HHS CIO resigns unexpectedly, two Senior CDC execs announce departure

“Jose Arrieta, the Department of Health and Human Services chief information officer, abruptly resigned today.” 

“Arrieta said in an interview with Federal News Network that he told senior leadership he would be leaving the agency after only 16 months.” 

“It has been pretty intense since March with a lot of activity around the pandemic. We’ve had a number of cyber events and launched HHS Protect. We have got it to point where it’s fully functional and only some small technical things need to be addressed. We have been transparent with data and pushed boundaries. The leadership in technology is ready to lead us through this fall,” he said. “I want to spend time with kids, who like most kids are going to school online. This is a good opportunity to work with them because learning via Zoom isn’t easy for 5 and 8 year olds. I’m sad to leave people in HHS and the OCIO office is the best group I’ve ever worked with. This is the most I’ve felt at home during entire career.” 

“Arrieta said he was unsure when his last day would be, saying he told Secretary Alex Azar he could be as flexible as needed to ensure a smooth transition in the CIO’s office.” 

“Arrieta becomes the second senior technology official to leave HHS in the last month. Todd Simpson, the chief product officer for HHS, left in July to be a deputy assistant secretary for DevSecOps at the Department of Veterans Affairs.” 

“With Arrieta leaving, the HHS CIO’s office will be missing two key leadership positions and Robin Collins already is acting deputy CIO for enterprise services, meaning only Janet Vogel, as the chief information security officer, and Chambers are permanent executives.” 

“Arrieta’s departure also marks the third CIO to leave in the last two years. He replaced Beth Killoran, who moved to the General Services Administration, and Ed Simcox served in an acting role…” 

Read the full article here. 

Source: HHS CIO Arrieta unexpectedly resigns – By Jason Miller, August 14, 2020. Federal News Network. 

G2X TAKE: A set of late Friday afternoon news stories about planned departures, and rumors of more to come, kept the social media world abuzz this weekend. The most significant news for this community was that Jose Arrieta, a FedHealthIT100 honoree and emerging technology leader known for driving a big innovation vision and set of initiatives everywhere he went, will be departing the Agency as early as next month.  

No information is available at this time as to who will step into the Acting CIO role, but it will clearly be big shoes to fill.  

Arrieta has been clear that he does not know where he will end up next, but we are certain his phone will be ringing off the hook in the weeks ahead as industry and Federal agency leaders alike reach out to discuss their openings and how and where he might fit into future plans with their organization.  

Prior roles include: 

  • Chief Information Officer – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 
  • Deputy Assistant Secretary Office of Grants and Acquisition Policy and Accountability HHS (Acting) – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) 
  •  Director, Office of IT 70 Schedule Contract Operations – GSA 

In separate news, word from several sources revealed that Kyle McGowan, the CDC Chief of Staff, and Amanda Campbell, the CDC Deputy Chief of Staff, resigned effective Friday, and are leaving to start a consulting firm. It is not atypical for political appointees to leave at the end of term, but the fact that the CDC has been heavily scrutinized for its response to Coronavirus ensures any senior level departures will draw more attention.

Read the full article here.

Source: CDC’s chief of staff, deputy chief of staff jointly depart – By Dan Diamond, August 14, 2020. POLITICO.

Take Bytes 

  • Jose Arrieta was named to the 2020 FedHealthIT100 and he was one of the G2X Change Agent Awardees, 36 Leaders disrupting the Federal landscape identified earlier this year. 
  • This late 2019 interview, conducted just a few months after he stepped into the role of Chief Information Officer at the Department of Health and Human Services, looked at how he was prioritizing and working with other CIOs and what opportunities he saw in the future for industry to connect. 
  • This article, from just a few months ago, looks at How Jose Arrieta Became a Blockchain Champion. More here. 

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     Heather Seftel-Kirk
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