Cooper named Homeland Dept. CIO

President Bush has named Steve Cooper to be the chief information officer at the new Homeland Security Department, the White House announced Jan. 7.

Cooper has been the CIO at the Office of Homeland Security since March 2002.

An information technology expert from the private sector, Cooper has served as the CIO of corporate staffs and as executive director of strategic information delivery at Corning Inc.

He has served as director of IT for Eli Lilly and Co. and held senior-level technical and management positions with Computer Sciences Corp., CACI International Inc. and others.

Since joining the administration, Cooper has worked hard to forge partnerships across government and with the private sector in his role as CIO. And he has been working to integrate systems and cultures across government.

Cooper calls himself a "gadget guy" and a "people person," a combination that could be the key to his success as the person in charge of coordinating the IT aspect of homeland security.

"If you came to my house, you'd find every gadget related to technology there because I'm lazy," he told Federal Computer Week in an interview this week. "If I can use technology to get work done, so much the better, because then I have more time to go spend with people."

Cooper's position does not require Senate confirmation. Tom Ridge, the secretary-designate of the new department, is expected to be confirmed by next week.

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