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Karen Evans to be next DHS CIO

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The Trump administration intends to appoint veteran federal IT executive Karen Evans as the CIO of the Department of Homeland Security, FCW has confirmed.

Evans is currently slated to start on Monday, June 1, according to a DHS source familiar with the matter. She will replace John Zangardi, who left in late last year to take a position with tech contractor Leidos. Beth Capello, who has served as acting CIO the past seven months, will return to her deputy CIO position.

Federal News Network first reported on Evans' pending selection.

Evans comes to DHS with a distinguished career in federal IT. She served as former e-government administrator – a precursor to the Federal CIO position -- under President George W. Bush. In 2018 she was named to head the Department of Energy's then-new Office of Cybersecurity, Energy, Security and Emergency Response at a time when policymakers expressed heightened concerns about the digital security of the nation’s electric grid and other critical energy infrastructure. The office was designed specifically to elevate the issue at Energy and coincided with a parallel push at DHS and other agencies to provide more cybersecurity support to critical infrastructure. Evans stepped down from that post in February.

Evans was also FCW's Government Eagle award winner in 2004.

At DHS, Evans will take over a CIO shop that has seen a number of key departures over the past year, including Donna Roy, executive director for the office of information sharing. The office has focused much of its energy over the past year overhauling its cloud infrastructure while consolidating apps and systems within its two main data centers in Mississippi and Virginia.

DHS has a $7.1 billion IT budget for fiscal year 2020. The CIO is responsible for headquarters IT and also has some role in managing the IT budgets and plans for large agency components.

About the Author

Derek B. Johnson is a former senior staff writer at FCW.

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