Very quietly, the Commerce Department has named Simon Szykman as the agency’s new CIO.
Szykman previously served as the CIO of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)… and before joining NIST, he was the director of the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD).
Suzanne Hilding had been serving as the Commerce Department CIO since March 2008. Commerce Department officials were not immediately available with information about where Hilding had gone. Hilding never granted many interviews or spoke publicly often and therefore was not very well known within government IT circles.
Simon Szykman was named the Chief Information Officer (CIO) of the Department of Commerce in May, 2010. Prior to moving into this position, Dr. Szykman served over three years as the CIO of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).
Before joining NIST as CIO, Dr. Szykman served as the Director of the National Coordination Office for Networking and Information Technology Research and Development (NITRD), where he was responsible for the coordination of planning, budget, and assessment activities for the Federal NITRD Program. In this role Dr. Szykman reported directly to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and the National Science and Technology Council.
Dr. Szykman arrived at the National Coordination Office from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate, where he served as the Department’s first Director of Cyber Security R&D. At DHS he led the development of cyber security R&D plans, programs, and budgets in support of the Department’s mission, and led the development of the Government’s first interagency Federal Plan for Cyber Security R&D.
Dr. Szykman joined DHS after an 18-month assignment at OSTP. In the role of Senior Policy Analyst, his portfolio included a variety of information technology-related issues, including cyber security, high-end computing, and functioning as liaison for the NITRD Program, among others. Prior to joining OSTP, Dr. Szykman spent several years as a member of the technical staff at NIST.
Dr. Szykman received Ph.D. and Master of Science degrees from Carnegie Mellon University, a Master of Engineering Management degree from George Washington University, and a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Rochester.