GSA CISO Kurt Garbars retires

The GSA building in Washington, D.C. (Tajha Chappellet-Lanier / FedScoop)

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The General Services Administration’s top cybersecurity official is headed for the vineyard.

Kurt Garbars said in a LinkedIn post that he officially retired on June 30 and was leaving federal service to pursue his master’s degree in “viticulture and oenology” at the University of Adelaide in Australia.

“I will finally be putting my chemical engineering degree to use – lol,” he said in the post. “I look forward to staying connected with both my security colleagues and my wine colleagues as I shift into new adventures.”

GSA officials confirmed Monday that Bo Berlas had assumed the role of acting CISO. Berlas had previously served as the agency’s director of security since 2013, according to his LinkedIn profile, and was also a senior IT security specialist for 11 years.

Garbars has been at GSA since 2000 and helped craft the Lightweight Authority-to-Operate policy to streamline the process for cloud service providers to offer solutions to agencies with low- and moderate-impact systems.

During his tenure at GSA, Garbars also helmed the CIO Council’s Federal Cloud Computing Advisory Council (CCAC) Security Working Group as a forerunner to the government’s cloud adoption policies.

He also served as an information systems security officer in the Department of Defense prior to joining GSA.

In the post, Garbars expressed his gratitude for his 30 years of service to the federal government.

“It has been an honor and a privilege to support DoD and GSA in cybersecurity and electronics engineering,” he said. “I look forward to staying connected with both my security colleagues and my wine colleagues as I shift into new adventures.”

The move comes at a time when the federal government is honing its focus on both IT and cybersecurity modernization as well as recruiting more technology professionals to help progress those efforts.

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ATO, CISO, General Services Administration (GSA), Kurt Garbars
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