Federal Moves

Two top federal agencies, NASA and the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department, have appointed new chief information security officers (CISO). Less than two months after the last head of information security, Brian Burns, left the VA for another job in the public sector, the agency named Roopangi Kadakia as the next CISO. Previously, Kadakia served as web services executive in NASA’s Office of the CIO.

At NASA, Jeanette Hanna-Ruiz will become associate CIO for IT security and senior agency information security official (SAISO). Hanna-Ruiz comes to NASA from the private sector — most recently serving as a director in Microsoft’s consulting services, including a focus on cybersecurity — though she has extensive public sector experience, as well. She joined the Obama White House in the early days of the administration, working with the National Security staff on the Cyberspace Policy Review during the first 100 days. Hanna-Ruiz also worked with DHS and NSA’s Joint Cyber Coordination Group, spent time at DHS, DoD and the Department of Transportation and was asked to consult on cybersecurity legislation being crafted by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

Ron Ross, “the most influential cybersecurity guru to the U.S. government,” told Straight Talk Featured Blogger Peter High last year:

I think… the common denominator… in cybersecurity [is that the] computer is driven by firmware and software created by human beings. It is getting larger, and the complexity is getting greater. When you have that situation, there are a certain number of flaws, weaknesses, or deficiencies that exist in any code. A certain percentage of those are vulnerabilities that can be exploited by threat sources or agents. That gives us great concern, because as the number of systems, platforms, and applications expands the number of vulnerabilities is growing. Those vulnerabilities are not always known.

In other recent appointments and career moves:

The TMX Group has appointed Jay Rajarathinam as CIO, reporting to Jean Desgagné, President and CEO, Global Enterprise Services. Previously, Rajarathinam was senior vice president and global head of infrastructure at NYSE/Intercontinental Exchange. In this role, Rajarathinam managed technology teams that supported 14 exchanges and 5 clearing houses globally. Prior to that, he held senior positions at Barclays and Wells Fargo.

Del Monte Foods has appointed Robert Long as Vice President and CIO, reporting to Dave Meyers, EVP and chief administrative officer. Previously, Long was Vice President of Information Technology at Big Heart Pet Brands. Prior to Big Heart Pet Brands, Long was Vice President of Technical Services and Information Technology at Copart and CIO at Anristu.

EarthLink Holdings Corp. has appointed Jay Ferro as chief information and product officer, reporting to Joe Eazor, president and chief executive. Previously, Ferro was CIO at American Cancer Society Inc., a role he has held since 2012. He has also held CIO positions at AdCare Health Systems and American International Group.

Citadel has appointed Steven Lieblich as CTO of Citadel's hedge fund business, reporting to Citadel's Founder and CEO Kenneth C. Griffin. A 30-year veteran of Morgan Stanley, Lieblich has served in a series of senior technology roles, most recently as Morgan Stanley's CIO. Steve will report to and will join the firm this fall.

IDentrix has appointed Phil Usatine as CTO. Previously, Usatine was Vice President, Digital Product Development, at Scripps Network, where he led the cloud and DevOps transformation of the world-renowned digital company. As Vice President of Product Development for healthcare technology firm Prematics, Usatine established the company's product development capabilities and managed delivery of an advanced e-Prescribing platform. Usatine also served as CTO with Gibson Guitar Corporation, where he began the company's digital media capabilities and delivered IoT digital audio solutions.


SysArc has appointed Tim Brennan as CIO.

W.W. Grainger has promoted Gregory Harman to the position of Vice President and CIO.

Nordea Bank has appointed Pentti Lehtinen has joined as Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).

Ted Baker has appointed Neil Plaistowe as CIO.

Arcadia Group Ltd. Hs appointed Alex Pease as Manager, Digital Operations.

FBL Financial Group, Inc. has appointed Casey Decker as CIO.

StreetWise CADlink has appointed Glenn Babcock as CTO.

Hoyos Labs, Inc. has appointed Dr. John ("Jack") Callahan as CTO.

Interactions, LLC, has appointed Deepak Batheja as Executive Vice President of Technology and CIO.

Ditech Financial has appointed Brad Goedken as CIO.