Ex-IRS IT Chief Named DHS CIO

Richard Spires Once Headed Fraud Detection Software Maker The new chief information office of Homeland Security, Richard Spires, is credited by a former colleague as having helped transform how the Internal Revenue Service - where Spires served as deputy commissioner for operation support, chief information officer and deputy CIO - efficiently employs IT.

"The IRS is a transformed organization in respect to optimized information technology and improved business processes because of Richard," former IRS colleague Bruce Thomas, a business development executive at Deloitte, wrote in a recommendation posted on Linkedin.com.

DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano named Spires CIO Tuesday, characterizing Spires record of managing large-scale IT programs as impressive. "I look forward to working with him to find more efficient and innovative ways to help the department meet its strategic and information resource management goals," she said.

Spires, who worked at the IRS for three years till September 2008, once served as president of Mantas, a maker of fraud detection software for the financial services industry that was acquired by Oracle.

Spires crowning achievement at the IRS was overseeing the agencies business systems modernization program (BSM) - which he described as one of the most complex IT modernization efforts ever undertaken - turning around a failed project, in part, by recruiting IT personnel from the private sector, aided by a government program that paid competitive salaries.

He's an executive with a highly focused management style. "Richard instilled a disciplined approach to the investment decision process and to the governance process that resulted in on-time delivery of major project releases and helped restore confidence in the Service's ability to manage and deliver BSM and its entire IT portfolio," Dave Medek, who recently retired as an IRS business modernization executive, wrote in a Linkedin.com entry.

Before heading Mantas, spires spent more than 16 years at SRA International, working his way up from systems and software engineer to senior vice president of the systems integrator's commercial sector. He holds an M.S. in electrical engineering from George Washington University and a B.S. in electrical engineering and a B.A. in mathematical sciences from the University of Cincinnati.

About the Author

Eric Chabrow

Eric Chabrow

Retired Executive Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Chabrow, who retired at the end of 2017, hosted and produced the semi-weekly podcast ISMG Security Report and oversaw ISMG's GovInfoSecurity and InfoRiskToday. He's a veteran multimedia journalist who has covered information technology, government and business.

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