Maria Roat, who has been deputy Federal CIO at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) since May 2020, will become Acting Federal CIO and Acting Federal CISO effective Jan. 20, a senior administration official confirmed to MeriTalk.

Roat, a 26-year U.S. Navy veteran, brings a wealth of experience to the new positions. In addition to nearly nine months in the Deputy Federal CIO position, she was CIO at the Small Business Administration (SBA) from 2016 to 2020, and Chief Technology Officer at the Department of Transportation from 2014 to 2016. Those positions followed ten years at the Department of Homeland Security that included stints as Deputy CIO-Administration, and FedRAMP Director.

She maintains an active presence in the Federal technology community, and is a frequent speaker at industry events. Last year, Roat provided an extended interview as part of MeriTalk’s CIO Crossroads series about how SBA benefited during the COVID-19 pandemic from its prior moves to cloud-based systems.

In public appearances over the past several months, she has tackled a range of subjects including IT modernization, cybersecurity, workforce training, customer service, and the Technology Modernization Fund (TMF). She now serves as an alternate member of the TMF Board of Directors, and is in line to become chair of the TMF board when her appointment as Acting Federal CIO becomes official.

Roat’s twin position appointments will bring to a conclusion the relatively brief tenures of Basil Parker as Federal CIO, and Camilo Sandoval as Federal CISO.

The White House announced its intention in November 2020 to appoint Parker Federal CIO, and he took over the position last month. Parker had been chief of staff at the Office of Personnel Management, and succeeded Suzette Kent as Federal CIO; she stepped down from the position in July 2020 after two-and-a-half years of service.

Sandoval became Federal CISO around the beginning of November 2020, succeeding Grant Schneider, who stepped down last August to become senior director of cybersecurity services at Venable. Sandoval was acting CIO at the Department of Veterans Affairs, and held positions at the Treasury Department.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.