People

Richard Spires resigns

Richard Spires

Richard Spires resigned as DHS CIO on May 7.

Richard Spires, who had been on leave for nearly two months, resigned his position as Department of Homeland Security Chief Information Officer on May 7.

In an e-mail sent to various DHS officials and shared with FCW by a source within DHS, Spires wrote:

“Today I have resigned from the Department of Homeland Security. It has been a privilege to work with such a stellar group of public servants to support such important missions. I have served as the Department’s CIO for more than 3 1/2 years, and I take pride in working with you to have IT more effectively support the Homeland Security missions and business as we also have worked to more efficiently deliver our services. I have learned much from you and I will miss you.”

A DHS official, speaking on background, told FCW that the department had accepted Spires resignation, and that Deputy CIO Margie Graves continues to serve as the acting CIO.

Spires' leave was paid, and his last day receiving government pay will be May 17.

Rumors have swirled since news of Spires' leave broke on April 1, ultimately leading House Homeland Security Committee Ranking Member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss) to send DHS a formal inquiry asking the department to provide an explanation for Spires "being placed on either voluntary or non-voluntary leave on March 15."

The inquiry, which also asked DHS to provide Graves' job history, instructed DHS to respond by May 6, but DHS did not meet that deadline, according to a House Homeland Security Committee official.

DHS has officially maintained that Spires went on elected leave beginning March 15, yet several sources have told FCW Spires' leave was not of his choosing, and may have been precipitated by fundamental disagreements over CIO's authority over department-wide budgeting and purchasing of commodity IT.

Spires was also vice-chairman of the federal CIO Council, but requests for comment to the Office of Management and Budget regarding how that position will be filled were not returned.

About the Author

Frank Konkel is a former staff writer for FCW.

Featured

  • Defense
    Soldiers from the Old Guard test the second iteration of the Integrated Visual Augmentation System (IVAS) capability set during an exercise at Fort Belvoir, VA in Fall 2019. Photo by Courtney Bacon

    IVAS and the future of defense acquisition

    The Army’s Integrated Visual Augmentation System has been in the works for years, but the potentially multibillion deal could mark a paradigm shift in how the Defense Department buys and leverages technology.

  • Cybersecurity
    Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas  (U.S. Coast Guard photo by Petty Officer 3rd Class Lora Ratliff)

    Mayorkas announces cyber 'sprints' on ransomware, ICS, workforce

    The Homeland Security secretary announced a series of focused efforts to address issues around ransomware, critical infrastructure and the agency's workforce that will all be launched in the coming weeks.

Stay Connected