News in Brief

Commerce launches data start-up, SEA names interim leader and more

Commerce rolls out new Data Service

The Commerce Department has announced the creation of a "start-up within government" dubbed the Commerce Data Service.

Aimed at standardizing and streamlining data flows among Commerce's bureaus, other parts of government and the private sector, the service will be led by new hire and Deputy Chief Data Officer Tyrone Grandison. He previously served as a Presidential Innovation Fellow at the Labor Department.

The service will have plenty to handle. Some of Commerce's bureaus include data juggernauts such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Economic Analysis and the Census Bureau. Commerce is recruiting front-end developers, back-end engineers and data scientists.

OPM's CISO will combine two jobs

The Office of Personnel Management is taking applications for chief information security officer through Nov. 19.

The CISO will centralize cybersecurity operation in one role; the activities used to be split between the directors of OPM's Security Operations Center and IT security policy, an OPM spokesperson said. The new CISO will oversee Jeff Wagner, director of the Security Operations Center, and the director of IT security policy, a position that has been vacant since Andy Newton left in May. OPM's spokesperson declined to say when that position might be filled.

OPM's search for a CISO comes on the heels of the hiring of Clifton Triplett from the private sector to serve as special adviser on cybersecurity and IT issues to Acting Director Beth Cobert, who was just nominated to serve as OPM's leader on a permanent basis.

The pay range for the CISO job is $121,956 to $168,700.

New interim chief for senior execs

The Senior Executives Association named former board member and seasoned human resource manager Tim Dirks as interim president as it continues to look for its next permanent president.

SEA said Dirks has extensive experience in HR management at federal agencies, including as a senior manager at the Smithsonian Institution, the Office of Personnel Management, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

He retired from the federal government in 2002 after over 32 years of service, with the last 10 at the Energy Department as HR management director.

After retiring, Dirks worked in various HR and management consultant roles at GRA, the Partnership for Public Service and the National Academy of Public Administration. From 2007 to 2013, he served as a part-time instructor in the master's in human resources program at Catholic University, teaching courses focused on federal HR management.

FAA drone panel homes in on recommendations

The public/private drone registration task force created by the Federal Aviation Administration has completed its meetings and plans to submit recommendations to the FAA by Nov. 20.

In mid-October, the FAA and the Transportation Department tasked the UAS Registration Task Force with reaching consensus on processes to register privately owned drones in advance of a web-based portal that is scheduled to be up and running by Christmas.

In a Nov. 5 statement, FAA officials said the task force had completed its final day of meetings. Members were only officially named on Oct. 29, but since then, the group has discussed how an operator might prove that a UAS is registered, how such aircraft should be marked and how to use the registration process to educate operators on basic safety rules.

The FAA said the group continues to gather and analyze data about which drones should be registered. The task force's members include representatives from drone manufacturers, big retailers Amazon and Walmart, and model aircraft associations.

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