The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has appointed Todd Simpson as deputy assistant secretary for DevSecOps to enhance cybersecurity within the department’s application development lifecycle, FedScoop reported on Thursday.
The VA has been pushing for modernization across its different services, including a massive overhaul of its electronic health record system. “We are trying to answer questions that were previously unanswerable,” Simpson stated.
In his new role with the VA, Simpson will focus primarily on software development. DevSecOps is growing in popularity with other IT offices in federal agencies creating offices around it. The VA has a more than $100 billion annual budget with almost $5 billion proposed to be dedicated to IT in the budget request for fiscal 2021.
Simpson will bring decades of government IT experience to the VA. Simpson has more than 24 years of information technology (IT) leadership and management experience from the private sector and in the federal government.
Simpson has managed at the executive level in the areas of strategic planning, organizational development and operational efficiency. He is experienced in improving business processes, and managing complex, multi-disciplinary and time sensitive projects while achieving cost savings.
Before joining the VA, he served as chief information officer (CIO) of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and associate CIO of the Department of Transportation. With the FDA, Simpson was responsible for providing information technology (IT) services and support to approximately 20 thousand federal personnel and contractors throughout the continental United States and internationally.
Simpson began his career in the U.S. Air Force (USAF), serving 3 years active duty and 3 years active reserve. He worked in the IT field as a systems analyst, Senior Technical Advisor, IT manager and CIO in the private sector for 18 years.
He began his federal government career as the CIO for the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) Criminal Division in 2010, where he led the IT and Litigation Support units. In the role, he reduced the annual IT and litigation support budgets by more than 50 percent and achieved a net annual savings of more than 3 million dollars from data center and server consolidation.