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HHS picks Arrieta as new CIO

Jose Arrieta, associate deputy assistant secretary for the HHS Division of Acquisition

After nearly nine months of interim tech leadership, the Department of Health and Human Services has a new permanent CIO.

Jose Arrieta, who has been the agency's associate deputy assistant secretary for acquisition since January 2018, has accepted the CIO job. The change was announced at AFFIRM's May 23 Leadership Awards event. Arrieta confirmed his new job to FCW that evening.

Arrieta has been one of government's strongest advocates for blockchain, and won a 2019 Federal 100 Award for his leadership on HHS' Accelerate project -- the first distributed-ledger-powered system to receive an authority to operate. He has also been critical at times of the ways centralized IT authority can hinder innovation in an agency, but told FCW he was excited to show that CIOs can also be a catalyst for those efforts.

"Give HHS credit," Arrieta said. "They want change, and they want to be the leader in health IT innovation." Blockchain, and improved data exchange more broadly, are essential to that innovation, he said. And while the Accelerate project's focus is limited to procurement, HHS has data and systems that impact every American. "I couldn't say no to that," he added.

HHS Chief Technology Officer Ed Simcox has been the acting CIO since Beth Killoran was moved out of the job in August of 2018. Killoran is now the General Services Administration's deputy CIO.

About the Author

Troy K. Schneider is the Editor-in-Chief of both FCW and GCN, two of the oldest and most influential publications in public-sector IT. Both publications (originally known as Federal Computer Week and Government Computer News, respectively) are owned by GovExec. Mr. Schneider also serves GovExec's General Manager for Government Technology Brands.

Mr. Schneider previously served as New America Foundation’s Director of Media & Technology, and before that was Managing Director for Electronic Publishing at the Atlantic Media Company, where he oversaw the online operations of The Atlantic Monthly, National Journal, The Hotline and The Almanac of American Politics, among other publications. The founding editor of NationalJournal.com, Mr. Schneider also helped launch the political site PoliticsNow.com 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, WashingtonPost.com, Slate, Politico, Governing, and many of the other titles listed above.

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

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