Interior Announces New Chief Information Officer

Last edited 09/29/2021

WASHINGTON D.C. – Today the U.S. Department of the Interior announced the selection of Sylvia Burns as its new Chief Information Officer (CIO).

“Sylvia is a tremendous asset to the Department and she will excel in this new role,” said Assistant Secretary for Policy, Management and Budget Rhea Suh. “Her extensive knowledge and experience make her a perfect fit to lead the day-to-day work of the Office of the Chief Information Officer and advance the Department's ongoing IT Transformation efforts. As the Department continues to move forward on critical initiatives like data center consolidation, Sylvia's leadership and collaborative style will help ensure our success in improving our IT services, while reducing our IT costs.”

Ms. Burns has been acting in this role since March 2014. Prior to assuming her role as acting CIO, Ms. Burns served as the Associate Deputy CIO for Policy, Planning and Compliance for the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO).

“As Acting CIO I have had the privilege of leading a dedicated team and working collaboratively with our bureaus and offices as we modernize our systems and move our IT Transformation program forward,” said Burns. “I am honored to be selected as CIO for Interior to continue this important work.”

Ms. Burns started her career in public service in 1994 at the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service at the International Trade Administration of the U.S. Department of Commerce, where she led several high-priority technology projects. Among them were the deployment of a worldwide Customer Relationship Management solution and a secure remote network access system.

Ms. Burns joined Interior in 2006 as the Director of Information Planning in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Indian Affairs. She managed Indian Affairs' Enterprise Architecture, Capital Planning and Investment Control activities, IT budget and acquisitions, and IT policy.

Following her tenure at Indian Affairs, Ms. Burns joined the OCIO in 2009 as the Chief for Portfolio Management, overseeing Interior's $1 billion IT investment portfolio. She led the Department's Innovations and Efficiency Team, which focused on how the Interior could do better IT for less, which played a critical part in the Department's decision to consolidate many IT services.

Ms. Burns holds a Master's degree in Business Management and Policy from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and is a member of the Office of Personnel Management's Senior Executive Service. She is a senior fellow in the Council in Excellence in Government's eGov Fellowship program.

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