Federal 100: Charles R. Armstrong

Charles R. Armstrong
Assistant Commissioner/CIO
Office of Information and Technology
Customs and Border Protection
Homeland Security Department

It almost sounds like the plot for a comic strip: Charles Armstrong is getting a trophy for protecting us from the Canadians.

More specifically, however, he’s getting the award because he helped rebuild the communications and tracking defenses for the 5,500-mile northern border. And that, not the more publicized border with Mexico, is widely seen as the riskiest the U.S. has when it comes to terrorist activity.

That world-class detection system can automatically capture and inform DHS about potential terrorist breaches of the border in less than a minute, compared to nearly 12 hours previously. Along the way, Armstrong has also trimmed costs from CBP’s IT infrastructure, transforming the agency into a lean and tech-savvy organization.

Read more about the 2011 Federal 100 award winners.

About the Author

Brian Robinson is a freelance writer based in Portland, Ore.

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