Al Tarasiuk, the chief information officer of the intelligence community, is retiring today after more than 28 years in government.
Tarasiuk has been the intelligence community’s CIO since 2011, doing much of the heavy lifting on the policy and culture change side to move the IC IT Environment (ICITE) program from shared services concept to reality. “Al uniquely provided the balanced leadership needed to lead the community’s CIOs through this important transformational effort,” wrote James Clapper, the director of national intelligence, in a statement. “The results of Al and his team are truly ground-breaking and have drawn the IC closer together to work better, faster and smarter. This is exactly what Congress intended when it empowered the IC CIO with communitywide authority over enterprise architecture.”
Tarasiuk came to the Office of the Director for National Intelligence in 2011 after spending the previous five years as the CIA CIO.
He started out his federal career in 1988 as an electrical engineer for the CIA where he developed and implemented radio frequency systems.
But one of his most difficult jobs has been implementing initial ICITE capabilities in just 20 months after Clapper made it a top intelligence community priority.
Tarasiuk said in an interview with Federal News Radio in March that phase one of the program includes about 16,000 users of the standard desktop with a plan to increase the number to 50,000 employees over the next year. He said full implementation of the initial capabilities of ICITE remain on track for 2018.
ICITE is a long-term program featuring a series of initiatives led by different parts of the intelligence community to standardize and implement shared commodity IT services. The Defense Intelligence Agency and the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency are leading the standard desktop implementation, which includes email and collaboration. The National Security Agency and the CIA are leading the common cloud computing platform effort. The National Reconnaissance Office is leading the network and engineering service provider to build standard network designs for local and wide area networks. All of these efforts also will be complementary and integrate with the Defense Department’s Joint Information Environment.
Tarasiuk faced both technology and culture challenges in making ICITE successful. And he knew it was one of Clapper’s top priorities so the pressure for results was apparent.
Clapper said he tasked Tarasiuk to lead the ICITE effort because of his success at CIA in transforming the agency’s IT infrastructure.
“July 2011, I asked Al to find a way to reduce expenditures through IT efficiencies to offset expected budget reductions and deflect cuts to the IC’s core mission. Behind Al’s leadership the IC Information Technology Enterprise initial operational capability became available just 20 months after I issued this task,” Clapper said. “Since then, the IC ITE set of capabilities has grown significantly and the focus has shifted to agencies adopting ICITE capabilities.”
Clapper didn’t say who would replace Tarasiuk on an interim basis nor did he say what Tarasiuk would be doing next.