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Friday, January 27, 2023

CBP’s Office of Information Technology Works to Fill Leadership Roles

The Office of Information Technology at U.S. Customs and Border Protection is in the process of a competitive hiring search to fill several acting roles left by retirements or departures this fiscal year.

Robert Costello, executive director of OIT’s Enterprise Networks and Technology Support Directorate, is leaving the department with Friday his last day. Chris Wurst is on detail as acting executive director of ENTSD.

Costello “has been a mainstay at OIT in many XD roles since 2008,” CBP Chief Information Officer Sanjeev “Sonny” Bhagowalia said in a memo on the officer’s leadership changes. “We thank him for his contributions to CBP and wish him the very best in his future endeavors.”

Ten senior executive service and three senior-level/senior-technical level positions oversee OIT’s workforce of about 2,200 full-time employees and 3,900 contractors. The office’s enterprise IT portfolio is $1.8 billion.

Bhagowalia was named last month to the permanent role of CIO and assistant commissioner at OIT. CIO and Assistant Commissioner of the Office of Information and Technology (OIT) Phil Landfried retired on June 30; Bhagowalia, the deputy assistant commissioner and deputy CIO, took over as acting CIO.

Bhagowalia thanked all of the leaders who have served in acting capacities and have kept OIT “running effectively and efficiently.”

Jim McLaughlin, who has served in several key positions in the Targeting and Analysis Systems Program Directorate and OIT, is on detail as acting deputy assistant commissioner while Chief Systems Engineer Sunil Madhugiri has been serving as acting chief technology officer.

The Border Enforcement and Management Systems Directorate is being led by Acting Executive Director Dave Hansen with permanent deputy executive director Michael George. At the Cargo Systems Program Directorate, Tom Mills serves as acting executive director while the deputy executive director role is currently vacant.

The Enterprise Data Management and Engineering Directorate is led by permanent executive director Ed Mays and Acting Deputy Executive Director Jeff Colbert. At the Field Support Directorate, Acting  Executive Director Angela Bartow is supported by Acting Deputy Executive Director Matt Sarra and permanent Deputy Executive Director Baibhav Dakota.

Jay Alalasundaram is serving as acting executive director at the Passenger Systems Program Directorate, along with Acting Deputy Executive Director Michelle Nelson. And at the Targeting and Analysis Systems Program Directorate, Nael Samha serves as acting executive director; Stephen Parshley is the permanent deputy executive director.

DHS and CBP have made pending selections for the executive directors for BEMSD, PSPD, and CSPD. OPM’s review of candidates has been delayed by switching to a new administration, resulting in a government-wide backlog.

Sonny Bhagowalia Named New CIO at Customs and Border Protection

Bridget Johnson
Bridget Johnson is the Managing Editor for Homeland Security Today. A veteran journalist whose news articles and analyses have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe, Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor and a foreign policy writer at The Hill. Previously she was an editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and syndicated nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. Bridget is a terrorism analyst and security consultant with a specialty in online open-source extremist propaganda, incitement, recruitment, and training. She hosts and presents in Homeland Security Today law enforcement training webinars studying a range of counterterrorism topics including conspiracy theory extremism, complex coordinated attacks, critical infrastructure attacks, arson terrorism, drone and venue threats, antisemitism and white supremacists, anti-government extremism, and WMD threats. She is a Senior Risk Analyst for Gate 15 and a private investigator. Bridget is an NPR on-air contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, New York Observer, National Review Online, Politico, New York Daily News, The Jerusalem Post, The Hill, Washington Times, RealClearWorld and more, and has myriad television and radio credits including Al-Jazeera, BBC and SiriusXM.

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