DorobekInsider: The USDA CIO to go to a career person – Chris Smith

Friday - 5/15/2009, 12:50pm EDT

We’ve been hearing pings for awhile, but it now seems to be common knowledge within the halls of the Agriculture Department: The new USDACIO post will go to the current acting CIO Chris Smith.

We have been expecting to get official word for more than a week now, but… to no avail yet.

USDA's Chris Smith

USDA's Chris Smith

The move would be somewhat unprecedented because Smith is a career employee, and the USDA CIO post is one of a handful of political CIO jobs.

Insiders seem generally pleased with the selection. Smith, of course, knows the workings of the agency.

Again, it isn’t official, but… as we say in radio, stay tuned.

Smith’s bio:

Chris Smith currently serves as the Acting Chief Information Officer for USDA with executive leadership responsibility for all USDA Information Technology Investments. Mr. Smith also serves as the Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) for Operations for the USDA Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO). He is responsible for providing leadership for USDA’s Cyber Security Operations and the Department’s operational portfolio including Network, Enterprise Data Centers, International Technology Services, and Innovations and Operational Architecture.

Mr. Smith joined OCIO in January 2008 and began serving in the Associate Chief Information Officer for Integration and Operations (ACIO/I&O) position to coordinate the efforts of OCIO’s following operations: National Information Technology Center, Telecommunications Services and Operations, and Information Technology Services.

Before joining the OCIO leadership team Mr. Smith served USDA as Chief Information Officer for Rural Development where he provided leadership and executive strategic direction for the Rural Development IT portfolio supporting more than $96 billion in active loans and grants.

Prior to joining Rural Development, Mr. Smith served as the Chief Information Officer to the Chief Financial Officer of the United States General Services Administration. In that position, he led shared services IT operations and operated one of four named Financial Management Lines of Business Centers of Excellence and one of four namedePayroll operations within the Federal Government. Additionally, Mr. Smith is a Reserve Air Force Communications Officer who has led multiple tactical communications missions around the globe.

Chris Smith was born and raised in Northern Virginia where he currently resides with his wife and two children. He received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in International Studies and his Master of Public Administration Degree from the University of South Florida. Additionally, Mr. Smith holds a Master of Science Degree in Management Information Systems from George Washington University.