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FCW : August 30, 2015
of supercomputer processing power is the goal of the newly created National Strategic Computing Initiative 1 exaflop August 30, 2015 FCW.COM 11 Stephen Warren, the senior execu- tive who led IT at the Department of Veterans Affairs over a rocky period, left VA on Aug. 28 to take the CIO post at the Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. As deputy CIO, Warren ran VA’s $4 billion IT department for almost two- and-a -half years on an acting basis. His exit came just after LaVerne Council, a former top private-sector CIO, took the reins at VA’s Office of Information and Technology. Warren had been closely identi- fied with VA’s cybersecurity efforts and briefed reporters monthly on the threats identified and thwarted by the use of the Einstein 3 network defense provided by the Department of Homeland Security. Warren, an Air Force veteran, worked at VA for more than seven years. He told FCW that the death of his brother in Iraq led him to the department. He became acting CIO at VA after the departure of Roger Baker in March 2013. Warren’s time at VA was marked by run-ins with Congress and criticism over IT security. For more than four years, information security has been identified as a material weakness by VA’s Office of Inspector General. In June 2013, only a few months after Warren took over as acting CIO, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Security Jerry Davis revealed that nation-state-sponsored cyberattackers had penetrated VA net- works, which put personal data on 20 million veterans at risk. However, VA’s use of the Einstein system has thwarted millions of pen- etration attempts, and after years of wrangling, VA has reported 100 per- cent success in encrypting laptops and desktops connected to the VA network. “Even with these successes there are areas where we need to continue to up our game,” Warren told FCW. “Technology continues to change, ser- vices to veterans continue to increase and improve, [and] the threat to our data never diminishes.” At Treasury, Warren will lead a department responsible for a $106 mil- lion IT budget, according to the feder- al IT Dashboard. He is taking over the CIO post left vacant by Edward Dor- ris, who now leads IT at the National Credit Union Administration. Another top IT official has depart- ed the executive ranks at VA. Stan Lowe, the agency’s chief information security officer, retired from federal service on Aug. 22. He had served at VA for 25 years. Lowe led IT security when VA was trying to restore its reputation after several key incidents involving lost or compromised data, failing grades on information security from VA’s inspec- tor general and attacks from nation- state-sponsored hackers. VA activated the Einstein 3 network-defense sys- tem on Lowe’s watch, and he presided over efforts to encrypt 100 percent of the desktops and laptops connected to VA networks. “Our workforce has done an out- standing job in the face of signifi- cant adversity,” Lowe wrote in an email message to colleagues that was obtained by FCW. “In two-and-a-half years, we have made more strides toward improving VA’s information security posture than ever before.” Glenn Gerstell, the new gener- al counsel at the National Security Agency, has worked on cybersecurity issues for the District of Columbia and DHS’ National Infrastructure Advisory Council. For the past two-and-a -half years, he served as a commissioner on the D.C. Homeland Security Commis- sion, and he spent nearly 40 years at law firm Milbank, Tweed, Hadley and McCloy. Zalmai Azmi is now president and chief operating officer at IT consulting firm IMTAS. A native of Afghanistan who served as the FBI’s CIO from 2004 to 2008 and led the bureau through an IT transformation, Azmi said he is pleased and excited about his new role. He has also served as CEO of Nexus Solutions, a senior vice presi- dent at CACI and CIO at the Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys. Jason Matheny is the new director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity. He previously served as director of IARPA’s Office for Antic- ipating Surprise, which develops new forecasting capability for national security threats, and worked at the Office of Incisive Analysis, an analyt- ics shop that works with old and new datasets. In addition, Matheny has held positions at Oxford University, the World Bank and the Applied Physics Laboratory at Johns Hopkins Univer- sity, where he earned a doctorate in applied economics. He also co-found- ed two biotechnology firms. — FCW staff FCW Insider: People on the move Clockwise from top left: Stephen Warren, LaVerne Council, Zalmai Azmi and Jason Matheny. 0830fcw_003-011.indd 11 8/12/15 9:10 AM
August 15, 2015
September 15, 2015