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DorobekInsider.com: Interior’s Howell to move to OMB

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Interior Department CIO Mike Howell will become the government's senior career IT official.

Interior Department CIO Mike Howell will become the government

In what may have been the worst kept secret in government IT, Interior Department CIO Mike Howell has a new job — and a powerful new job at that. Howell has accepted an offer to be OMB’s deputy administrator for e-government and information technology, the federal government’s senior career IT position. Howell will move to OMB in mid-September, government and industry officials confirm, replacing Tim Young.

In December, Young was promoted to be deputy director. At the same time, OMB shifted the deputy director post to a career position as part of an over all reorganization of OMB’s IT management.

Young, however, is a political appointee who therefore must leave at the end of the Bush administration. Insiders say that he is in the process of searching for an IT management consulting position.

Howell will serve as the deputy to Karen Evans, OMB’s administrator of e-government and IT. Howell has served as Interior CIO since May 2007 and has worked in many parts of the Interior organization. It is unclear who will take Howell’s place as Interior CIO.

The position becomes exceedingly important with the looming administration transition and was widely seen as a plum post — not officially “plum,” but… you know what I mean. OMB received more than 75 applications for the post.

Evans has told friends that she wouldn’t be opposed to staying on as a bridge to a new administration, but it is most likely that Howell, as deputy, would become the government’s most senior IT official until a new e-gov/IT administrator is named.

The move will also set off a scramble for who would be the new Interior CIO. Jerry Williams joined DOI as the deputy CIO in July replacing Ed Meagher, who left to join SRA International. Williams would be the obvious choice, but Interior often works in mysterious ways.

You can read Howell’s Interior bio after the break.
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Written by cdorobek

September 5, 2008 at 6:30 PM