New federal CIO, CISO on tap
- By Mark Rockwell
- Sep 29, 2020
The White House is planning to name two officials to senior tech posts with a possible change of administration looming.
FCW has confirmed that Trump administration intends to appoint Basil Parker as the federal CIO and Camilo Sandoval as the federal chief information security officer.
The news was first reported last Friday by Meritalk.
Parker, currently chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management, would take over the job vacated by Suzette Kent in July. Deputy CIO Maria Roat has been leading the IT policy shop since Kent's departure.
Parker's background includes working as a computer scientist at the Defense Information Systems Agency in the 1990s as well as cybersecurity positions at private sector companies and consultancies, including Technica Corp. OPM plucked Parker from Technica in 2018 to become senior advisor for governmentwide IT and cyber workforce development.
Sandoval has been senior advisor in the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) federal CIO office since June. Sandoval also had a rocky tenure as acting CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where Democratic lawmakers sought his ouster because of ties to Cambridge Analytica and harassment accusations brought by a colleague on the Trump campaign.
It's not clear why the appointments are taking place so late in the presidential term with the election looming, especially with a government that has left acting officials in top jobs for long periods of time.
Some sources FCW spoke with, who asked not to be named, wondered why the appointments were necessary, with a very capable deputy CIO already in place.
The seemingly rushed nature of the planned appointments, they said, could mean they're not top notch candidates.
"This administration has run through the 'A' team players and might be into the 'C' team," said one.
"It seems too rapid fire," said another.
One former federal agency CIO told FCW that "trust is even more important than resume for this administration. That tells you that these individuals are trusted by folks in the White House."
Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.
Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, tele.com magazine and Wireless Week.
Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.
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