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Archive for October 6th, 2009

DorobekInsider: Former USDA CIO Chistopherson lands at SAP, former Food and Drug acting CIO Chapman joins Agilex

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Two names in the government IT community have found new homes.

Charles “Chuck” Christopherson Jr., the former chief information officer and chief financial officer at the Agriculture Department, has joined SAP as senior vice president of industry solutions. He will be responsible for “SAP software solutions for the public sector in North America.”

I’m also hearing that Melissa Chapman, who previously served as the CIO for the Department of Health & Human Services and as the acting CIO for the Food & Drug Administration, will join Agilex. We hear she will be in a newly-created position of Vice President for Health Solutions. The official announcement could come in days.

Christopherson, who served as both the chief information officer and chief financial officer at USDA, had a somewhat tumultuous tenure at the Agriculture Department. The DorobekInsider told you earlier this year that the USDA CIO post — traditionally a political job — was going to a career person: Chris Smith. And over the summer, Smith started a USDA CIO blog. There isn’t much there yet, but… Welcome to the blogosphere. His most recent post — on September 18 — is about the online federal cloud apps store.

Here is the official release about Christopherson’s appointment:

SAP Names Chuck Christopherson to Lead Public Administration Unit

WASHINGTON, Oct. 6 — SAP AG  today announced that the Hon. Charles (Chuck) R. Christopherson Jr. has been appointed senior vice president of Industry Solutions for SAP, with responsibility for SAP software solutions for the public sector in North America. Christopherson will also head the global public administration industry business unit at SAP. He will be responsible for driving product strategy and development, as well as growing and managing strategic relationships with SAP’s government customers. Located in Washington, D.C., Christopherson reports directly to Michael de la Cruz, senior vice president of Global Public Services for SAP.

Christopherson was most recently both chief information officer and chief financial officer in the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). In this position, he managed more than 3,000 employees and his responsibilities included overseeing the services and systems supporting the largest of all civilian, government-wide shared services operations. Prior to his tenure at the USDA, Christopherson served as president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer in several technology companies, and as group vice president for a Fortune 500 company.

Christopherson holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the Marriott School of Management at Brigham Young University and a master’s in business administration from the University of Oregon, both in the United States, and is a licensed certified public accountant (CPA).

Written by cdorobek

October 6, 2009 at 1:31 PM

DorobekInsider: Changes within the VA IT shop

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This item was updated with a correction on Oct. 7, 2009 at 9:25a ET.

We told you about those scandalous IG reports on the Department of Veterans Affairs CIO organization that showed former high-ranking VA IT officials “gave preferential treatment to certain contractors, engaged in nepotism in hiring and, in one case, took advantage of a relationship with a supervisor for personal gain.”

There has been a lot of buzz around the Beltway — and within the halls of VA. As I mentioned earlier, one of the hottest tickets in town is Thursday’s Input executive breakfast with VA CIO Roger Baker — who, it is important to note, was not at VA when all of the events alleged by the IG were supposed to have happened. I said earlier that I didn’t think that Baker will address the issue of the IG report, but… he may at least acknowledge that there have been some personnel shifts.

Jaren Doherty has been named the acting deputy assistant secretary for cyber-security, VA officials confirmed — and they noted that he is serving in an acting capacity. The emphasis comes from them. He is filling in for Adair Martinez, who is one of the players at the heart of the VA IG report drama. VA insiders say that Martinez was just recently put on administrative leave. VA officials will not discuss any of those particulars.

CORRECTION: VA officials have told me that the report about Nash is not accurate. “Laura Nash has no change to her present position, which is executive assistant in IPRM.” Your report yesterday that she was named acting associate director is not correct.” I stand corrected.

VA has also named Laura Nash to be the acting ADAS for cyber-security, filling in for Doherty. Nash’s name does appear in the IG reports.

We are also hearing that Bob Howard, the former VA CIO, who is also at the heart of the VA IG reports, has left Femme Comp Inc. (FCI), where he had landed as a as a senior vice president working on command and control and information technologies for the Defense Department. A few weeks ago, Howard sent an e-mail to a handful of people, which has been making the rounds, that merely gave a new e-mail contact. I have reached out to him, but I have not heard back.

Meanwhile, people tell me that VA is still conducting an investigation. One person who has dealt with similar kinds of issues told me that the IG report is something akin for a grand jury indictment — and it is VA management’s job to determine if there is enough evidence for administration action as recommended by the IG. VA management — the VA CIO, the general counsel, HR — have to ensure that they are fair and objective within the law.

And one person who has dealt with these kinds of issues said this process doesn’t necessarily move quickly.

Baker is in a complex situation. First off, he wasn’t at VA when all of this happened, yet it is his mess to clean up. But beyond that, he is likely to be criticized no matter what he does.

It will be interesting to see what Baker has to say on Thursday. My prediction is that he still won’t say all that much, but many people will be there — we hear that Input’s numbers are nearing 600 people.

Written by cdorobek

October 6, 2009 at 12:30 PM