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Cureton's temporary successor picked

Richard Keegan

Richard Keegan will become acting CIO at NASA when Linda Cureton leaves. (NASA photo)

NASA’s retiring Chief Information Officer Linda Cureton told FCW her last day will be April 3, after which she said the space agency’s associate deputy administrator, Richard Keegan, will step in as acting CIO.

Cureton said that NASA doesn’t plan to name her permanent successor for several weeks, although she plans to make her future plans public following her final day in government. When Cureton announced her retirement in February, she penciled in April 1 as her final day. She did not specify a reason for the two-day extension.

Keegan is an experienced federal executive, having begun his federal service in 1980, and worked at the Department of Energy and NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center before coming to NASA headquarters in 2002.

Keegan was appointed as NASA’s associate deputy administrator in December 2010 after serving as deputy associate administrator of the agency’s Mission Support Directorate and previously heading NASA’s Office of Program and Institutional Integration for four years.

Cureton’s legacy of innovation, strategic thinking and social media savvy will likely not be easily replaced, although several names have already been raised as possible successors. 

Gary Cox, NASA’s deputy CIO for IT reform, was expected to shoulder several of Cureton’s duties, many of which were focused on IT reform. Deborah Diaz, NASA’s deputy CIO, and Valarie Burks, deputy CIO for IT security, round out a potential list of internal candidates, though at least one industry insider told FCW that Mike Bolger, acting deputy director of NASA’s John F. Kennedy Space Center, and Larry Sweet, IT director and CIO at the Johnson Space Center, could be potential candidates for the job, too.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

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