Former Illinois CIO heading to HUD


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Rafael Diaz, the former chief information officer for the state of Illinois, has been chosen to lead the information technology efforts of the federal government’s Department of Housing and Urban Development.

As the CIO at HUD, Diaz will oversee a technology budget of approximately $290 million this year, but will shrink by a third in the next three years.

“Rafael is a proven technology leader with extensive experience in Management Information Systems, Cyber Security, Risk Management, Strategic Planning, and Policy Development,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan in an email last week to staff. “I am excited to announce his addition to our senior leadership team.”

Diaz has an especially strong background in security after serving as both the chief information security officer and chief cyber security advisor for Illinois, along with a time as the global application security lead for Deloitte.

Before becoming the CIO for Illinois, where he led the consolidation of 12 agencies’ data centers, network and personnel, Diaz worked as the CIO for Illinois’s Department of Central Management Services and Department of Human Services.

Diaz holds a post-graduate certificate in the computer career program from DePaul University, an M.S. in human services administration from Spertus College and a B.S. in biology, chemistry and music from the University of Illinois at Chicago.

With the new job, Diaz joins an exclusive club of government information technology leaders who have both served as a state CIO and CIO of a Cabinet-level federal agency, along with Teri Takai who was CIO of California and Michigan and CIO of the Defense Department, Michael Locatis who was Colorado’s CIO and then CIO of the Energy Department and Sonny Bhagowalia who served as the CIO at the Interior Department before becoming CIO for Hawaii.

Diaz’s partial biography:

  • Global application security lead for Deloitte – developed and implemented the global application security strategy
  • Coordinated a global working group (five country member firms) to define and implement a global application security testing standard
  • State CIO for Illinois – leading the consolidation of 12 agency data centers, networks, and personnel
  • CIO for two state agencies – Central Management Services and Human Services
  • State Chief Cyber Security Advisor and State Chief Information Security Officer
  • Security clearance granted through the Department of Homeland Security
  • Awarded multiple security grants through DHS for the State of Illinois
  • Initiated the cyber security committee in the Illinois Terrorism Task Force to enhance the state’s cyber security posture.
  • Led numerous boards and committees on a statewide and national level with the MS-ISAC, DHS, NASCIO, Chicago CISO Council and the Digital Government Summit.
  • Invited speaker at numerous events pertaining to cyber security issues.
  • Developed and implemented an enterprise risk management framework for the State of Illinois.
  • Managed state of Illinois PKI unit – only state with certified federal bridge for trusted authentication
  • Served as expert qualified forensic scientist with the Chicago Police Department.
  • Served as Commissioned Officer for the United States Army.

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Chief Information Officer (CIO), Illinois, State & Local News, States