NASA CIO exits

Patricia Dunnington, NASA's chief information officer, is stepping down, the agency confirmed today. Dunnington, who has held the CIO post since March 2003, sent an e-mail message to employees yesterday to inform them of her decision.

“Having accomplished the goals I set when I accepted the NASA CIO position, I feel this is the right time for me to move on to new challenges and opportunities in my career,” states a portion of her announcement. “I will continue serving in my position while a search is conducted to ensure a smooth transition."

Dunnington said she is satisfied with the development of NASA’s enterprise architecture, adding that the agency is deploying a new wide-area network architecture. The NASA Portal offers coverage of major mission events, she added.

NASA did not indicate a timeline for appointing a new CIO. Dunnington did not discuss where she will work next.

“There is really no indication right now of if and when she will be leaving” the agency, NASA spokesman Doc Mirelson said today.

During Dunnington's tenure, NASA elevated the CIO’s role while restructuring the agency. NASA created an independent office for the CIO, a function previously located within the Office of the NASA Administrator.

The agency made the change to support the new vision for space exploration and fix management and cultural issues cited by the Columbia Accident Investigation Board.

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