NASA taps long-time employee to be new CIO

Monday - 6/24/2013, 6:30pm EDT

NASA tapped a long-time employee from the field to become its new chief information officer.

Government sources confirmed that Larry Sweet is moving to NASA headquarters from the Johnson Space Center.

Sweet replaces Linda Cureton, who retired in April. Richard Keegan, the associate deputy administrator, has been the acting CIO since Cureton retired.

According to Sweet's Linked-In page, he's been at NASA Johnson Space Center for 26 years.

At Johnson Space Center, Sweet oversaw the Information Resources Directorate where he managed the policies, processes, requirements and standards around technology.

Cureton praised the choice.

"I think it's absolutely wonderful. Larry is a strategist and understands the culture of the agency as a center CIO," said Cureton, who now is president of Muse Technologies. "He will likely focus on increasing collaboration among the centers. In addition, he will be tough on instilling accountability and performance excellence in the contractor community. Enterprise services will be his high priority."

Sweet comes to NASA headquarters at a time when the space agency is going through a dramatic technology transformation under the IT Infrastructure Integration Program (I3P) contracts, which are worth more than $4 billion combined.

It also is facing continued scrutiny of its cybersecurity program. Most recently, Rep. Frank Wolfe (R-Va.), said the FBI is investigating allegations that NASA Langley Research Center employees had authorized the hiring of a contractor employee connected with an organization within China that federal agencies already had red- flagged as a potential national security threat. Federal authorities arrested the contractor, Bo Jiang, March 19, as he tried to board a flight and leave the country.

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