U.S. Homeland Security CIO Resigns - InformationWeek

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Government // Leadership

U.S. Homeland Security CIO Resigns

Richard Spires, head of the Department of Homeland Security's IT operations, stepped down from his position on May 7.

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Richard Spires, one of the most visible and active IT leaders in the federal government, has resigned his position as chief information officer of the Department of Homeland Security.

A DHS official confirmed that the department has accepted Spires' resignation as the department's CIO, and that Margie Graves continues to serve as the acting CIO. Graves has been substituting as CIO since Spires went on personal leave in mid-March for unspecified reasons. According to a DHS official, the leave was unrelated to Congressional testimony Spires delivered in February or was scheduled to give in March.

On May 7, Spires reportedly sent an email to his colleagues at DHS, saying: "Today I have resigned from the Department of Homeland Security. It has been a privilege to work with such a stellar group of public servants to support such important missions. I have served as the Department's CIO for more than 3 1/2 years, and I take pride in working with you to have IT more effectively support the Homeland Security missions and business as we also have worked to more efficiently deliver our services. I have learned much from you and I will miss you."

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As CIO for the past three-and-a-half years, Spires oversaw DHS's transition to an enterprise-wide IT strategy that provided a common set of services to the department's 22 different component organizations. Over the past few years, DHS has consolidated its data centers and rolled out a dozen cloud services -- including email as a service and business intelligence as a service -- to its business units.

In his high-profile role at DHS, Spires also managed one of the largest agency IT budgets in federal government, while serving as vice chairman of the federal CIO Council and as project leader for the Federal Data Center Consolidation Initiative. He was responsible for the department's $6.4 billion investment in information technology.

Prior to joining DHS, Spires was CIO and later deputy commissioner for operations support at the Internal Revenue Service between 2004 and 2008. Spires also served as associate CIO for applications development at IRS, overseeing the agency’s Business Systems Modernization program.

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User Rank: Apprentice
6/5/2013 | 3:30:17 PM
re: U.S. Homeland Security CIO Resigns
It appears that he
was a very successful CIO, why did he retire? Also did he mention or get
interviewed as to what he will be doing? Is he going to stay in the IT industry
or relax and enjoy retirement? Is the new CIO expected to stay up to par with

Paul Sprague

InformationWeek Contributor
Andrew Hornback
Andrew Hornback,
User Rank: Apprentice
5/12/2013 | 1:12:58 AM
re: U.S. Homeland Security CIO Resigns
Actually, yes... yes you do. Government bureaucracies don't communicate or work well together until someone who controls their collective budgets asks them to play nicely together.
User Rank: Ninja
5/8/2013 | 5:41:27 PM
re: U.S. Homeland Security CIO Resigns
The DOHLS is a complete waste of tax payers money. What does the DOHLS do that the FBI and CIA can't? Do we really need another government agency to get the FBI, CIA, NSA and the coast guard to cooperate?
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