Howard sworn in as VA's CIO

The Department of Veterans Affairs has announced that retired Army Maj. Gen. Bob Howard was recently sworn in as assistant secretary for information and technology.

Howard, who is originally from Everett, Mass., was confirmed by the Senate Sept. 30, according to a VA statement.

In his new position, he serves as the department’s chief information officer, advising VA Secretary Jim Nicholson on matters of information and cyber security, including the centralization of the VA’s information technology.

Howard joined the VA in May 2005 as senior adviser to the deputy secretary, concentrating on business operations. He became the supervisor of the Office of Information Technology this past May.

The “VA will become the gold standard in government for securing information, and Bob Howard has the technical expertise and managerial skill to help us achieve that objective,” Nicholson said in the statement.

The Army veteran served in a variety of command and staff assignments in Asia, Europe and the United States, with two tours of duty in Vietnam. Howard commanded airborne engineer units in the 82nd Airborne Division and the XVIII Airborne Corps. He also worked on systems analysis, strategic planning and financial management. In his last military assignment, he served as the Army’s deputy assistant secretary for budget.

After a 33-year career in the Army, he spent nine years as vice president and general manager at Cubic, a defense applications and public transportation systems contractor. A major focus of Howard’s work was assisting former Communist states with defense modernization.

Howard has been an assistant professor of mathematics at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point and a professorial lecturer at American University in Washington, D.C.

About the Author

David Hubler is the former print managing editor for GCN and senior editor for Washington Technology. He is freelance writer living in Annandale, Va.

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