Several people interviewed for the job, and OMB had to finalize the selection.
Roat takes over for Margie Graves, who retired from government at the start of the year.
“We’re thrilled to have Maria join OFCIO and the OMB team,” said Federal CIO Suzette Kent in the announcement. “The experience and leadership Maria brings to the role of deputy federal chief information officer will be an asset to efforts to shape a secure, modern, and data driven government.”
Previously Roat served as CIO of the Small Business Administration since October 2016, where she took on more leadership in interagency federal IT functions like the CIO Council, where she co-chairs the Innovation Committee. She also sits on the board of the Technology Modernization Fund.
Roat comes to the White House with first-hand experience with the pressures that the coronavirus pandemic has put on federal IT. SBA’s its E-Tran loan system timed out multiple times during the second round of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications in April. Earlier that month, personally identifiable information from about 8,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan applicants was potentially exposed, a fact SBA made public.
Roat’s successor at SBA is Guy Cavallo, who has been deputy CIO since late 2016.