DOD deputy CIO to lead IT at OPM

David De Vries

David De Vries, the Pentagon's number two tech official, is taking over as CIO of the Office of Personnel Management. 

David DeVries, the principal deputy CIO at the Department of Defense, is taking over as CIO of the Office of Personnel Management.

DeVries comes to OPM at a pivotal time, as the agency struggles to right itself from a devastating cyberattack, while forging stronger ties with the Defense Department. In the wake of the OPM hack which resulted in the loss of more than 22 million personnel records including highly sensitive material on security clearances, OPM was charged with building a new apparatus to conduct clearance investigations and approval. That new entity, the National Background Investigations Bureau, will have its IT architecture designed and secured by the DOD.

"As DOD and OPM continue to improve current IT systems and begin the development of the new IT services and environment to support the NBIB, [DeVries] will play a key leadership role, ensuring integration between OPM and DoD," said DOD CIO Terry Halvorsen. "Dave will have the ability to bring expertise from DoD into OPM, and ensure that DoD understands how lessons learned from the new IT can be applied within DoD and the other Federal agencies. This will be a win that improves IT information sharing across all federal Departments and agencies."

DeVries will be "at the forefront of this transition," according to an OPM release, and will be in charge of implementing OPM's cybersecurity and IT infrastructure strategy. At DOD, DeVries led the development of cloud computing standards, and played a critical role in the Joint Information Enterprise, an effort to move DOD tech to a single, secure architecture.

"I'm elated that David has decided to join our team here at OPM," said acting OPM Director Beth Cobert. "David has decades worth of the technical and management experience necessary to hit the ground running as we continue our technology transformation efforts, and work with our partners at DoD to stand up the National Background Investigations Bureau."

DeVries, a career federal official with 35 years of service including seven as a member of the Senior Executive Service, will take over for acting CIO Lisa Schlosser, who has been on detail to the personnel agency from the Office of Management and Budget. The agency has been without a permanent CIO since February 2016, when Donna Seymour stepped down amid pressure from Congress.

OPM is on track to spend $147 million on IT in FY2016, a figure set to climb to $151.6 million in FY2017. The agency is in the midst of cybersecurity overhaul, and a larger IT modernization that will enable OPM to secure all its important data. Some sensitive data, including the Social Security numbers of 4 million federal workers, is still not encrypted because the agency relies on legacy systems that are difficult to secure.

The agency is facing other challenges, including the completion of a two-factor authentication deployment, continuous monitoring for IT systems, limiting remote access, and the establishment of an IT security workforce.

About the Author

Adam Mazmanian is executive editor of FCW.

Before joining the editing team, Mazmanian was an FCW staff writer covering Congress, government-wide technology policy and the Department of Veterans Affairs. Prior to joining FCW, Mazmanian was technology correspondent for National Journal and served in a variety of editorial roles at B2B news service SmartBrief. Mazmanian has contributed reviews and articles to the Washington Post, the Washington City Paper, Newsday, New York Press, Architect Magazine and other publications.

Click here for previous articles by Mazmanian. Connect with him on Twitter at @thisismaz.


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