President Joe Biden on Tuesday named Clare Martorana as the next federal CIO, filling out the government’s IT leadership at a critical time in government technology.
Martorana served for more than two years as the CIO of the Office of Personnel Management. She also previously served as a digital services expert at the U.S. Digital Service and focused on digital modernization at the Department of Veterans Affairs. OPM Principal Deputy CIO Guy Cavallo will serve as acting CIO at the agency.
Former Federal CIO Suzette Kent praised Martorana’s appointment. “Clare knows firsthand how the various components of technology capability work,” she told Federal News Network. “Her experiences will help shape the next chapter of modernization.”
Martorana will have a lot on her plate as she assumes responsibility for directing and managing the federal government’s vast IT operations, on which agencies spend roughly $90 billion per year. Some of the key issues she will face include:
- Working with Federal CISO Chris DeRusha and whomever Biden names to be the first National Cyber Director to help manage the government response to not only the suspected Russian cyberattack that has impacted at least nine federal agencies but also new hack reportedly emanating from China that has compromised tens of thousands of organizations using Microsoft Exchange Server technology.
- Continuing IT modernization efforts as Congress has allocated $1 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund in recently passed COVID stimulus legislation.
- Helping support secure and productive remote work tools across agencies as the pandemic evolves and agencies shift to hybrid work environments.
- Partnering with the Federal CDO Council to empower chief data officers at agencies and continue to make progress on the Federal Data Strategy.
Martorana certainly will not be short of major issues to manage, but she has the backing of the federal IT community. “Clare is an exceptionally well-qualified leader who has already improved countless lives through innovative technologies and human-centered design,” an Office of Management and Budget spokesperson tells Nextgov. “Together with Deputy U.S. CIO Maria Roat, a dedicated and talented career civil servant, Clare will lead an ambitious governmentwide effort to modernize and strengthen federal information technology systems in order to bolster cyber defenses, drive value in IT investments, and better deliver government services for all Americans at a time when they expect and need them the most.”