Walter Harris: FDA Eyes New CIO Hire Within 90 Days

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Walter Harris

The Food and Drug Administration plans to appoint a new chief information officer within the next few months after the agency decided to split that role from the chief informatics officer positions, Federal News Radio reported Thursday.

Jason Miller writes that the CIO role has been vacant since April 2013, when Eric Perakslis departed from government service.

Walter Harris, chief operating officer and acting CIO at FDA, told the station that the agency could pick a new CIO within 90 days.

“It’s a huge job. I felt we could give it more individualized attention if we had a mastermind behind the science piece and a mastermind behind the IT services needs,” he said to Federal News Radio.

“A third piece that we focused on besides the technology delivery area is the business and customer assurance area, which covers field base services, desktop support and a large range of collaboration tools,” Harris said.

Harris added that the next CIO will work to further the modernization of FDA’s infrastructure into a hybrid cloud environment following reorganization of the agency’s Office of Information Management and Technology, according to the report.

“We are talking about a public cloud and private cloud. We want to be able to share information freely, but at the same time protect, for example, trade secrets information,” Harris told the station.

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