Linda Cureton, the NASA chief information officer, is retiring after more than 30 years in government.
Cureton told her staff today of the decision to leave April 1.
Cureton has been the NASA CIO since September 2009, and previously worked at several agencies, including the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the Energy Department in senior technology positions.
A NASA spokesman said the space agency plans to open up job competition soon and appoint a new CIO by the time Cureton leaves.
Cureton’s impact on NASA will be seen for a long time. She came to the agency at a time when it was just going down the path of large multi-year contracts that were worth billions. Instead, she paused what now is known as the IT Infrastructure Integration Program (I3P) and refocused it to take advantage of small business capabilities, as well as — what was at the time an emerging technology — the cloud.
She also took on NASA’s cybersecurity challenges, especially after getting flamed on Capitol Hill in February 2012 for revealing it endured 5,000 security breaches over a two-year period beginning in 2010.
In addition to internal programs, Cureton focused on external communication with NASA stakeholders through her blog. She also launched SpaceBook, similar to FaceBook, but it was shut down after it didn’t gain enough traction inside the agency.