New CIO starting at NSA

Richard Turner, former chief information officer of the Federal Trade Commission, will report for duty today as the National Security Agency's CIO. Turner has about three decades of experience in information systems and information resources management. In addition to the FTC, Turner also has worked at NASA and for the Army.

The agency advertised the position extensively this year after Raymond Holter retired after 34 years of federal service.

A key part of the CIO's job will be interacting with the winning vendor under Project Groundbreaker, NSA's $4 billion procurement to outsource its non-spy systems. That contract is due to be awarded by July 31.

NSA's mission is to intercept and analyze foreign military and national security-related communications around the world. As part of an ambitious effort to reform the agency, Air Force Lt. Gen. Michael Hayden, the agency director, has been reaching outside the organization to fill key positions.

"The NSA has much to gain by hiring from the outside for skills that are not directly related to our missions of [signals intelligence] and information assurance," Hayden is quoted as saying in an announcement due out today. "We need to leverage the skills available from other sources that will encourage us to focus on being world class in those skills that directly define who we are."

The agency also will announce that it has hired Michael Lawrence to be the new agency chief of the Legislative Affairs Office, a position recently designated as a principal director and reporting to Hayden. Lawrence has 20 years of legislative, intergovernmental and public affairs experience.

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