Leong-Hong is chief information officer for Defense Security Service

Belkis Leong-Hong has left the Pentagon. Today, she begins her new job
as chief information officer for the Defense Security Service.


For the past three years, Leong-Hong has been deputy assistant
secretary of Defense for command, control, communications and intelligence plans and re
sources. At DSS, she will also be deputy director and oversee 3,000 em ployees, many of
them investigators.


DSS, formerly the Defense Investigative Service, has three chief
missions. It conducts background investigations on Defense Department employees and other
government personnel, provides security clearance for vendors doing business with the
government and looks into foreign companies that are buying American companies.


Her appointment comes as DSS is becoming a fee-for-service agency,
striving to modernize its information technology and scrambling to fix its date code for
the year 2000.


"I think the agency is right now probably entering a critical
period on a number of fronts," Leong-Hong said. "I am coming over to DSS at a
very exciting time."


Her duties will include policy oversight, DSS budget compilation,
program planning and congressional activities.


And she will oversee the agency’s systems, a position to which she
brings 28 years of experience.


Leong-Hong started her government IT career with an 11-year stint at
the National Bureau of Standards, now the National Institute of Standards and Technology.


"That’s where I cut my teeth in computer science. I worked
there before there was a formal computer science office there," she said.


She joined DOD in 1981 and augmented her credentials with a degree from
the National and International Security Management School at Harvard University.


She has a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from Hunter College in
New York and a master’s in public administration from American University.


Leong-Hong said she has but a short time to learn about her new job.


"Yesterday, I met with about 100 [DSS] people from around the country," she
said. "I’m barely scratching the surface. It’s going to be an exciting
time, and I’m looking forward to it."

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