The Department of Homeland Security has named its next chief data officer (CDO), elevating senior advisor Mike Horton to the position. Horton took over in April, according to his LinkedIn, for Carlene Ileto, who had served as acting CDO since October 2020.

Horton’s post as CDO comes with a dual role as a senior advisor for the DHS Data Governance Council, which Ileto chairs as deputy CDO.

Horton has spent most of the millennium at DHS, starting his career at the agency in 2005 as an information technology officer. He served in that role for over a decade, before being promoted to CIO in 2015.

Horton’s stint as DHS CIO lasted from 2015-2019, after which he sandwiched stints as a senior advisor around a six-month stint as acting deputy CIO from January to June 2020.

As CDO, Horton is expected to lead an office taking a mission-first approach to understanding data flows among the agency and its mission. That will also include scaling and automating data management and fostering department-wide collaboration in a trusted and secure environment.

Acting CIO Beth Cappello previously predicted the agency would be able to complete these missions once a permanent CIO was in place.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.