Homeland Security's Flyzik to step down in December

James Flyzik, special adviser to homeland security director Tom Ridge, announced Nov. 4 his plans to retire after 28 years of federal service. He will leave government Dec. 17.

Flyzik, who is on detail to the Homeland Security Office from his post as CIO of the Treasury Department, also has been vice chairman of the CIO Council since 1997. He said he has not decided what his next step will be, but with the impending creation of the Homeland Security Department, he viewed this as the right time to step down.

The long-time fed said he had considered leaving government last year, "but then 9-11 happened, and I clearly wanted to be a part of that."

Flyzik announced his retirement at a press conference at the Executive Leadership Conference sponsored by the Industry Advisory Council.

"My experience over the last 28 years within Homeland Security, Treasury and the Secret Service have been extremely rewarding and provided countless memories for me [that] I will never match," he said.

The administration tapped Flyzik for his latest job in part to bring a federal perspective to the Homeland Security Office, which the White House staffed mainly with state and private-sector executives, including the office's CIO, Steve Cooper. At the office since spring, he originally signed on for a 120-day detail. He then signed up for another 120-day detail, which ends Dec. 17.

Flyzik could not say if someone would replace him as a special adviser, but said NASA CIO Lee Holcomb, also on detail to the office, will take on a larger piece of the enterprise architecture planning work.

Flyzik has been working on planning and transition for the planned Homeland Security Department. He said the integration of 55 watch lists, developing an internal portal and setting up a secure videoconferencing system are among the top priorities for the new department.

A new vice chairman of the CIO Council will be named at the group's Nov. 20 meeting.

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