Guy Cavallo is taking over as Principal Deputy CIO at the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) effective Sept. 14.

The move caps off a three-year stint as Deputy CIO at the Small Business Administration (SBA) characterized by aggressive migration of agency IT functions to cloud services, and the agency’s high-profile performance during the coronavirus pandemic in distributing more than $500 billion to businesses through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) authorized by the CARES Act pandemic relief bill.

Cavallo said in an interview with MeriTalk that he is looking forward to the move “to hopefully bring some of the modernization successes” achieved at SBA to his new agency.

“OPM obviously touches every single Federal employee, and it would be great to help improve their processes, get personnel processes to work faster, get checks out faster, and leverage today’s technology to improve processes,” he said.

“I’m looking forward to joining them, seeing where they are, and trying to make the same type of progress that we’ve made at SBA,” Cavallo said.

In the latest FITARA Scorecard issued by the House Oversight and Reform Committee, OPM notched a “C+” grade, while SBA graded out at a “B+.”

In a riveting account as part of MeriTalk’s CIO Crossroads interview series about Federal agency CIOs and their IT operations in the pandemic, Cavallo and then-CIO Maria Roat – who has since become Deputy Federal CIO – detailed SBA’s whirlwind experience with standing up the PPP process, facing 100-fold increases in web traffic, and taking quick steps to keep fraudsters away from the funding.

Long before the onset of pandemic – and since – Cavallo has been a frequent speaker at public government IT events where he has often discussed the virtues of moving to cloud-based systems.

Prior to his time at SBA, Cavallo was Executive Director for IT Operations at the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and was a Senior Government Advisor at Microsoft for nine years before that.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.