Steve Cooper's coming back to government as Commerce CIO

Wednesday - 6/11/2014, 6:15pm EDT

Steve Cooper can't stay away from government service.

The former Homeland Security Department and Federal Aviation Administration chief information officer is coming back for a third tour of duty as the Commerce Department CIO.

Commerce sources confirmed that Cooper will be named the new CIO and more details will be available next week.

The Washington Business Journal first reported Commerce's decision to hire Cooper.

Cooper currently is a principal at Deep Water Point consulting, a guest lecturer at the National Defense University's iCollege and a partner with the Strativest Group, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Simon Szykman, the current Commerce CIO, announced in February that he intended to leave government after seven years, including the last four at the Commerce headquarters CIO.

It's still unclear where Szykman is heading in the private sector. He will stay on in an advisory role to help Cooper transition into Commerce.

Cooper was CIO at the FAA's Air Traffic Organization for more than two years before spending just over a year as the FAA's acting CIO and deputy CIO. Cooper left government in January 2013, taking a buyout from the agency.

Tina Amereihn has been the FAA's CIO since May 2012.

In addition to his time at the FAA, Cooper was the first DHS CIO from 2003 to 2005 and worked for the White House as a special assistant to the President for Homeland Security in 2002.

At Commerce, Cooper inherits a federated agency where the budget power lies with the bureaus, specifically Census and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Commerce's IT budget is about $1.89 billion, and has a request of more than $1.99 billion for 2015, a 5.3 percent increase.

According to the IT Dashboard, Commerce lists 32 major investments worth $1.3 billion, of which 17 are rated as green by the CIO, 13 are yellow and two are red.

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