Aug 08 2018

GAO Names New IT Leaders as Powner Departs

Carol Harris and Nick Marinos will split Dave Powner's duties at the Government Accountability Office once the longtime government IT watchdog steps down.

The Government Accountability Office has confirmed who will replace its director of IT management issues, Dave Powner, when he steps down from his role later this month. And it's not one person, but two people.

Carol Harris, director for IT acquisition management issues at GAO, will handle Powner's responsibilities related to the Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act, while Nick Marinos, director of cybersecurity and information management at GAO, will take on Powner's duties related to Census issues, the GAO confirmed to MeriTalk.

The fact that Powner's responsibilities will be split between two people is a testament to how large a role he has loomed in federal IT oversight issues. Powner has been a constant presence at congressional hearings on FITARA oversight and other federal IT matters. Powner has been at GAO for nearly 26 years collectively, with a stint as director of IT and software development at Qwest Communications breaking up his tenure in government from 1999 to 2002.

“GAO is in very capable hands with those two individuals,” Powner recently told Nextgov regarding Harris and Marinos. “I have a lot of respect for both of them.”

Harris and Marinos both joined GAO in 2002. Harris has led reviews of IT systems and management at numerous government agencies, according to MeriTalk, including the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Homeland Security, as well as the Federal Aviation Administration. Currently, she oversees governmentwide and agency-specific assessments of system and software development and acquisition; cost and schedule estimation; enterprise architectures; technology investment management; and telecommunications.

Marinos specializes in cybersecurity and is a certified information privacy professional, MeriTalk reports. He currently manages audit teams that perform governmentwide and agency-specific cybersecurity, privacy, and information management reviews across all major agencies.

Powner is expected to stay on the job until the middle of August. He plans to join the MITRE Corp., a McLean, Va.-based federally funded research and development center.

“I greatly appreciate all the opportunities that I have been given at GAO over the years,” Powner told FedScoop last month. “It’s a great institution with tremendous leadership and employees.”