The Biden Administration selected Clare Martorana, CIO at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM), as the next federal CIO in an announcement Tuesday. Martorana will take over for Deputy Federal CIO Maria Roat, who served as acting Federal CIO throughout the beginning of President Joe Biden's tenure.
Martorana joined OPM in 2019 from the U.S. Digital Service (USDS), an organization responsible for bolstering the federal government's digital technology efforts. Prior to civil service, Martorana was the president of the consumer division at Everyday Health Inc. and was SVP and editor-at-large for WebMD, according to LinkedIn.
- A recent report from the inspector general lauded Martorana's "compelling vision for IT modernization" at OPM where the CIO "combined a persuasive vision with a detailed plan to successfully see it through."
Past federal CIOs, such as Suzette Kent and Tony Scott, entered the role from the private sector offering a fresh perspective to government bureaucracy. Martorana's ambitious modernization efforts at OPM and experience at USDS demonstrate the federal government's effort to fix IT.
Martorana signals the Biden administration's prioritization of improving federal IT. Since taking office, the Biden administration has also proposed boosts to the Technology Modernization Fund to complete federal IT modernization projects.
As fallout from SolarWinds hack unfolds, the White House has come out strong on securing federal cyberspace. But even the little efforts, such as calls to the public to join USDS in WhiteHouse.gov source code, demonstrate a marked effort to boost federal IT knowledge.
Serving as a a federal CIO — or joining government technology in any sense — requires a mission-driven mindset, former White House CIO Brook Colangelo said in an interview with CIO Dive last year.
There's a reason the federal leaders tend to look to the private sector to fill the roles. The innovative mindset shakes up the government status quo, according to Scott in an interview with CIO Dive last year.