Former SunTrust exec takes over GSA TTS

NOTE: This article first appeared on

Anil Cheriyan, a tech executive with CIO experience at a major financial institution, will lead the Technology Transformation Services at the General Services Administration beginning next year.

Cheriyan will become TTS director and Federal Acquisition Service deputy commissioner beginning in early January. He will also lead GSA's Centers of Excellence program, which is currently operating at the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Cheriyan worked as CIO at SunTrust Banks from 2012 to 2018. Since January 2018 he has served as chairman of the board of the Technology Business Management Council, a private-sector group that has been advancing ideas on standardizing IT management practices. Cheriyan will continue in his role at the TBM Council.

The federal government is looking to adopt TBM standards by fiscal year 2022 as part of the President's Management Agenda.

According to a Forbes magazine interview from April, Cheriyan broke down corporate silos at SunTrust by hiring business segment CTOs, a chief data officer and enterprise-level chief data officers, all of which reported the CIO. Cheriyan also disciplined SunTrust's "ad hoc" innovation efforts.

"His previous success transforming how businesses leverage technology to better serve customers will be a major asset in helping the federal government improve its service to the American people," said GSA Administrator Emily Murphy in a statement.

At TTS, Cheriyan will lead key federal government digital transformation efforts helping agencies build, buy and share technology through 18F, the Office of Products and Programs and the Presidential Innovation Fellows initiatives as well as the expanding Centers of Excellence program.

"Anil brings senior leadership experience to his new role and we look forward to the results he will deliver across government," said Chris Liddell, White House Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy Coordination.

TTS has faced frequent leadership changes of late. The current acting director, Kelly Olson, has headed up TTS since last August. Olson stepped in after Joanne Collins-Smee left the position for the private sector after a year of service. Before that, former Pixar executive Rob Cook, an Obama administration holdover, was moved from TTS to GSA's Office of Governmentwide Policy as chief innovation adviser. Cook resigned shortly after that move.

About the Author

Mark Rockwell is a senior staff writer at FCW, whose beat focuses on acquisition, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Energy.

Before joining FCW, Rockwell was Washington correspondent for Government Security News, where he covered all aspects of homeland security from IT to detection dogs and border security. Over the last 25 years in Washington as a reporter, editor and correspondent, he has covered an increasingly wide array of high-tech issues for publications like Communications Week, Internet Week, Fiber Optics News, magazine and Wireless Week.

Rockwell received a Jesse H. Neal Award for his work covering telecommunications issues, and is a graduate of James Madison University.

Click here for previous articles by Rockwell. Contact him at or follow him on Twitter at @MRockwell4.

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