VA's Cussatt heads to State

The former acting CIO of the Department of Veterans Affairs is joining the Department of State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research, and Dr. Neil Evans will lead tech at VA on an acting basis.

shutterstock ID 179052941 by Sorbis
 

Dominic Cussatt, the acting CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, has joined the State Department, FCW has learned.

Cussatt's new role is director of the Office of Technology and Innovation at State's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (I&R). The bureau is a component of the intelligence community.

Cussatt took over as acting CIO at VA at the start of the Biden administration. Before that, he served in a variety of senior roles at VA's Office of Information and Technology, including principal deputy CIO and chief information security officer. At VA, Cussatt was instrumental in implementing a digital transformation that including the fielding of new infrastructure that was able to support large-scale telework when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020.

This isn't Cussatt's first stint in the national security space. He served as deputy CISO in the Defense Department's CIO shop from 2009 to 2016.

Dr. Neil Evans, who heads the Office of Connected Care in the Veterans Health Administration, is taking over as agency CIO on an acting basis. Evans is best known at VA for his leadership in telehealth and has also served as interim director of the Federal Electronic Health Record Modernization program office, which supports data harmonization and interoperability as the VA and DOD implement a commercial electronic health records system.

The VA CIO post is one of a handful of top federal technology jobs that require a presidential appointment and Senate confirmation. The Biden administration has not yet nominated a candidate to serve as assistant secretary for information and technology and CIO.

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