John out, Lowery is named acting FBI CIO

FBI director Robert S. Mueller III appointed executive assistant director W. Wilson Lowery to the job of acting CIO while the bureau conducts a nationwide search to replace CIO Darwin A. John, who retired May 16.

John will provide consulting services to the bureau one week a month, according to his assistant, Linda Klein. He was not available for comment.

Mueller said Lowery, 'having already played a major role in our successful efforts to date, gives us the ability to transition smoothly as we carefully pursue a permanent CIO.' Lowery reports to Mueller.

John became FBI CIO last year. He formerly was director of information and communication systems worldwide for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

During John's tenure, the bureau progressed in the creation of its Trilogy network of Web systems for FBI special agents. The network switched on in March, and now connects about 700 sites where agents work, using about 22,000 PCs.

The bureau also worked to activate an information sharing data mart during John's tenure, under the leadership of Lowery, a former IBM executive.

'Lowery wants to modernize now,' said one congressional staff source, who contrasted Lowery's fast pace with John's gradual approach to upgrading FBI IT.

'Darwin has been a fish out of water here at the FBI,' said one bureau source.

The source said John took a theoretical approach to solving problems and sought thorough assessments of issues before implementing solutions, while the FBI is 'very much a ready, fire, aim organization.'

John formed close links with the CIO Council and the Justice Department's IT organization during his tenure, the FBI source said.

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