DHS chief information officer resigns after three months on job

The chief information officer at the Department of Homeland Security has resigned from his position after only three months on the job, the department confirmed on Monday. 

Richard Staropoli, a former U.S. Secret Service agent, resigned last week and will officially leave the top information technology role in the department at the start of September.

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Fedscoop first reported Staropoli’s resignation last week, but the department did not confirm the development until Monday.

In his exit, deputy chief information officer Stephen Rice will serve as acting CIO until President Trump appoints a new person to fill the role, a DHS spokesman told The Hill.

Trump appointed Staropoli to the position at the end of April, meaning news of his exit comes roughly three months into his time on the job. 

He served as a special agent in the Secret Service for 25 years, during which time he worked in a number of positions, including those in the Presidential Protective Division, the Hostage Rescue Unit and the intelligence community. 

Staropoli also received a commendation from former President George W. Bush as a result of his actions in the White House during the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Before coming to DHS, he worked in the private sector as the chief information security officer for the hedge fund Fortress Investment Group.

It is unclear why Staropoli chose to leave the post.

In June, Staropoli appeared to forecast big plans for DHS’s information technology office — he laid out plans to reorganize the office to operate more like a hedge fund and to spend money more carefully on IT. 

“We’ve moved out all these deputies and all these directors from their offices located all over these different buildings that DHS occupies,” Staropoli said at an event hosted by Fedscoop. 

“We now occupy one floor, once space in a trading floor concept, so when I need to get something done or a vendor needs to come up and we need to address a problem, I’ve got every entity I need in one spot. That cuts down on bureaucracy and allows me the maximum benefit of maximizing my time, so we can achieve results,” he said. 

His exit follows other high-profile resignations of officials working in Trump's White House, including chief of staff Reince Priebus and communications director Anthony Scaramucci. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly also left DHS less than two weeks ago to take over as White House chief of staff, resulting in a vacancy atop the agency tasked with enforcing border security and protecting civilian federal networks and critical infrastructure from cyberattacks.