HUD CIO Jerry Williams takes new job at Education

Friday - 4/19/2013, 9:43am EDT

Jerry Williams, the chief information officer at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has taken a new job.

Industry and government sources confirm Williams will become the chief information officer at the Education Department's Federal Student Aid office.

Sources say his last day at HUD is April 26. He will start at the FSA May 5.

Williams will become the second senior technology executive to leave HUD in the past month.

Jerry Williams, chief information officer, HUD

Sources also say Patsy Garnett, HUD's acting deputy CIO for IT and business modernization and chief of IT modernization, is leaving to work at the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for CIO Darren Ash. Sources were unsure of Garnett's exact title.

An email to HUD seeking comment on Williams' departure and who will be acting was not immediately returned.

Kevin Cooke is the deputy CIO at HUD.

Education FSA will be Williams' seventh agency where he is in a senior technology position, and second as a non-acting CIO. Along with HUD, he worked at the departments of Agriculture and Interior, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the Office of Management and Budget.

At Federal Student Aid, Williams will be able to put both his financial management and technology skills to work. Williams ran the financial systems branch at OMB and led the internal control assessment, financial management, pre- and post-audit activities, and financial system implementation at ODNI.

With the departures of Williams and Garnett, HUD's IT management office will see major changes after what many in industry saw as significant progress in improving IT management. According to the IT Dashboard, 74 percent of HUD's 31 major IT investments are hitting their project cost goals and 65 percent are hitting their schedule goals. The 31 investments are worth approximately $72 million.

Williams has been at HUD since July 2009 and has overseen major improvements in several mission-critical areas. For example, Williams led an effort to better manage IT projects, implementing a project management and planning lifecycle tool, and instituted management review processes to address potential problems before they get out of control.

HUD received accolades earlier this year for working with the Veterans Affairs Department to get a mobile app in use in a short amount of time to improve how they count homeless veterans.

But sources say despite these successes, HUD remains a tough place to work. The industry sources say the ingrained culture at the agency continues to frustrate senior executives and the management support to change the culture also comes in waves.

The reason behind Garnett's departure is less clear. She's been at HUD since 2009 after serving for two years as the CIO at the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation.

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