VA Chief Information Security Officer Resigns

Pedro Cadenas Jr., the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) chief information security officer, has resigned effective July 13, GCN.com reports.

Since 2004, Cadenas was the VA’s associate deputy assistant secretary for cyber and information security. According to GCN.com, he did not resign because of department changes in the wake of the theft of the laptop that contained personal data on 26.5 million veterans.

However, several high-level, disciplinary personnel changes did happen because of the theft. The article states the VA fired the data analyst who took home sensitive data. Michael McLendon, deputy assistant secretary for policy, resigned, and Dennis Duffy, acting assistant secretary for policy and longtime career official, is on administrative leave.

Interestingly, before the theft of the laptop, then-CIO Robert McFarland resigned in the wake of what he called "a contentious atmosphere at the executive level" over pressure to centralize the VA IT organization, GCN.com reports.

The article reports that Cadenas became VA’s acting deputy CIO and acting deputy assistant secretary for the Office of Information Technology after McFarland’s departure. Cadenas became CISO when Bruce Brody resigned.

Cadenas came to VA in 2002 to become director of the agency’s critical infrastructure protection program. Prior to that, he held professional positions in information security in the private sector.

Compiled by Paul Kerstein

For more information, read An Expert’s Perspective on the VA Data Theft: An Interview with Bruce Brody.

For ongoing coverage, read Data Theft at the VA.

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