National Weather Service's West to become FEMA CIO

In Barry West's younger days, he volunteered for his neighborhood's fire and rescue squad. So as the Homeland Security Department's new line-of-business CIO for the Emergency Preparedness and Response Directorate, West said he understands some of the challenges the directorate's customers are facing.

West will replace Rose Parkes, who became the Energy Department's CIO earlier this month, after spending 18 months as the National Weather Service's CIO.

'With all the stuff going on at Homeland Security, it is a great time to become a part of the agency,' West said. 'This is an exciting chance to get in at this level when things are still being formalized. FEMA will be a big player in the department.'

The directorate is the former Federal Emergency Management Agency, and people still refer to it as FEMA.

West's last full day at the weather service is Oct. 31, and he will split time between the directorate and NWS starting Nov. 3. Larry Curran, who was recently hired to be the deputy CIO and the director of the Telecommunications Operations Center, will be the acting CIO, West said.

West, who is the president of the American Council for Technology, which formally was the Federation of Information Processing Councils, said his top priority is helping FEMA take part in the one network and enterprise architecture efforts Homeland Security is working on.

'There are a lot of similarities between the jobs at NWS and FEMA,' he said. 'FEMA uses our weather data, and I will be able to help them with the Disaster Management project. I also have been talking to [DHS CIO] Steve Cooper about using the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's weather radio system as a part of the All Hazards Altering System.'

During his tenure at NWS, West said, he focused on establishing IT management practices such as enterprise architecture, security and Web architecture programs.

Stay Connected

Sign up for our newsletter.

I agree to this site's Privacy Policy.