Leadership

OMB announces new deputy federal chief information officer

Maria Roat, the chief information officer of the Small Business Administration, will be the next deputy federal CIO, the Office of Management and Budget announced May 12.

Roat is replacing Margie Graves, who left government at the end of last year. A spokesperson for OMB said Roat will join the agency “by the end of May.”

In a statement, Federal CIO Suzette Kent said she was “thrilled” Roat was joining OMB.

“The experience and leadership Maria brings to the role of Deputy Federal Chief Information Officer will be an asset to efforts to shape a secure, modern, and data driven government," Kent said.

Roat has served as the Small Business Administration’s CIO since October 2016, during which she pushed the agency to modernize legacy systems and processes.

This year, the agency was working to consolidate 12 different login pages into a single website, login.gov, and was trying to remove a dozen small, legacy applications off of SBA’s network — some of which were 15 years old — Roat told Federal Times in December.

She also led an effort to get a “360-[degree] view” of SBA’s clients through a customer relationship-management platform that would give the agency insight into its clients from the time they enter an SBA office to ask for a microloan to when they start doing business with the federal government.

Roat and her deputy, Guy Cavallo, have been praised by other IT officials within the agency. Nagesh Rao, the SBA’s director of business technology solutions, said in December that CIO leadership at SBA has been a “clear, steady hand.”

"Maria and Guy have done a great job in helping clean up the IT infrastructure at SBA, but they came in inheriting about 10 years of delinquency,” Rao said at an event in December.

She’s also headed the agency’s work on improving its use of data, a major initiative headed by Kent. Under Roat’s leadership, SBA kicked off a data community practice in an effort to break down data silos across the agency and increase the effectiveness and efficiency of different SBA offices.

Roat has almost 16 years of experience in federal IT, having joined the Department of Homeland Security in 2004. She served in several senior IT positions at the department, including deputy CIO of the Federal Emergency Management Agency and director of Federal Risk Management and Authorization Program, which authorizes cloud tools for use in the federal government.

A spokesperson for SBA declined to comment on who would replace Roat as CIO.

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