Another USDA exec to leave; CISO to go to HUD

The Agriculture Department’s chief information security officer, Lynn Allen, will leave USDA to become deputy chief information officer for business and technology modernization at the Housing and Urban Development Department. He starts at HUD March 17, said Allen, who has been CISO since July 2005.

Allen is one of several executives in USDA’s Office of the CIO to leave in the past several weeks and the last long-time Senior Executive Service career employee of that group to leave. Charles Christopherson Jr., who is CIO and chief financial officer, has characterized the situation as the result of dynamic changes at USDA and new opportunities for experienced federal executives. The department is pushing initiatives to standardize information technology and business processes from headquarters to agencies. Christopherson has brought in CIO employees from USDA’s agencies in an acting capacity. In an internal memo, he said the organization had become stagnant.

Those who have recently left USDA have led the implementation of enterprise IT initiatives not only across the department but governmentwide. Besides Allen, Jerry Williams, deputy CIO, and Chris Niedermayer, associate CIO for information and technology management, left USDA last month.

Williams became director of financial improvement at the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, and Niedermayer went to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to lead the development of governance processes for IT investments.

Earlier, Bob Suda, who was associate CIO for integration and operations, left to become acting director of the Transportation Department’s Volpe Center. Kathleen Rundle, associate CIO for operations, retired in January.

Cheryl McQueary, assistant CIO for transformation programs at USDA, also left the department to become the Research and Innovative Technology Administration’s deputy administrator March 3.

Allen said USDA had made significant progress meeting the requirements of the Federal Information Security Management Act and the Office of Management and Budget’s Circular A-123 to assure security controls in financial reporting.

“The CFO and CIO community within USDA are doing a great job collaborating on the requirements,” said Allen, adding that he had built a good working relationship with the 29 USDA agency CIOs and their security professionals. Previously, Allen also was assistant inspector general for IT at the State Department.

About the Author

Mary Mosquera is a reporter for Federal Computer Week.

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