NASA CTO Deborah Diaz to retire in September

Deborah Diaz, NASA CTO for IT

Deborah Diaz is leaving the government after a long career as a federal IT leader.

Deborah Diaz, NASA's CTO for IT, will leave the government in September, she announced on Aug. 2.

A three-time Federal 100 winner, Diaz has held a wide range of IT leadership posts across the government, including stints at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the Department of Homeland Security, the General Services Administration and the U.S. Agency for International Development.

She was part of the team tasked with creating DHS after the passage of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 and was the first CIO of DHS' Science and Technology Directorate.

In a previous position at GSA, she was instrumental in the creation of -- the federal government's first online portal for citizen services.

At NASA, where Diaz has served since 2009, she managed a massive IT infrastructure consolidation program and helped create the International Space Apps Challenge hackathon and NASA's Datanauts program, among many other initiatives.

Diaz's retirement, NASA CIO Renee Wynn told FCW, "is a bittersweet moment. We are sad to see Deborah retire and we are delighted for her to be reaching this phase in her life." 

In addition to the Space Apps Challenge and Datanauts program, Wynn noted, Diaz "built and strengthened the technology infusion program, introduced data science ... and built a strong CTO community across NASA." She also praised Diaz's work to mentor women in tech, and her efforts with promote industry-government partnerships through organizations like ACT/IAC, AFFIRM and AFCEA.

Diaz' final day at NASA will be Sept. 30. She said she was still weighing options for "the next technology innovation opportunity" she would pursue.

Note: This article was updated on Aug. 2 to add comments from NASA CIO Renee Wynn.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is editor-in-chief of FCW and GCN, as well as General Manager of Public Sector 360.

Prior to joining 1105 Media in 2012, Schneider was the New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company. The founding editor of, Schneider also helped launch the political site in the mid-1990s, and worked on the earliest online efforts of the Los Angeles Times and Newsday. He began his career in print journalism, and has written for a wide range of publications, including The New York Times,, Slate, Politico, National Journal, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

Schneider is a graduate of Indiana University, where his emphases were journalism, business and religious studies.

Click here for previous articles by Schneider, or connect with him on Twitter: @troyschneider.


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