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Biden appoints new federal CIO

Her challenge is to modernize government IT systems and improve accessibility

On Tuesday, President Joe Biden named Clare Martorana, a government IT veteran and former health tech executive, the federal government’s Chief Information Officer (CIO).

Martorana will be in charge of modernizing and upgrading the government’s outdated tech infrastructure. She’ll also have a role in cyber security and making government websites more accessible.

Martorana also will serve as administrator of the Office of Electronic Government at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB).

Martorana began her government career with the U.S. Digital Service, spearheading digital modernization efforts at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. She was also CIO of the U.S. Office of Personnel Management for two years under the Trump administration. She 

Before joining the federal government, she was president at Everyday Health and general manager and editor-at-large at WebMD.

The U.S. Digital Service congratulated Martorana on her new position in a tweet, saying “after a tour in government, you’ll never be the same.”

Martorana’s appointment comes nearly two months after Biden appointed Chris DeRusha as federal chief information security officer (CISO). DeRusha had previously served as Biden’s campaign cyber security chief. 

Biden has also appointed Anne Neuberger as deputy national security advisor for cyber and emerging technology. 

Since the first day of the Biden administration, Neuberger has been coordinating the federal government’s response to one of the worst cyber security breaches in its history — the SolarWinds hack that infected the networks of nearly a dozen different federal agencies and multiple private U.S. companies.

Biden hasn’t announced a nominee yet for a newly established national cyber director position. 

The president has committed to addressing cyber attacks on the US. He also voiced his support for the federal CISO position before entering office as part of the American Rescue Plan he unveiled on January 14. 

The $1.9 trillion American Rescue Plan earmarked $9.7 billion for cyber security investments at CISA, $300 million for technology modernization across federal agencies, and $200 million for the Information Technology Oversight and Reform Fund to rapidly hire hundreds of experts to support the federal Chief Information Security Officer and U.S. Digital Service.

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