NASA loses key federal executive; ODNI, Justice get new ones

The federal human resources community is losing a key member. Jeri Buchholz, the NASA chief human capital officer and assistant administrator for human capital management, is retiring on July 31.

She is moving to industry as a strategic business partner at Federal Management Partners.

“It will be my job to be constantly scanning the federal employment horizon to figure out which issues and ideas will be emerging next so that FMP can preposition itself to help federal agencies with their emerging human capital needs, focusing on the truly strategic,” Buchholz said, in an email to Federal News Radio.

Buchholz has been the NASA CHCO for four years and in the government for 34 years.

NASA’s acting deputy CHCO is Sherri McGee.

Under Buchholz’s leadership, NASA consistently was one of the best places to work, according to the annual Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey conducted by the Office of Personnel Management. On the 2014 FEVS, NASA scored a governmentwide high of 74.

Buchholz focused on employee engagement and ensuring open communication channels between management and workers.

While she is leaving government, several federal executives are finding new positions. Ray Cook will be appointed as the new chief information officer of the intelligence community. The Director of National Intelligence James Clapper announced President Barack Obama’s intent to appoint Cook on July 23.

“Ray’s breadth and depth of managing highly technical programs, his proven leadership and relentless commitment to national security make him an excellent choice to be the next IC CIO,” Clapper said in a release.

Cook comes to ODNI after spending the last several years as the director for the Office of Space Reconnaissance within the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology. He also is the NRO director of mission operations.

Before joining the NRO, Cook led multi-agency IT infrastructure, data sharing and compliance within the CIA.

Cook replaces Al Tarasiuk, who retired in April and is now the director of IT Security at Deutsche Bank.

Along with Cook, Census CIO Brian McGrath announced earlier in July he’s moving to become CIO at the Justice Department’s Office of Justice Programs. His first day in his new job is July 27.

McGrath has been CIO at Census since May 2009 and follows former National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration CIO Joe Klimavicz to DoJ from a Commerce bureau. Klimavicz became Justice CIO earlier this year.

During his tenure at Census, McGrath focused on making the bureau more customer service-centric and implemented enterprise IT services to reduce cost and improve the effectiveness. He also has been leading the development of IT plans for the Decennial Census for 2020 where mobility and cloud are among the biggest priorities.

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