FAI, HHS get new execs; USPS loses key IT leader

T here’s been a lot of movement in the federal IT and acquisition communities over the last few weeks.

Let’s start with who’s coming:

Melissa Starinsky is moving over from the Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy to be the new director of the Federal Acquisition Institute (FAI), which is housed in the General Services Administration. She has been chancellor of the VA academy for the last two years.

Before that, Starinsky was an operational contracting officer working at the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services, the Food and Drug Administration and worked in the private sector.

She replaces Donna Jenkins, who moved positions in August and now is GSA’s assistant commissioner for the Office of Acquisition Management.

The Department of Health and Human Services has a new chief technology officer. Susannah Fox took over May 28 for Bryan Sivak, who left government in April after serving almost three years in the role.

In a blog post, Fox said her three big priorities are continuing to make data accessible and more useful, nurturing the growing IdeaLab concept, and shining a light on the role citizens can play in strengthening the health care in the U.S.

Former Defense Information Systems Agency’s risk management executive Mark Orndorff landed a new job in industry after retiring from government in January.

Orndorff joins Suss Consulting as a principal consultant after spending the previous 36 years in and around the military.

Finally, Rob Carey, former Defense Department deputy CIO and Navy CIO, found a new home in the private sector. Carey spent the last year as the vice president and general manager of CSC cybersecurity, but recently joined Vencore as its vice president of Navy and Marine Corps programs.

Now, moving on to those who left government: John Edgar, who departed from the Postal Service June 5 to work in the private sector.

An email obtained by Federal News Radio stated that Edgar, USPS’ vice president for IT, had led the IT division for the last four years and worked for the Postal Service the last 14 years.

“During John’s tenure as vice president, IT, he was responsible for one of the world’s largest corporate technology infrastructures with IT systems that operate around the clock — powering the Postal Service’s line of business,” wrote Postmaster General Megan Brennan in an email to senior managers. “He focused on developing robust and reliable computing services using agile and lean methodologies. Under his leadership, the IT organization has developed new technology solutions to meet the evolving needs of customers so that the Postal Service can continue to provide affordable, convenient products and services to all U.S. citizens and customers worldwide.”

And finally on a sad note, Brad Huther, the chief financial officer for the Department of Housing and Urban Development since September suddenly died on June 8.

Huther returned to government after serving in the 1990s as the CFO of two major Commerce Department bureaus, Census and the Patent and Trademark Office.

He also was a National Academy of Public Administration fellow and focused on intellectual property issues throughout his career.

“For more than three decades, Brad set the gold standard for public service. He was a leader whose intellect allowed him to master complex policy and whose integrity made him a champion for everyday people who often count on good government the most,” said HUD Secretary Julian Castro and Deputy Secretary Nani Coloretti in a statement. “Brad came out of retirement in 2014 to join the HUD family. As Brad once said, the best way to solve difficult challenges is to commit to ‘hard work’ and to ‘roll up your sleeves and put your nose to the grindstone.’ That’s exactly what he did every day of his incredible career.”

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


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