DHS CIO Roundtable-Live at The AFCEA Homeland Security Conference

Program will discuss:

  • DHS Progress on IT Programs
  • DHS Top Priorities for FY 2010
  • DHS Challenges to still Overcome
  • Views on New Technology Trends-like Cloud Computing-Open Source-Social Networking
  • A Vision for The Future-for DHS & Programs that will make a difference

Richard Spires– CIO, DHS
Luke McCormack – CIO, ICE
Charlie Armstrong – CIO, CBP
Sandy Peavy – CIO, FLETC

Moderator: Jim Flyzik -Flyzik Group

About the Panel

Jim Flyzik
The Flyzik Group

Jim Flyzik is the President of TheFlyzikGroup www.theflyzikgroup.com . The company specializes in Strategic Business Consulting, Performance Based Contracting Consulting and Training and Thought Leadership media events. The company assists small, medium and large companies in providing world-class government services. Jim also serves as the Chairman of the Information Technology Association of America Committee on Homeland Security. Jim also hosts the monthly radio program, The Federal Executive Forum on WFED 1500 AM and www.federalnewsradio.com .


Jim served over 27 years in the federal government. He served as Senior Advisor to Governor Ridge in the White House Office of Homeland Security (OHS). He provided advice to OHS on the National Strategy and Information Management in support of the OHS mission. From February 1998 until December 2002, Jim also served as the Vice Chair of the Federal Government CIO Council overseeing numerous governmentwide IT initiatives. He was also a member of the President’s Critical Infrastructure Protection Board.

Prior to this, from August 1997 until April 2002, Jim was the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Information Systems and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Department of the Treasury. He provided oversight, strategic planning and management direction on over $3.0 billion in annual information technology and information infrastructure programs within Treasury and its fourteen Bureaus. Jim also served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for Management for the Treasury Department from January 20, 2001 until February 8, 2002. In that role he provided oversight of all Treasury bureaus and served as the principal policy advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Secretary on matters involving the internal management of the Department and its bureaus. Jim received the Secretary Certificate of Appreciation on February 12, 2002 for his efforts during this transition period.

Prior to his Treasury positions, Jim worked for 15 years at the U.S. Secret Service where he held key IT management positions, including the Chief of the Communications Division, providing world class telecommunications in support of Secret Service tactical and operational requirements.
Jim served as Team Leader on Vice President Gore’s National Performance Review (NPR) Information Technology Team. Following this assignment, he was selected as Chairman of the Government Information Technology Services Working Group, to implement the NPR Information Technology recommendations and coordinate the government services portion of the National Information Infrastructure (NII). He was given the prestigious Eagle Award as the government information technology executive of the year in 1994, a Meritorious Presidential Rank Award in 1995, the Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association Award for Excellence in Information Technology in 1996, the AFFIRM Award for Outstanding Service to the Citizens in 1997, the Industry Advisory Council Award for Special Achievements and Leadership in 1997, the AFFIRM IRM Executive of the Year Award in 1998, and the Distinguished Rank Executive Award from President Clinton in 1999. In 2001 the Federation of Government Information Processing Councils presented him the John J. Franke award for outstanding government service. In March 2002, Jim was selected by the Federal CIO Council to receive the Azimuth Award as the Government Executive of the Year.

Jim has extensive public speaking experience and frequently serves as a featured speaker at industry events. He has developed, and currently teaches part-time, a graduate level course on Information Systems Security and Risk Assessment at the University of Maryland. Jim was given the Stanley J. Drazek Excellence in Teaching Award in 1998 by the University of Maryland.

Jim has an undergraduate degree in Business Administration and Computer Science and a Masters of Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Maryland with an area of concentration in Information Systems Management.

Richard A. Spires
Chief Information Officer
Department of Homeland Security

Richard A. Spires was appointed in September 2009 to serve as the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Chief Information Officer(CIO). In this capacity, Mr. Spires is responsible for the department’s $5.4 billion investment in Information Technology (IT). He leads and facilitates development, implementation, and maintenance of the department’s IT architecture. Mr. Spires is the chairman of the DHS Chief Information Officer Council and the Enterprise Architecture Board. He strongly supports the Secretary’s goal of unifying and maturing DHS – one DHS, one enterprise, a shared vision, with integrated results-based operations.

Mr. Spires held a number of positions at the Internal Revenue Service(IRS) from 2004 through 2008. He served as the Deputy Commissioner for Operations Support, having overall responsibility for the key support and administrative functions for the IRS, to include Information Technology, Human Capital, Finance, Shared Services, Real Estate, and Security functions. Prior to becoming Deputy Commissioner, Mr. Spires served as the IRS’ CIO, with overall strategic and operational responsibility for a $2 billion budget and a 7,000- person Modernization and Information Technology Services organization. This division is accountable for maintaining over 400 systems that administer more than 200 million taxpayer records and supports more than 100,000 IRS employees. Mr. Spires served for two and half years as the Associate CIO for Applications Development and led the IRS’s Business Systems Modernization program, which is one of the largest and most complex information technology modernization efforts undertaken to date.

From 2000 through 2003, Mr. Spires served as President, Chief Operating Officer, and Director of Mantas, Inc., a software provider that provides business intelligence solutions to the financial services industry. In helping to establish Mantas, Mr. Spires successfully led efforts to raise $29 million in venture funding. Prior to Mantas, Mr. Spires spent more than 16 years serving in a number of technical and managerial positions at SRA International.

Mr. Spires received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and a B.A. in Mathematical Sciences from the University of Cincinnati. He also holds a M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the George Washington University. Mr. Spires was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the University of Cincinnati’s College of Engineering in 2006.

