New DHS CIO leads with a hands-on style

Richard Staropoli, the new top tech official at the Department of Homeland Security, wants systems that can cover a lot of ground but says the search for a "100 percent solution" impedes progress.

DHS logo
 

The Department of Homeland Security isn't looking for one-size-fits-all IT, said its new CIO, but rather technology that can address common and specific needs across its sprawling family of component agencies, according to the DHS' new CIO.

Richard Staropoli said his eight years of experience as a New York City hedge fund chief information security officer will help him sort through the fast-paced, diverse IT needs for his agency. He said he won't search for overarching, agencywide solutions that could bog down everyday operations, however.

"Most hedge fund managers stay in their high-pressure, fast-paced jobs for only a year to a year-and-a-half. I stayed for eight years," said Staropoli in remarks on a panel at the ACT-IAC acquisition conference on June 13. "I really enjoy the pace. I enjoy getting into the weeds and minutia of solving problems, addressing an issue and them moving on to the next issue," he said.

Staropoli has only been on the job since late April after being tapped by President Donald Trump to replace former CIO Luke McCormack.

Staropoli had been managing director, CISO and head of counter-party risk at the New York City-based Fortress Investment Group. However, he's no stranger to DHS' operations. Before Fortress, he served in the U.S. Secret Service's  Presidential Protective Division, the agency's hostage rescue unit and as the chief of polygraph operations.

Moving quickly to solve problems requires a level-headed, common-sense approach, built on "common business-sense applications," he said, as well using solutions that work and applying them effectively.

Staropoli said DHS "will no longer go after the 100 percent solution" for its 22 component agencies' IT needs. Those 100 percent solutions, he said, won't work inside DHS' diverse, complex environment.

An IT system or capability that works for the Coast Guard, might not be as effective for the agency's inspector general, according to Staropoli. "If you try to find a solution that does all those things, you won't get moving" on anything, he said.

"We will look for the 80 percent solution. What solution will have the biggest impact for 80 percent" of the agency, he said. Through consultation and "conversation," Staropoli said the remaining 20 percent can be narrowed down, addressed and "filled in."

Staropoli said he does not like working through email and text.

"They're the two most overused things along with Powerpoint," he said. He prefers hashing out details face-to-face or "old-school, pick-up-the-phone" conversations to get things done.

Staropli has also taken the agency's chief financial officer and chief procurement officers on "field trips" to actually see what they have purchased to help the agency do its job. So far, he said he has taken the CFO and CPO to visit the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Mt. Weather civil emergency command facility and DHS' data center in Virginia.

"They need to see what they're buying," he said.

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.