Federal technology chairs shuffle at SEC, NASA

The Securities and Exchange Commission is promoting from within for its new chief information officer. NASA is losing a key senior technology executive to retirement.

At the SEC, Pam Dyson officially took over for Tom Bayer on Feb. 12 after being the acting CIO since October. Bayer recently became the CIO of the Standard & Poor’s Rating Service.

Dyson has been with the SEC since 2010 and served as deputy CIO before becoming acting CIO with Bayer’s departure.

“Pam has been instrumental in our ongoing efforts to enhance the Commission’s information technology capabilities,” SEC Chairwoman Mary Jo White said in a release. “I am confident she will provide the expertise, leadership, and vision necessary to further advance the commission’s technology operations.”

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Among Dyson’s top priorities will be to continue the SEC’s innovation path. Bayer said in August that the commission already moved more than 50 applications to the cloud, including its call center support, human resources, training and assorted back-office applications.

While Dyson takes on a new role, Gary Cox, NASA’s deputy CIO for IT reform, announced he’s retiring March 31.

In an email to staff and colleagues, which Federal News Radio obtained, Cox said he applied for and was accepted to get early retirement under the Voluntary Early Retirement Authority (VERA) program.

“Fortunately, this will provide time for me to finish our important work on the Business Services Assessment (BSA) IT Core Team, and also allows [NASA CIO] Larry [Sweet] a little time to work a succession plan with NASA leaders. I am very excited to have this opportunity to retire while my health is still relatively good, but will certainly miss working with all of you and the great team here at NASA.”

The BSA pilot will help determine the health of IT services across NASA by focusing on improved efficiencies and improved IT security, and to provide an affordable service and operating model that meets the agency’s needs.

Cox has worked at NASA since 1998 where he slowly moved up the leadership ladder, starting as branch manager for IT services at the Goddard Space Center, then to program manager of the Outsourcing Desktop Initiative for NASA (ODIN) initiative before moving into the CIOs office to work on a variety of issues. He joined the government in 1986 where he worked in a variety of construction management positions at the U.S. Naval Academy.

One last CIO note — Ann Dunkin is up before the Senate once again to become the Environmental Protection Agency’s CIO and assistant administrator for environmental information. President Barack Obama sent Dunkin’s nomination back to the Senate on Feb. 12.

She’s been waiting for more than a year to receive approval, and the EPA has been without a permanent CIO since August 2014. The Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works supported Dunkin’s nomination in July, but the full Senate never acted on it. The President had to resend all nominations back to the Senate with the start of the new Congress.

This post is part of Jason Miller’s Inside the Reporter’s Notebook feature. Read more from this edition of Jason’s Notebook.