructure. For example, he implemented phishing-resistant multifactor authentication, in part, by sending each of ITA’s employees a “YubiKey” authentication device to meet MFA requirements.

“So we’re taking a lot of steps, we’re looking at some identity management things in order to mature identity management and automate our processes around that as well,” Caron said during a January 2024 panel.

He also has focused on ensuring ITA is managing its data so it’s protecting its most important and valuable data as part of its zero trust implementation.

Additionally, Caron said because ITA has been 100% in the cloud for several years, he has focused on understanding the costs of using cloud services and how to manage those costs.

“In the wake of the pandemic and the subsequent move to work from home, Gerry Caron was the right kind of leader at a critical time. Gerry helped galvanize the entire federal government around actual use cases for zero trust,” said Tom Suder, president of ATARC. “The effort led directly to several Technology Modernization Fund awards to agencies, specifically for zero trust that have been the model for funding cybersecurity.”

DISA executives move into new roles

Over the last few weeks, there also has been a few other noteworthy changes in the federal technology community.

Let’s start with the Defense Information Systems Agency where Sharon Woods, who led the agency’s hosting and compute center for the last almost three years moved to new role at the agency. She is now leading DISA’s Endpoint Services and Global Service Center.

Sharon Woods moved to a new role at DISA to lead the Endpoint Services and Global Service Center.

“We deliver networking and endpoint solutions at all classification levels to the Department of Defense. This is a crucial mission, connecting the department’s globally dispersed workforce, from the Pentagon to the edge, with unified communications,” Woods wrote on a post on LinkedIn. “Incorporating my experience with cloud technology, I hope to drive modernization and propel J6 forward as the premier communications provider to the department.”

In her place, Jeff Marshall, who has been vice director of the hosting and compute center since February, is now acting director.

During her tenure as the head of the HACC, Woods helped usher the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC) through the implementation phase, launched DISA’s own hybrid cloud instance, called Stratus, and led the effort to provide a DevSecOps platform, called Vulcan, for DoD users.

Bill Dunlap, the acting deputy chief information officer for the information enterprise at the Defense Department, said on Tuesday at the AFCEA Enterprise IT Day that the defense agencies and military services have made 84 awards under JWCC worth more than $634 million.

Marshall joined DISA in February after spending the last 20-plus years in industry. He also served in the Army for 13 years before moving to industry.

New cyber execs at CTIIC, EX-IM Bank

Moving to the intelligence community, the Cyber Threat Intelligence Integration Center (CTIIC) hired Chris Zimmerman as its first director of the Office of Strategic Cyber Partnerships.

In that role, Zimmerman will “further the integration of commercial cyber threat intelligence in the IC and take an innovative approach to partnering with the public and private sector,” Laura Galante, the director of CTIIC and the IC Cyber Executive, said in a statement.

Zimmerman comes to CTIIC from industry where he held leadership positions with Symantec, FireEye, Palo Alto Networks, Cylance and, most recently, as President of FedStarts, LLC, where he led the deployment of software technology to enable stronger cyber defenses.

Finally, the Export-Import Bank has a new chief information security officer and new chief privacy officer. Darren Death joins the agency after spending the last nine years as the vice president of information security and CISO for ASRC Federal.

Death has worked in and out of government during his career, including stints at FEMA, the Library of Congress and the Air Force.

He also is active with cybersecurity education groups like InfraGard MD and is a fellow with the Institute for Critical Infrastructure Technology (ICIT).

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