The tide of criticism of the Trump administration for failure to appoint a Federal CIO, and moving slowly to make acting agency CIOs permanent, seems to be turning. On the heels of naming Suzette Kent as the new Federal CIO, the Department of Agriculture (USDA) announced that acting CIO, Gary Washington, will become the permanent CIO. Washington has served in acting capacity since September of 2017.
Washington has firm roots in both the Federal IT and USDA spheres–he most recently served as CIO for two of the agencies within USDA. Before that, Washington managed a chunk of the E-gov portfolio at the Office of Management and Budget.
Starting his career in government, Washington served 10 years with the Air Force as a computer operator.
As acting USDA CIO, Washington launched a partnership with the Office of American Innovation to help transform USDA’s IT program. So far, the collaboration has produced a new electronic data platform and a website for USDA users.
Here’s hoping other acting CIOs germinate in their agencies soon. The next FITARA grades come out in May.