The White House announced its intention today to name Basil Parker – currently chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) – as the new Federal CIO.
Confirming reporting from MeriTalk in September, Parker is set to become the Administrator of the Office of Electronic Government within the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), putting him at the head of Federal IT policy. Parker would take over for his boss Michael Rigas, the acting Federal CIO since September and acting head of OPM. As a full appointee, Parker would be the successor to Suzette Kent, who stepped down in July after serving as Federal CIO for two-and-a-half years.
Before his current role at OPM, Parker was OPM’s Senior Advisor to the Director for IT/Cyber Workforce Development – a position he assumed in 2018. Parker came to OPM from the private sector, where he most recently was director of Defense Department (DoD) programs at Technica, and vice president of DoD and cyber programs at ASRC Federal.
The news came in the form of a White House press release, announcing President Trump’s intentions to name Parker to the position, amongst other appointed positions across government. While not officially placing Parker in the role, the announcement is a strong sign that Parker will officially begin work at the White House soon, as the Federal CIO is a presidential appointee who does not need to go through Senate confirmation.
However, due to the appointed nature of the role and the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden in January, Parker’s time as Federal CIO may be brief.