NASA CIO Renee Wynn to retire in March

Renee Wynn speaks May 22, 2018, at the Security Through Innovation Summit presented by McAfee and produced by FedScoop and CyberScoop. (FedScoop)

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NASA CIO Renee Wynn announced Tuesday that she will retire from government after 30 years of service.

Wynn’s last day in her role will be March 31, an agency spokesperson confirmed. She announced her departure in an email to NASA staff.

One of the longest-serving CIOs in the federal government, Wynn joined NASA in July 2015 as deputy CIO and was promoted to CIO that September. Prior to that, she spent 25 years at the Environmental Protection Agency in several roles including CIO and deputy CIO.

In recent years, Wynn has focused her efforts on IT modernization, cyberscurity and tech acquisition reform, among other things. For instance, NASA was struggling to comply with the tenets of the Federal IT Acquisitions Reform Act, but Wynn was able to right the course for the agency. Since 2016, as CIO she brought the agency from an “F” grade on the biennial FITARA Scorecard to a “C+.”

As an example of her IT management style, she described during a congressional hearing how in the summer of 2016 she took an unprecedented step of refusing to sign off on a security authorization for a major agency IT system — the Agency Consolidated End-user Services or ACES — until the contractor resolved the discrepancies in reporting figures about endpoint device numbers and patching schedules that had given her pause.

“It did turn some heads,” she said, adding, “I would do it again … We didn’t have enough data to make a risk-determination decision about whether to sign the ATO.”

Jeff Seaton, NASA’s deputy CIO, will likely fill Wynn’s vacancy in an acting capacity if the agency does not hire a replacement before she leaves in March.

Wynn received multiple FedScoop 50 awards and was honored as part of the 2018 Top Women in Tech list.

Federal News Radio first reported the news of Wynn’s departure.

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Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Renee Wynn
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