DHS CIO Staropoli Quits After Just Three Months

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The US Department of Homeland Security has been rocked by yet another departure, this time the resignation of CIO Richard Staropoli just three months into his role.

The former US Secret Service agent resigned last week and will officially leave his post at the beginning of September, according to The Hill.

Although there’s no official word on the resignation on the department’s website, officials told the site that Staropoli would be replaced temporarily by deputy CIO Stephen Rice, until a permanent successor is found.

Staropoli promised a major shake-up to the department’s IT function when he arrived, claiming he would organize it in the same way as his old set-up at hedge fund Fortress Investment Group, where he was CISO.

It’s unclear whether these promises to cut bureaucracy and rein-in spending led to the resignation, which remains a mystery for now.

However, Staropoli is the second big name to leave the DHS after secretary John Kelly accepted the role of Donald Trump’s chief of staff at the White House.

That leaves the department in a somewhat precarious position when it comes to the IT security part of its remit.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) leads domestic cybersecurity policy including industry information sharing efforts, protecting critical infrastructure, skills, R&D and defending federal networks.

Officials were heavily involved in investigating alleged election hacking by the Russian state last year.

Last month, acting director of the cyber division of the DHS Office of Intelligence and Analysis, Samuel Liles, revealed that as many as 21 states may have been targeted by state-sponsored snoopers.

Staropoli is the latest in a growing line of departures from US government positions, leaving an unprecedented gap in capability at the top of government, compounded by the President’s sluggish appointment of people to key roles.

Back in June, the Washington Post revealed that 85% of top science jobs in the new administration didn’t even have an appointee, including the President’s Council of Advisers on Science and Technology.

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