Chris Smith led USDA to new heights

Chris Smith, who has been CIO of the Agriculture Department for less than four years, oversaw one of the largest cloud migrations in government to date.

When the nation’s food and agriculture inspectors need to research and search through archived e-mails in future years, they will have Chief Information Officer Chris Smith to thank for one of the most robust e-discovery capabilities in the federal government.

Smith, who has been CIO of the USDA since December 2008 and who announced his retirement to co-workers on March 8 according to sources and published reports, led the transfer of email for 120,000 departmental employees to the cloud last year.

It is one of the largest federal migrations to cloud computing to date and the latest example of technology innovations that Smith brought to the CIO job. For his leadership on the cloud, Smith was selected as a Federal 100 honoree in 2012, his second time as an awardee.

He also received a Federal 100 award in 2011 for leading the USA through the civilian government’s first test of the Einstein 3 technology that's designed to help detect and respond to cyberattacks. That effort required collaborating with the Homeland Security Department, the National Security Agency and USDA’s Networx service provider.

Smith helped to ease privacy concerns and get the system running to monitor email traffic coming in and out of government networks. Although much of the cybersecurity work is classified, he gets credit for making the Einstein test a success and providing a model for other agencies.

Smith also received attention in 2010 for building a security operations center for the department. Working with agencies such as the FBI, National Security Agency and US-CERT, he built a business case for the center, based on a need for near-real-time situational awareness. The Agriculture Security Operations Center received $5 million in funding for fiscal 2010.

Smith’s influence extended beyond the department in several collaborations. In 2011, he became co-chair of the Best Practices Committee for the Federal CIO Council, where he was instrumental in advancing work on the administration’s 25-point plan for IT project accountability and performance. He also led development of a best practices Web portal on which agencies could collaborate.

In 2011, Smith was the government chair of the American Council for Technology/Industry Advisory Council’s Executive Leadership Conference.

At USDA, Smith has been responsible for all IT investments, operations and management. His portfolio includes IT architecture, cybersecurity, networks, data centers, international IT services and innovations.

Smith previously served as the USDA’s associate CIO for integration and operations, in charge of the National IT Center, Telecommunications Services and Operations and International Technology Services.

He also was the USDA’s CIO for Rural Development, were he supported a portfolio of $96 billion in active grants and loans.

Smith also previously worked at the General Services Administration as IT director to the Chief Financial Officer.

Born and raised in northern Virginia, Smith received his bachelor’s degree and master’s of public administration degree from the U. of South Florida. He also holds a master’s degree in Management information systems from George Washington U. Smith is a Reserve Air Force Communications Officer who is married, with two children.

As of late March 9, USDA officials had not confirmed reports of Smith's plan to leave.

NEXT STORY: Todd Park to be US CTO

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.