WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) announced Aug. 9 the hiring of a new permanent Chief Information Officer (CIO). David De Vries, currently the Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer at the Department of Defense, will join OPM as CIO in the coming weeks.
De Vries joins OPM after a distinguished career spanning more than 35 years at the Defense Department, the last seven in the Senior Executive Service in DoD CIO. While at the Defense Department, De Vries was instrumental in the transition of DoD information technology (IT) to a single, secure department-wide architecture—similar to the plan OPM has been implementing. De Vries was also influential in the Defense Department’s cybersecurity initiatives.
“I’m elated that David has decided to join our team here at OPM,” said Beth Cobert, Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management. “David has decades worth of the technical and management experience necessary to hit the ground running as we continue our technology transformation efforts, and work with our partners at DoD to stand up the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB).”
As the Administration announced in January, to leverage the latest modern technology, protect the sensitive information used to effectively adjudicate background investigations, and bring the fullest security resources to bear against increasingly sophisticated and evolving threats, NBIB’s information technology systems will be designed, built, secured, and operated by DoD, in accordance with NBIB requirements. This approach will leverage DoD’s significant national security, IT, and cybersecurity expertise, incorporating security into the fundamental design of the systems, strengthening the security of the data environment, and providing robust privacy protections. De Vries will be at the forefront of this transition, and will lead continued implementation of OPM’s overall IT infrastructure and cybersecurity improvement plan.
De Vries will bring strategic leadership to OPM during its ongoing work to enhance its cybersecurity posture—in cooperation with its interagency partners—that will augment the steps that OPM has already taken to improve its cybersecurity capabilities, many of which are part of the President’s Cybersecurity National Action Plan. These already implemented improvements include:
- Completing deployment of two-factor Strong Authentication for all users, which provides a strong barrier to OPM’s networks from individuals that should not have access;
- Implementing a continuous monitoring program for all IT systems;
- Creating and hiring a cybersecurity advisor position that reports to the Director;
- Establishing an agency wide centralized IT security workforce under a newly hired Chief Information Security Officer (CISO);
- Modifying the OPM network to limit remote access to exclusively government owned computers;
- Deploying new cybersecurity tools, including software that prevents malicious programs and viruses on our networks;
- Implementing a Data Loss Prevention System which automatically stops sensitive information, such as social security numbers from leaving the network unless authorized; and
- Enhancing cybersecurity awareness training with emphasis on Phishing emails and other user based social engineering attacks.
"Dave will be missed by DoD, but DoD isn't losing his expertise," said Terry Halvorsen, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer. "As DoD and OPM continue to improve current IT systems and begin the development of the new IT services and environment to support the NBIB, he will play a key leadership role, ensuring integration between OPM and DoD."
Stressing the importance of IT and cybersecurity collaboration between OPM and DoD, Halvorsen continued: "Dave will have the ability to bring expertise from DoD into OPM, and ensure that DoD understands how lessons learned from the new IT can be applied within DoD and the other Federal agencies. This will be a win that improves IT information sharing across all federal Departments and agencies."
De Vries holds a Bachelor of Science degree from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Washington in Seattle. He is also a graduate of the Army Senior Service College and served as a Corporate Fellow with IBM Business Consulting Services while participating in the Secretary of Defense Corporate Fellowship Program.
David De Vries’ DoD biography can be found here.