CIO leaving space agency

Less than a year into the job, NASA acting chief information officer Paul Strassmann has decided to leave the space agency, sources say.

Strassmann assumed the position in July 2002 after former CIO Lee Holcomb was detailed to the Office of Homeland Security.

Strassmann came to NASA in May as a senior information technology adviser to the agency's administrator, Sean O'Keefe. The two men worked together at the Defense Department and at Syracuse University in New York.

At the Pentagon, Strassmann — who also has served as CIO for General Foods Corp., Kraft Foods Inc. and Xerox Corp. — was adviser to the DOD deputy secretary and, later, director of Defense information.

He is rumored to be going to a defense agency, sources said. There is no official word yet on his departure date or his successor, according to Brian Dunbar, a NASA spokesman.

During his brief tenure as the agency's CIO, Strassmann laid out an ambitious plan to overhaul NASA's computer architecture, creating a single, highly secure system that he said would deliver "substantial savings." A major part of the restructuring includes building two mission control centers — modeled after those that remotely manage the complex machinery of space flights — to run NASA's network.

Several months later, the agency placed a moratorium on IT expenditures that are not considered mission-critical.

Soon thereafter, budget issues took a backseat to dealing with the aftermath of the high-altitude break-up of space shuttle Columbia. NASA continues to investigate the Feb. 1 accident.


  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

  • Comment
    Pilot Class. The author and Barbie Flowers are first row third and second from right, respectively.

    How VA is disrupting tech delivery

    A former Digital Service specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs explains efforts to transition government from a legacy "project" approach to a more user-centered "product" method.

  • Cloud
    cloud migration

    DHS cloud push comes with complications

    A pressing data center closure schedule and an ensuing scramble to move applications means that some Homeland Security components might need more than one hop to get to the cloud.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.