Cooper joins Red Cross as CIO

Steve Cooper, the first chief information officer at the Homeland Security Department, is becoming CIO and senior vice president at the American Red Cross.

The new job officially starts in about two weeks. He will be the information technology chief of the emergency response organization that provides relief to victims of war and natural disasters.

Cooper said he will be responsible for the information technology systems at the Red Cross and its assets and strategy direction.

In a telephone interview with Federal Computer Week, Cooper said there are some similarities between the American Red Cross and DHS.

While DHS had 22 large component agencies, the Red Cross has 868 chapters in the United States of varying sizes, ranging from large ones in big cities to some that only have a staff of one or two people, he said.

"The Red Cross is looking to optimize information technology services," Cooper said. "They don't have the same financial stream (as DHS), and they are going through some belt tightening. I certainly want to work with their IT gang to figure out ways to do things cost effectively."

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