FBI hires CIO from Mormons

The FBI has hired the information and communications chief of the Mormon Church to be its new chief information officer.

Darwin John replaces Bob Dies as CIO as the FBI struggles to modernize its computer systems. The bureau is hoping to provide its agents with desktop computers and IT capabilities long commonplace in most offices — access to the Internet and internal networks, e-mail, the ability to work with electronic files and retrieve information from bureau databases.

The FBI still keeps most of its records on paper scattered among offices across the country.

In an announcement — aptly posted on its Web site — the bureau said John helped the Mormon Church set up a Family Search Web site (www.familysearch.org), which gets up to 8 million hits a day for information from a database of 900 million names. The Mormon Church, known formally as the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is a major source for genealogical information.

As the bureau's CIO, John's job is to "lead the development of information technology strategies," the FBI said. Among the bureau's top IT endeavors are the Trilogy project to upgrade FBI desktop computers and networks, the bureau's effort to adopt "investigative data warehousing" as a key technology in the war against terrorism, and improving its ability to battle cybercrime.

In addition to the Mormon Church, John has held senior information management jobs at Scott Paper, where he was a vice president; General Mills Inc., where he was director of information and communications systems development and operations; and Honeywell Inc., where he was a senior systems analyst.

He earned bachelor's and master's degrees from Utah State University.

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