WASHINGTON – Secretary of the Interior Dirk Kempthorne today announced that Michael Howell will become the Chief Information Officer for the Department of the Interior on May 14, 2007.
“Mike has a wealth of experience and a track record of accomplishment that that makes him well qualified for this position,” Kempthorne said. “We are confident that he will provide the leadership to manage and enhance the Department’s information technology infrastructure and programs.”
The Chief Information Officer reports directly to the Secretary. The Office of the Chief Information Officer provides leadership to the department and its bureaus in all areas of information management and technology.
Howell is being promoted from his current position as the assistant director for Information Resources and Technology Management and Chief Information Officer for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. At FWS, Howell was responsible for all aspects of information resources and technology management, policy, budget, strategic planning, and operations in the Fish and Wildlife Service.
Mike previously served as chief of the Information Technology Portfolio Management Division in the Department’s Office of the Chief Information Officer, where he was responsible for overseeing the management of the Department’s $900 million a year portfolio of IT investments. Earlier, Mike also served for two years as the acting CIO and deputy CIO for the Bureau of Land Management.
For five years in BLM’s headquarters budget office, Mike was responsible for the budgets of a number of programs, including the Information Technology, Wildland Fire and Central Hazardous Materials appropriations. He ultimately led the development of BLM’s entire budget.
Mike spent four years at BLM’s Oregon State Office as a branch chief, responsible for software application development, Global Information System applications, and data and records management programs. He managed IT and GIS support for the President’s Northwest Forest Plan and the Interior Columbia Basin Ecosystem Management Project. Mike spent seven years in BLM’s Eugene District on forest inventory, land use planning, and National Environmental Policy Act analysis. He worked five years in a variety of forest management jobs in the Medford District in southwest Oregon. Mike’s career began with the U.S. Forest Service in the Coeur d’Alene National Forest in Idaho and the Olympic National Forest in Washington.
A native of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Mike graduated in 1977 from Pennsylvania State University with a bachelor of science degree in Forest Science with a minor in Wildlife Management. In 2005, he completed the Chief Information Officer certificate program at the National Defense University IRM College. Mike and his wife Gretchen have a son, Sean, and a daughter, Victoria.