Immigration agency widens tech exec search

Shutterstock image (by everything possible): Businessman choosing an individual over time.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services needs to fill two newly announced IT positions, and officials are looking for candidates in the Washington area and West Coast IT havens such as the San Francisco Bay area, according to the agency's top IT official.

Given their increasing reliance on iterative design and technology development, USCIS officials decided they wanted two deputy IT managers to oversee transformational efforts and everyday IT operations.

In an interview with FCW, CIO Mark Schwartz said the positions require people with a go-getter personality and some technical know-how. Since posting the openings on on Feb. 1, the agency has also posted ads in such diverse places as Craigslist's San Francisco site and LinkedIn and is spreading the word among its technology contacts, he added.

The deputy CIO position requires someone "who can make things happen" and remove obstacles to the IT department's day-to-day activities, he said, while the chief technology officer will need a detailed grasp of new technology and trends and an ability to communicate those developments to others.

Schwartz said he is aware that high-tech IT candidates are in hot demand from industry as well as other government agencies. However, he added that the government's main draw for idealistic, talented IT workers is the opportunity to make a difference.

Furthermore, immigration is a hot topic among presidential candidates, and USCIS' important role in the country's immigration efforts might make it even more appealing to certain IT professionals.

Schwartz said he is seeking flexibility in the lengthy federal hiring process and has consulted with the General Services Administration's 18F and U.S. Digital Service on how USCIS might speed the onboarding process once officials are ready to hire.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.


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