DHS to promote Charbo

Scott Charbo, the Homeland Security Department’s chief information officer, likely will become the new deputy undersecretary for the National Protection and Programs Directorate, multiple sources have confirmed.

DHS could make the announcement before the end of the week.

Charlie Armstrong, DHS’ deputy CIO, likely will become acting CIO with Charbo’s promotion.

Charbo would work for Robert Jamison, who was confirmed as undersecretary of the directorate in December.

Charbo’s new position would not require Senate confirmation, a congressional staff member said.

In his new position, Charbo would help oversee cybersecurity and communications, infrastructure protection, intergovernmental programs, risk management and analysis, and the U.S. Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology program.

Sources say this directorate will play a major role with the increase in cyber money, and DHS wants someone with experience for this effort.

“When Mr. Charbo testified before the committee in June, I asked him why he should keep his job” as CIO, said Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.), chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. “Under his leadership, the department’s networks were regularly exploited, and we are still trying to figure out how much information was lost. This is why I am struggling to understand why he is the right person to coordinate the largest federal cybersecurity initiative in history.”

Charbo’s move would come a week after Federal Emergency Management Agency CIO Tony Cira resigned to take a job at Lockheed Martin.

Charbo has been CIO since June 2005, when he left the Agriculture Department. He also has served for a short time as DHS undersecretary for management.

Under his leadership, the technology posture of DHS has had its ups and downs. Last summer, lawmakers interrogated Charbo about cybersecurity problems departmentwide. Meanwhile, he has led the department’s data center consolidation and the move to OneNet.

One of Charbo’s biggest accomplishments came when he received authority over budget planning and project approval for the component agencies’ technology shops last March.

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