DHS’s Dr. Barry Heads West

Barry West, senior adviser and senior accountable official for risk management at the Department of Homeland Security, addresses MeriTalk's Cyber Security Brainstorm on Sept. 20, 2017, in Washington, D.C. (Photo: David Keith for MeriTalk)

It’s only traditional for heroes to ride off into the sunset–and, appropriate that the sun sets in the West. Dr. Barry West, senior advisor and senior accountable official for risk management at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), announced plans to hang up his government IT spurs the end of this month.

A fitting final ride for his storied Federal IT career, West has played a pivotal role in DHS IT direction, supporting the transition from previous administration CIO Luke McCormack to the short-lived Richard Starolopi to Dr. John Zangardi in the DHS CIO office. During his latest year-and-a-half tenure at DHS, West served as the lead executive on roll out and implementation of the 2017 White House Cyber Executive Order–and deserves significant credit for engaging government and industry to operationalize this critical policy directive.

The Cyber EO plays integrally with the MGT Act, FITARA, as well as the White House IT Modernization report and the new IT Executive Order. These programs lock up together in the administration’s Presidential Management Agenda.

This certainly wasn’t West’s first rodeo. A serial Federal IT leader, West has served as acting deputy CIO at DHS, as well as CIO at Commerce, FEMA, PBGC, FDIC, and NOAA/NWS. As approachable as he is knowledgeable, West will bring his significant talents to the private sector where he’ll continue to play an important role in improving the outcomes of Federal IT.

Happy trails partner–and never say never. Who knows, we may need to flash the bat sign again for one more ride on the range or perhaps a cricket match?

Steve O'Keeffe
About Steve O'Keeffe
Steve O'Keeffe is the founder of MeriTalk, the government IT network. MeriTalk is an online community that hosts professional networking, thought leadership, and focused events to drive the government IT dialogue. A 20-year veteran of the government IT community, O'Keeffe has worked in government and industry. In addition to MeriTalk, he founded Mobile Work Exchange, GovMark Council, and O’Keeffe & Company.