Barry West appointed DHS deputy CIO

(DHS photo by Jetta Disco / Flickr)

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The Department of Homeland Security will elevate Barry West to acting deputy CIO, FedScoop has learned.

Beginning Oct. 15, West will be appointed to a limited-term senior executive service position as senior adviser as well as the deputy CIO position, acting DHS CIO Steve Rice wrote in an email to staff obtained by FedScoop.

Prior to this appointment, West had already been serving in a senior advisory role at DHS and as senior accountable official for risk management, working to align the department with the administration’s policies around cybersecurity under then-CIO Richard Staropoli, who resigned in August after just months on the job.

As a term-limited SES appointee, he can be in the role three years or less. This type of appointment is generally “used for project-type positions or for positions established to facilitate transition between Administrations,” according to the Office of Personnel Management.

Rice didn’t give a specific length for West’s appointment as deputy CIO. Rice, the former Transportation Security Administration CIO, was hired as the principal deputy CIO at DHS but has filled in as acting CIO in Staropoli’s absence. Given the political nature of the DHS CIO role,  it seems likely that once the administration appoints its next permanent CIO, Rice would move back to the deputy role, ending West’s tenure in it.

West has a long career in federal IT, serving as CIO at a handful of different agencies: the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation, the Department of Commerce, the Federal Emergency Management Agency — a stint that aligned with Hurricane Katrina — and the National Weather Service.

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Barry West, CIO, DHS, Steve Rice