Women in IT Making a Difference

The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) has appointed Maria A. Roat to serve as CIO, reporting to the agency’s head, Maria Contreras-Sweet. Previously, Roat was CTO at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT), where she oversaw the DOT’s migration to the cloud. Prior to the Department of Transportation, Roat has served for a decade at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in a number of senior IT roles. Roat retired from the U.S. Navy in 2007, after 26 years of active and reserve duty which included positions in enterprise network management and engineering, as well as IT operations.

The appointment of women to top executive roles has a proven impact on the number of women joining the managerial ranks. Recently, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission analyzed data from more than 20,000 private-sector companies and found that when the share of female top managers increased, the share of women in middle-management positions subsequently rose.

For recent Straight Talk articles by Women in IT, see Sumeet Bagga, Executive Director, IT Planning & Innovation and Divestitures, Mergers & Acquisitions, Merck​, on strategies for creating positive business impact; Karen Painter, Head of Media Software and Services, Turner Broadcasting System, on creating a culture of diversity; Pragati Mathur, Senior Vice President, Technology and Business Solutions, Biogen, on taking chances and taking charge; Sylvia George, Head of Enterprise Quality Assurance, NBCUniversal, on the art and science of personal reinvention; Angel Newkirk, Vice President, Supply Chain Systems and Corporate Integration, Ann Brands of Ascena Retail Group, on the ultimate challenge; and Leigh Martin, Senior Director, Dynamic Science Labs, Infor, on 5 skills to look for when you are hiring a data scientist.

In other recent appointments and career moves:

Petco has appointed John Zavada as senior vice president and CIO, reporting to executive vice president and chief financial officer, Mike Nuzzo. Previously, Zavada served as CIO at a number of companies, including Restoration Hardware, Guitar Center, Big Lots, Limited Inc., and Victoria's Secret Store.

Google has appointed Flint Waters to an unspecified role, advising state and local governments on moving their applications to the cloud. Previously, Waters served for five years as CIO of the state of Wyoming, where he has led several cloud migration projects.  

Wyoming Governor Matt Mead has appointed his deputy chief of staff to serve as state CIO. Previously, Young worked in the Wyoming U.S. Attorney’s Office as head of Wyoming’s Law Enforcement Coordinating Committee and as a Special Agent with the Division of Criminal Investigation.

Mitsubishi Motors Corp. has appointed Masao Kuruma as its first global chief information officer. Previously, Kuruma has worked in a variety of senior IT roles at Sony since 1983.


Columbus State Community College has appointed Michael Babb as Vice President & CIO.

Cision U.S. has appointed Robert Coppola as CIO.

Smith & Nephew has appointed David Lynam as Head of IT Audit.

Perrigo Company has appointed Justin Harter as Manager, IT&S Global Operations & Lab Applications.

Air Liquide has appointed Grégoire Pénet as Manager, Service Delivery - Network Security Solutions Operations.

The TEAM Companies has appointed Mujeebur Rahmansaher as Vice President, Information Technology.

Arora Hotels has appointed Bira Bains as Head of Information Technology.

Tullett Prebon has appointed Luke Barnett as CIO.