Charbo tapped to become DHS CIO

President Bush will appoint Scott Charbo as the new CIO of the Homeland Security Department.

Charbo, the CIO at the Agriculture Department since September 2002, will replace Steve Cooper, who left in April to become the CIO and executive vice president of the American Red Cross.

Rear Adm. Ronald T. Hewitt had been acting CIO since Cooper resigned, and likely will return to the deputy CIO role.

Charbo has long been rumored to replace Cooper, the agency's first CIO.

Charbo's work at Agriculture, where he trimmed $162 million from the IT budget through consolidations, and his quiet but forceful personality made him an attractive candidate, observers inside and outside of government said.

Agriculture historically has been a decentralized department, and Charbo has been instrumental in trying to bring in bureaus to work as an enterprise. For instance, he has been pushing to consolidate data centers to provide agencywide data warehousing and disaster recovery services.

Prior to being Agriculture CIO, he worked at the USDA's Farm Service Agency for two months.

Before coming to Agriculture, Charbo was president of mPower3 Inc. of Greeley, Colo., a subsidiary of ConAgra Foods Inc. of Omaha, Neb.

Charbo holds a bachelor's of science in biology form the University of Tampa in Florida and a master's degree in plant science from the University of Nevada-Reno.

(Posted June 20 at 5:30 p.m. and updated June 21 at 9:23 a.m.)

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