Acting DOD tech chief tapped for DHS CIO post

Dr. John Zangardi, principal deputy CIO, Department of Defense 

John Zangardi, currently acting DOD CIO, is President Trump's new pick to lead tech at the Department of Homeland Security.

John Zangardi, currently the acting CIO of the Department of Defense, has been named by President Donald Trump to lead tech at the Department of Homeland Security.

The post was most recently held by Richard Staropoli, a friend of Trump's elder sons and a chief information security officer at a New York City hedge fund. Staropoli resigned in August after only three months on the job. Stephen Rice, DHS deputy CIO, had been holding down the top job on an acting basis.

In Zangardi, DHS gets an experienced government hand.  In addition to leading the DOD CIO operation on an acting basis, Zangardi has served as principal deputy DOD CIO and Navy Department CIO. Zangardi also served on active duty as a Navy flight officer.

Zangardi moved from the Navy to the DOD principal deputy CIO post a little over a year ago when Dave DeVries left the Pentagon to go to lead tech at the Office of Personnel Management.

DHS is budgeted to spend $6.8 billion on IT in fiscal year 2018, across its large components and headquarters. The agency is in the midst of several challenging modernization projects, including unifying immigration data systems across several components, standing up its new headquarters  on the St. Elizabeths Campus in southeast Washington, DC., as well as an enterprisewide effort to manage software licensing more efficiently and improve human resources.

The DHS CIO job is a presidential appointment, but it does not require Senate confirmation.

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.


  • Defense
    Ryan D. McCarthy being sworn in as Army Secretary Oct. 10, 2019. (Photo credit: Sgt. Dana Clarke/U.S. Army)

    Army wants to spend nearly $1B on cloud, data by 2025

    Army Secretary Ryan McCarthy said lack of funding or a potential delay in the JEDI cloud bid "strikes to the heart of our concern."

  • Congress
    Rep. Jim Langevin (D-R.I.) at the Hack the Capitol conference Sept. 20, 2018

    Jim Langevin's view from the Hill

    As chairman of of the Intelligence and Emerging Threats and Capabilities subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committe and a member of the House Homeland Security Committee, Rhode Island Democrat Jim Langevin is one of the most influential voices on cybersecurity in Congress.

Stay Connected


Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.