Homeland Security Watch

News and analysis of critical issues in homeland security

April 9, 2008

DHS Names New IT Chief

Filed under: Cybersecurity,DHS News,Technology for HLS — by Jonah Czerwinski on April 9, 2008

Richard Mangogna is the new DHS Chief Information Officer, according to a DHS press release. The announcement is noteworthy for its brevity.

Before we get into the investigation, DHS deck chairs move as follows: Mangogna succeeds Scott Charbo, who was appointed deputy undersecretary of National Protection and Programs. Since Charbo’s departure, Deputy CIO Charles Armstrong has served as acting CIO. Armstrong will support Mangogna’s on-boarding before moving over to become CIO for Customs and Border Protection.

Not a lot out there on Mr. Mangogna. He is identified in the official release as an independent consultant with the Mason Harriman Group. MHG doesn’t list any of its staff on its website. It characterizes its employees as consultants who “are 45 seasoned former C-Level executives from the Fortune 200.” Only generic contact information is available, but at least we can tell where MHG is located: Towaco, N.J.

The White House and DHS releases cite Mangogna as a former president and CEO of Covidea. You don’t know Covidea? The New York Times and Covidea announced a videotex service on September 16, 1986, with a product called New York Pulse. On December 6, 1988, Covidea closed its videotex services, Pronto and Business Banking. New York Pulse shut down the following year.

So what’s the new DHS CIO been up to for the last twenty one years? The Administration only acknowledges that Mangogna worked as executive vice president and CIO at JP Morgan Chase and was the division head of Business Re-engineering Management at Chase Manhattan Bank. I found no evidence of the Business Re-engineering Management role. In its 1999 annual report, Chase Bank refers to him as Global Bank CIO.

It is unclear why more wasn’t said about his experience there. When Chase and JP Morgan merged in 2000, a massive systems and business integration project began. As CIO for the newly created company, Mangogna co-chaired the technology and operations steering committee that guided the integration of the technology that supported the operations of about 100,000 employees with systems across the country and on six continents, involving more than 90 data and processing centers, according to a 2001 piece in InfoWorld. You might say that’s a transferable skill set.

However, DHS is a larger undertaking. With over 200,000 employees operating in a different paradigm than pre-9/11 banking, DHS represents a challenge for anyone. USCIS alone is embarking on a major overhaul of its business processes and technology foundation under its $3.5 billion Transformation program. Perhaps more details about Mangogna’s resume will come out in the press. But since the CIO at DHS doesn’t need to be Senate confirmed, it won’t come easily.

Final note: When Chase Bank purchased a major new Sun Microsystems server for about $900K back in 1999 (that was big then), Mangogna justified the investment, explaining “IT performance is a competitive weapon in the global economy.” He might easily update that assessment to include the bigger picture that DHS is responsible for.

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1 Comment »

Comment by William R. Cumming

April 9, 2008 @ 5:59 am

Now we know the answer to the question from an old movie “Where do we get such men?”

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