DoD’s Zangardi to be new DHS CIO

John Zangardi is leaving DoD to become the new CIO at the Department of Homeland Security, replacing Richard Starolopi.

John Zangardi, who has served in several senior Defense IT positions over the last several years, including most recently as the Pentagon’s acting chief information officer, is leaving DoD to become the new CIO at the Department of Homeland Security.

The White House named Zangardi to the position today.

Zangardi would replace Richard Starolopi, who resigned as DHS CIO suddenly and unexpectedly on Aug. 3 after only three months on the job.

Zangardi was first named as DoD’s principal deputy CIO in October 2016, and later became the department’s acting CIO when its former top IT official, Terry Halvorsen, retired at the end of February. Prior to that, Zangardi, a retired naval officer, had been the acting CIO for the Department of the Navy.

While Zangardi is coming to DHS, Rob Palmer, the deputy chief technology officer, is leaving for the private sector.

A DHS spokeswoman confirmed Palmer’s last day will be Oct. 28.

The spokeswoman said DHS “thanks Robert for his nearly 10 years of service supporting TSA and headquarters. At this time, no replacement has been announced.”

FedScoop first reported Palmer’s decision to leave.

Palmer came to the Transportation Security Administration in 2009 after working at DHS as a contractor. He moved to headquarters in 2012 as the director of information assurance for the enterprise system development office in the Office of the Chief Information Officer. He served as acting director of ESDO before becoming deputy CTO in 2016.

Palmer also worked on interagency mobility efforts. He led a Tiger Team to develop a playbook for mobile applications. He also worked on the Mobile Services Category team, which helped collect data on mobile device usage across the government.

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