CIO Parkes retires from Energy Department

Rosita Parkes, CIO of the Energy Department, announced her retirement this morning after more than three decades of government service. Her last day at the department will be Jan. 3, 2006.

There is no word on who will replace Parkes. Gordon Errington currently is Energy's deputy CIO.

Parkes told GCN that she plans to continue her career of public service, but in a new arena.

'It's time for the next challenge,' she said. 'I want to teach bilingual education. ' I love my country, and I served my country for 32 years. It's time to give back at the community level.'

Parkes said she is most proud of getting the program offices and the office of the CIO working together at Energy through the efforts of the CIO Council, as well as continuing the implementation of e-government programs.

'What I'm going to miss the most is this fabulous staff, both the Department of Energy and the CIO's office,' she added. 'They're professional, hardworking, loyal, dedicated people.'

Parkes came to DOE in October 2003 from the same position at the Federal Emergency Management Agency'a job she was appointed to one year after the Sept. 11 attacks.

Looking back, she considers that the greatest job of her long career.

'Being part of that whole rebuilding of America's spirit,' Parkes said. 'I don't think that job has been completed, but it was a moment, a period of time when we all worked together. That's the piece that gets the lump in my throat. ' That's the best definition of public servant.'

Prior to her arrival at FEMA, Parkes was CIO for the Defense Commissary Agency. She spent a number of years as a civilian employee of the Army, including chief of the Commissary Systems Division in the Army Troop Support Agency.

She received the Commander's Award for Superior Civilian Service in 1990 and 1996 and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award in 2001.

She holds a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology and a master's degree from the Florida Institute of Technology.

Parkes entered the civil service as a computer intern in 1970, when punch cards were fed into mysterious boxes with a few lights on them, she said. No one could have foreseen how the field would change so dramatically, she added.

'I have been privileged to see a magnificent evolution' in IT since then, she said.

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