Luke McCormack
Chief Information Officer
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Department of Homeland Security

Luke McCormack has been ICE chief information officer (CIO) since 2005. As the agency’s top technology administrator, McCormack brings significant management expertise from a career in both government and the private sector.

McCormack has more than 18 years of service in the federal government. Before joining ICE, McCormack served as acting executive director of the Infrastructure Services Division in the Office of Information Technology at U.S. Customs and Border Protection. In addition, he has gained diverse experience in the private sector with MCI, Ford Aerospace and smaller minority-owned firms.

Since joining ICE, he has restructured the CIO office organization to ensure that it is aligned with the overall ICE mission, current operational priorities, core business processes and emerging information technology needs. He continually seeks opportunities to partner with other organizations within ICE, the Department of Homeland Security and other federal law enforcement agencies to provide support to operations and strategic initiatives.

McCormack holds a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Maryland, College Park, along with key certifications from the Columbia University Graduate School of Business, Customs Leadership Institute and the National Defense University.

A native of Long Island, N.Y., McCormack has two sons and resides in Virginia.

Charlie Armstrong
Chief Information Officer
U.S. Customs and Border Protection

On June 9, 2008, Mr. Charles R. Armstrong returns to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) as the Assistant Commissioner for the Office of Information and Technology. As the Assistant Commissioner and the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the Component, Mr. Armstrong is responsible for the management and integration of all of CBP’s information technology (IT) service deliveries and for aligning CBP’s technology solutions with the Department’s overarching IT strategies. Functional responsibilities include software development, infrastructure services and support, tactical communications, the laboratory system and research and development functions, and IT modernization initiatives supporting CBP’s core business processes. Additionally, as the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Steward for network services, Mr. Armstrong is accountable for supporting the agency’s requirements for secure, reliable telecommunications via OneNet.

Mr. Armstrong most recently served as the DHS Deputy CIO and is a champion of the Department’s IT initiatives for improving the agency’s secure information sharing capabilities through the consolidation of infrastructure and strengthened security. Under his leadership, DHS established 2 enterprise data centers, and Component organizations are in the process of developing and executing plans for migration. DHS also implemented a Department Network Operations Center and Security Operations Center capability; the agency’s ability to manage and control network events continues to improve with ongoing Component efforts to migrate onto OneNet. The Department is now on a common email system with the migration to Microsoft Exchange, and the establishment of a Global Access List within DHS allows employees to locate contacts across the enterprise and facilitates communication via email. Mr. Armstrong’s emphasis on IT security raised the Department’s score for compliance with the Federal Information Security Management Act from an initial rating of “F” to a “B+” in May 2008. He also institutionalized a solid management framework and governance process for integrating the DHS IT community.

Mr. Armstrong brings with him over 25 years of leadership and technology experience in the operations and management of IT. After starting his career with the Navy Department, he worked for the legacy U.S. Customs Service and CBP in various capacities, including as the Executive Director, Customs Modernization, and as the Acting Assistant Commissioner, OIT, in November 2003. He also served as the CIO for the DHS Border and Transportation Security prior to assuming the position of DHS Deputy CIO in October 2005. Mr. Armstrong graduated from Old Dominion University with a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems and obtained a Master’s Certificate in Management from National Louis University. He is a Harvard Senior Executive Fellow, a graduate of the General Services Administration Strategic and Tactical Advocates for Results (STAR) Program, and was recognized by Federal Computer Week’s Federal 100 as one of the top executives from government, industry, and academia who had the greatest impact on the government information systems community in 2001.

Sandy Peavy
Chief Information Officer
Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
Department of Homeland Security

Sandy Peavy was named the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s (FLETC) first Chief Information Officer (CIO) and Assistant Director in November 1999 and was selected into the Senior Executive Service in 2006. In this position, Ms. Peavy works closely with the FLETC and its Partner Agencies to explore and fully utilize information technology in support of the Center’s law enforcement training mission. As a member of FLETC’s executive team, she helps influence our nation’s law enforcement through training. She is a member of the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) CIO Council, which develops and implements the vision and direction for information resources and telecommunications management with the DHS. Prior to the FLETC’s move to DHS, Ms. Peavy also served on the Department of Treasury’s CIO Council.

Prior to joining the FLETC, Ms. Peavy worked at Headquarters Air Force Reserve Command (AFRC) where she served as the Deputy Director for Communications and Information. She was responsible for developing policy and guidance for all plans and programs for 13 AFRC host bases and 43 tenant locations. She also led an A-76 effort to perform all communications and information functions at eleven AFRC bases.

Ms. Peavy began her Federal career in 1979 as a GS-03 Computer Assistant for the Office of Personnel Management in Macon, GA. In 1981, she transferred to the Department of Defense (DoD) at the Warner Robins Air Logistics Center (WRALC), Robins Air Force Base, GA, where she served as a computer operator, computer programmer, and then systems administrator for the next five years.

In 1986, Ms Peavy was promoted to the position of computer programmer analyst at US Space Command’s Southeastern Phased Array Radar Warning Site (PAVE PAWS). For the next three years, she led a test team responsible for ensuring the radar met its primary mission of detecting sea-launched ballistic missiles aimed against the Continental U.S. and southern Canada, as well as its secondary satellite-tracking mission.

Ms. Peavy spent the next 10 years serving in a variety of managerial positions with the Air Force and the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA). She received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the Air Force in 1990 and from DISA in 1998 for her exceptional leadership.

Ms Peavy holds a Bachelor of Science, magna cum laude, in Education from Georgia Southern University and a Masters degree in computers from Mercer University. She is a graduate of National Defense University’s (NDU) Advanced Management Program (AMP) 7, holds certifications in software engineering and acquisition, and is a licensed private pilot.