Agriculture CIO leaving government

Joseph Leo, the Agriculture Department's chief information officer, is leaving the federal government to join Science Applications International Corp. at its Northern Virginia offices.

Leo, 57, had announced in October 2000 that he would retire from the federal government Feb. 2, 2001. In his new job, he will offer SAIC his expertise on electronic government solutions and systems at the state and federal government level.

He is the second high-ranking federal technology expert recruited by SAIC in recent weeks. Last month, John Dyer, former CIO at the Social Security Administration, also joined the company.

Leo's career in government has spanned 34 years. He was one of the founders of electronic benefits transfer systems in federal government and also was chairman of the committee that helps state computer systems administer food assistance programs.

Leo has held the USDA's top technology job for the past year and helped work on enhancing the department's information technology systems and delivering public services electronically.

Before he heads to the private sector, Leo said he's taking a vacation and sitting on a beach in Florida for a month.

"I will be back to work with a tan the first full week of March," he said.

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