Homeland Security CIO resigns after 3 months on the job

Before announcing his resignation, Richard Staropoli suggested he had plans to make DHS IT operations run at a "hedge fund pace."


The Department of Homeland Security's CIO, Richard Staropoli, has resigned, just three months after taking the job.

Staropoli resigned last week, DHS confirmed to ZDNet, and he will step down Sept. 1. The department did not explain why Staropoli is leaving. Deputy CIO Stephen Rice will serve as the Acting CIO until President Donald Trump appoints a new CIO for the department. The DHS CIO role does not require Senate confirmation.

At DHS, Staropoli reported directly to then-Secretary John Kelly. One week ago, Kelly left DHS to become President Trump's chief of staff.

Prior to joining DHS, according to the White House, Staropoli served as managing director and Counter-Party Risk/Chief Information Security Officer at Fortress Investment Group, a New York-based hedge fund. Before that, he was a US Secret Service special agent for 25 years.

While he wasn't at DHS for long, Staropoli indicated earlier this summer that he was implementing major changes at the department. For one thing, he said its operations should run at "the hedge fund pace."

"The pace at which you operate, not just in New York, but at a hedge fund in New York, is unlike anything else," he said at a Washington event in June. "And that's the pace with which I plan on moving DHS along with respect to IT."

To encourage faster operations, Staropoli said he physically reorganized the DHS IT team so it occupies one floor "in a trading floor concept." He also suggested he was considering slimming down 500-person CIO office staff.

Additionally, Staropoli said he did not want to slow down department operations with questions over whether applications are "cloud ready."

He said, "I am not going to let that percentage of things that aren't cloud-ready hold up DHS moving along and transitioning the things to the cloud that we use every day, which will result in greater productivity, more stability, greater security, and a tremendous financial savings in the long-run."

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