HUD's CIO leaves 'a first-rate IT shop'

After two years as the Housing and Urban Development Department's chief information
officer, Steven M. Yohai has resigned and will leave office by the end of the month.


"I have achieved some personal objectives here and feel like I am ready for new
challenges," Yohai said. "I am really not leaving because of anything that has
happened here."


Yohai said he has not decided whether he will accept another government job or seek
private-sector work. Throughout his career, he has vacillated between federal work and
industry jobs.


Yohai praised HUD's staff of 800 information technology employees nationwide and said
the agency has "a first-rate IT shop with a lot of talented people in it."


During his two years as HUD's systems chief, Yohai said, he saw great IT advances for
department employees and customers of HUD services.


"We have put a modern, standard desktop in place for all HUD employees and
upgraded the communications infrastructure to take advantage of things such as the
Internet, electronic data interchange and electronic mail," Yohai said.


HUD also has moved to a client-server environment that lets the department set up data
warehouses without requiring much training for the employees that will use them, he said.


Unlike many other agencies, Yohai said, at HUD he had regular access to top management.
Many of the department's leaders are committed to using technology to further HUD's
performance, he said.


"I have been pretty visible in this position, have had access to decision-makers
and have worked shoulder to shoulder with people with commitment to technology," he
said.


One of the best examples of how HUD has used technology to benefit its user community
is the Federal Housing Administration's online program for loan processing, Yohai said
[GCN, Sept. 8, Page 22].


"That is a very good example of how we have been working with communities across
the country to enable them to have access to HUD information and make it easier for them
to submit applications," he said.


"All said and done, I am pretty happy. We have a tremendous team and achieved
every objective that we set for ourselves," he said.


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