The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has named Karl Mathias, who had served as the chief information officer (CIO) of the United States Marshals Service since January 2015, as its next CIO, an agency spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk March 3.

HHS said Mathias’ expertise in zero trust architectures and robotic process automation was a key reason for his appointment.

“HHS is pleased to welcome Dr. Mathias as Chief Information Officer,” HHS said in a statement. “Dr. Mathias is a seasoned executive whose career has been defined by exceptional leadership and a commitment to service. Throughout his career, he has demonstrated technical expertise and the ability to manage complex organizations and teams effectively.”

Mathias takes over for George Chambers, who has been acting CIO at HHS since January 2022. Prior to Chambers, Janet Vogel had served as acting CIO from June 2021 until her retirement at the end of 2021. Perryn Ashmore, the most recent permanent CIO at the agency, retired in May 2021 after switching from acting to permanent CIO in December 2020.

Prior to his time at the Marshals Service, Mathias had spent most of his career outside of academia in the United States Air Force (USAF). At USAF he served in various posts, beginning as a programmer analyst at the Air Force Wargaming Institute in 1993 and working his way up to Pentagon positions at USAF beginning in May 2011.

Mathias’ final USAF post before becoming CIO for the Marshals was the deputy director of headquarters information management from February 2014 to January 2015. There he was among the first at the agency responsible for the beginning of oversight for the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2014.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.