Neil Stillman, first CIO of HHS, passes away

Neil J. Stillman

Neil J. Stillman, the first CIO of the Health and Human Services Department, died suddenly last month. He was 62.

He retired in 1999 after 34 years of government service. His only post-work plan: to play more tennis'which he did often with his wife, Rona Stillman, who retired the same year from her job as the Government Accountability Office's chief scientist for computers and telecommunications.

This photo of the pair on the court was taken for GCN's 20th anniversary issue. The other photo is of Stillman in 1988 when he was working at the Energy Department.

The longtime and well-liked fed had a hand in modernizing systems that touch most Americans, said Howard Ady, a past president of the American Council for Technology and former Defense Department official. Besides his IT posts at HHS and Energy, Stillman worked for the Air Force, Defense, the General Services Administration and the Treasury Department. He was president of ACT for five years in the 1990s.

Ady said Stillman set the 'gold standard' for public-sector CIOs through his devotion and professional integrity, his selfless leadership style and exceptional knowledge of IT. Stillman, whose death was caused by a brain aneurysm, is survived by his wife of 39 years, Rona. ACT made a donation in his name to the Children's National Medical Center.

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