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Another DIA departure: Gus Taveras resigns as CTO

Exit Sign

Gus Taveras is stepping down as the Defense Intelligence Agency's chief technology officer, the third high-level departure from the Pentagon's spy agency revealed in recent weeks. Taveras, who has been CTO since December 2012, confirmed the news in an Aug. 19 email to FCW.

His last day will be Aug. 22. 

Taveras said in a note posted to his LinkedIn page that he was leaving government to work for industry, without specifying where. He reflected on the intelligence community's move toward a single, standards-based IT architecture, known as ICITE. Investments in ICITE "are the building blocks for accelerating information sharing, adoption and efficiencies – all original pillars of the [director of national intelligence's] unified vision," Taveras wrote.

Prior to serving as DIA CTO, Taveras was a technical adviser to the DOD CIO and Army G2, among other positions in a career that began in 1987 as an infantryman in the Marine Corps. 

Taveras' resignation further empties DIA's leadership roster. Less than two weeks ago, David Shedd replaced Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as DIA director on an interim basis. The Washington Post reported in April that Flynn had been asked by Director of National Intelligence James Clapper Jr. to step down before his tenure was up in the wake of numerous classified leaks.

The agency is also in search of a CIO to succeed Grant Schneider, a career employee who had held the job since 2007 and is on the way out the door.

A DIA spokesman said recently that there is no timeline for naming a permanent DIA director.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Aug 19, 2014 at 9:26 AM

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Reader comments

Sat, Aug 23, 2014

Gus was a temporary employee brought in by Flynn to try and change a culture that is suffering from significant rigor mortis. Unfortunately, Gus is more of a technician than a leader and he further alienated an already dysfunctional group within the IT organization. His departure came at the request of the new acting Director and was executed by Grant Schneider, who himself is on his way out the door. The straw that broke the camel's back came when Gus hosted an industry day recently and it was a disaster, leaving nearly all of the attendee's frustrated. It was only a matter of time.

Fri, Aug 22, 2014

In an effort to save money DoD and the IC is hell bent on not purchasing and using commercial software. Instead they are throwing bodies at building platforms and architectures from the ground up rather than assembling and integrating COTS like the rest of the same world (with a rare exception such as Google, Twitter, Yahoo, etc). It's not working. Too slow, quality is lacking, and in the end costing more. Worse, nothing to show for it. That's just not the Business they're in. Gus jumped on that bandwagon and this is the result. Unfortunately I don't think he was fired for the right reasons so I expect this bad behavior to continue. I'm sorry DIA is not Google nor should they try to be.

Wed, Aug 20, 2014 John weiler IT Acquisition Advisory Council

Gus, like his mentor, General Flynn, was willing to break a little glass in an effort to make DIA's IT and Acquisition community more responsive to the needs of mission commanders. With IT program failure rates and cost overruns rising (DCGS, Red Disk, AF ECSS), it is clear that DOD needs access to alternative sources of expertise and agile acquisition methods that can keep pace with the fast paced IT market. More importantly, DOD needs to start holding their "trusted advisers" who guided many of these program failures, including Healthcare.gov.

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