State CIO Wiggins to retire

State Department Chief Information Officer Frontis Wiggins is retiring after more than 30 years of service.

Federal News Radio has confirmed Wiggins’ decision that his last day will be Dec. 8. Principal Deputy Chief Information Officer Robert Adams will become acting CIO.

Frontis Wiggins. the State Department’s chief information officer, will retire on Dec. 8.

Wiggins became State’s CIO in July 2016 and has been with the department as a member of the Foreign Service since 1985. Wiggins will become the eighth cabinet agency CIO to leave in the past year.

Wiggins entered his tenure as CIO with a simple goal: to fix what he called IT disrepair that State had fallen into over the last few years.

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He focused on modernizing State’s back end infrastructure.

He has moved more than 50 applications to the cloud, including the implementation of Microsoft Office 365, as well as testing WiFi at posts around the world. Additionally, he improved State’s cybersecurity by installing two-factor authentication across at least 90 percent of all privileged user accounts.

Among his biggest accomplishments was moving State forward under the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act (FITARA).

While he moved State from a “D” to a “C-” in the latest scorecard, Wiggins has been working across the mission, financial and acquisition offices to implement the law.

One example of that is creating a new template for financial activity so they can get visibility into the IT spend.

He said it’s not just the IT central fund or the expedited passport fees that the CIO’s office normally would, but all the appropriate funds that are being used for IT acquisitions.

Wiggins’ decision comes at a critical time as State continues to march down its path toward reorganization.

Secretary Rex Tillerson told employees earlier this year moving to the cloud to modernize technology was a priority and align more closely with the U.S. Agency for International Development.

This effort now falls to Adams, who joined State as its deputy CIO in December 2016, and the next CIO.

Adams joined the State Department in 1988 after serving in the Marine Corps for four years.