FEMA CIO West returns to Commerce

Federal Emergency Management Agency CIO Barry West will return to the Commerce Department and fill its top IT job.

West succeeds Tom Pyke, who left Commerce in November to become Energy Department CIO. Karen Hogan, deputy CIO at Commerce since 2000, has been acting CIO.

West will leave the Homeland Security Department agency June 9 to ensure a smooth transition, he said today, and will join Commerce as CIO June 12. West joined FEMA as its CIO in October 2003.

West's deputy, Jeanne Etzel, will work as acting CIO at FEMA until the agency gains a permanent IT chief, he added.

'FEMA has been a great agency for me to be at. It is like no other in how you work with state, local and federal officials,' West said.

'I think we achieved quite a bit in two-and-a-half-years,' West added. He cited progress on FEMA's enterprise architecture program, establishing its program management office that oversees all new projects and establishes program and project management controls and strengthening cybersecurity measures.

Looking forward to his assignment at Commerce, West said his major projects would include integrating and consolidating the department's e-mail systems, servers, data centers and networks across its 13 bureaus.

Before joining FEMA, West worked for the Commerce Department for 14 years in several jobs. When he left to join FEMA, he was CIO of the National Weather Service.

Formerly, he was the deputy director for the Office of Electronic Government at the General Services Administration, where he was the technical lead on the FirstGov.gov web portal. He also worked at the National Technical Information Service for four years and at the Census Bureau for eight years. West also was a weather specialist in the Air Force for four years. He has 18 years of federal service in total.

'I really enjoyed my assignment at FEMA and look forward to the challenges at Commerce,' West said.

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