Tipton steps down as Interior CIO

W. Hord Tipton, the Interior Department’s chief information officer, said today that he is leaving the agency after 2006.

Tipton said he took inventory of what he had accomplished since assuming the position in 2002 and felt it was time to try something new.

“These jobs are very draining,” he said. “They take a lot out of you. I surveyed what we set out to do in terms of enterprise architecture – went from worst to best – and capital planning – got all our projects off of the risk list – and that feels good.”

As CIO, Tipton has had to contend with a long-running class-action lawsuit concerning the security of Indian trust fund information. American Indian plaintiffs accuse the department of failing to protect their data from hackers.

The announcement is not official, he said, so the department has not made any decisions as to when or if he will be replaced.

As for what he will do next, Tipton is keeping an open mind, not ruling out the private sector or even writing a book.

“The first thing I’m going to do is give my 6-year-old granddaughter her first violin lesson,” he said.

Tipton has earned the esteem of the public and private sectors for his advocacy of information security and security certifications for federal employees. Colleagues publicly acknowledged his contributions recently with a 2006 Federal 100 award, sponsored by Federal Computer Week.

Leading by example, Tipton is a Certified Information System Security Information Professional, an Information System Security Engineering Professional, a Certification and Accreditation Professional, and a Certified Information Systems Auditor. He is also certified in systems administration through the Committee of National Security Systems.

Tipton previously was Bureau of Land Management CIO and a BLM state director. Additionally, he worked in the private sector for 13 years as an engineer at Union Carbide and Swift Chemical.

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