NASA CIO Linda Cureton plans exit

Linda Cureton, NASA CIO

Linda Cureton plans to retire, but has not revealed her plans for the future. (FCW photo)

NASA CIO Linda Cureton is retiring from government, FCW has learned. Cureton, a 2011 Federal 100 winner, has held her current position since September 2009.

Cureton had alluded to her plans at the Oct. 24 GCN awards gala, where she was recognized as the Civilian IT Executive of the Year. At the time, however, she and her aides said that no firm decision had been made.

"It had always been in my plan to either retire or change jobs... after the election," Cureton told FCW when reached for comment. "Having been through transitions at the political level before, the timing to leave seemed appealing to me."

"I still feel I have something to contribute to the community," she said. "I plan to write another book to follow 'The Leadership Muse.' I have accepted no job offers, but will begin in all earnest after I finish some tasks at NASA."

A career civil servant, Cureton worked at the Departments of Energy and Justice, the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms before coming to NASA -- first as CIO of the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and then as agency-wide CIO. Her book, published in 2011, explored what makes for good leaders. An early adopter of social media, she has kept readers informed for years through her regular blog.


Cureton brings social media expertise to new NASA role

She established NASA's office of chief technology officer for IT to focus on innovation and drive change through enterprise architecture, and she created a CIO leadership team composed of herself and the CIOs at NASA's 10 centers. The goal, she told GCN in October, was to create a "single agency vision for what IT should look like."

"I started my federal career as a GS-2 student assistant cartographer," Cureton told FCW, "and I leave as the chief information officer of NASA -- so it's been a great 34 years."

"Linda brought a humanistic perspective to all she did in her CIO role at NASA and her involvement in the Federal CIO Council," said Richard Spires, CIO of the Homeland Security department. "She pushed hard on how to more effectively lead, manage, and develop people. I want to thank her for her leadership of the Architecture & Planning Committee of the CIO Council and her years of service to this government. She will certainly be missed."

This story has been updated to incorporate post-publication comments from Cureton and Richard Spires.

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