Posted: 2:22 am ET
Another 30-plus year veteran of the State Department is leaving effective December 8. Frontis Wiggins, the agency’s chief information officer, and a career employee of over thirty years announced his retirement to his IRM colleagues via email on November 20:
“Today, I am announcing that I will retire from the U.S. Department of State, effective Friday, December 8, 2017. I will have more information to share with you in the near future.”
The State Department’s average annual attrition the last five years for Information Technology Managers at the FE-MC rank like Mr. Wiggins is 1. In 2016, the average annual projected leadership attrition for this skill group and rank the next five years was zero.
Next to security officers and office management specialists, information management specialists in the State Department are projected to have the third highest overall attrition in the next five years (2016-2020).
His official bio via state.gov:
Frontis B. Wiggins, a member of the Senior Foreign Service with the rank of Minister-Counselor, is currently the Chief Information Officer for the U.S. Department of State. In this capacity, he is responsible for the Department’s information resources and technology initiatives which provide core information, knowledge management, and technology (IT) services to the Department of State and its 260 overseas Missions. He is directly responsible for the Information Resource Management (IRM) Bureau’s budget of $569 million, and oversees State’s total IT/ knowledge management budget of approximately one billion dollars.
He joined the Foreign Service in 1985 and has served overseas in Cairo, Budapest, Hong Kong, Paris, Information Management Officer Beijing, and Director of Regional Information Management Center (RIMC) Frankfurt. Senior level assignments in D.C. have included the Principal Deputy CIO, Deputy CIO for Foreign Operations, the Dean of the School of Applied Information Technology (SAIT) at the Foreign Service Institute (FSI), and the Director of Information Resource Management’s Messaging Systems Office.
Mr. Wiggins holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from the College of William and Mary, a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from George Washington University, and is a member of their Honor Society. He is a graduate of the Chief Information Officer’s University class of 2006 and has received numerous Meritorious and Superior Honor awards during his career, as well as being the first recipient of AFSA’s Tex Harris Award for constructive dissent in 2000. He speaks seven foreign languages with varying degrees of fluency.
A colleague of Mr. Wiggins who was at FSI where he was once dean told us that everyone there raved at that time that he would be the next CIO. “There was a lot of excitement in the field when he did become CIO because he worked up through the ranks and was familiar with the work in the trenches. He seemed keen on modernizing our aging IT infrastructure, so there’s been a lot of hope that things *might* actually change for the better in IRM.”
Mr. Wiggins was “leading the charge for much-needed modernization of our IT infrastructure” at the State Department we were told. And that “this is a sad time for IT in the Department.”
One source confirmed for us that Rob Adams, the Principal Deputy CIO will be Acting CIO after Mr. Wiggins’ departure. Federal News Radio who reported on Wiggins’ departure says that Adams joined the State Department in 1988 after serving in the Marine Corps for four years. Federal News also note that Wiggins will become the eighth cabinet agency CIO to leave in the past year.