Head of GSA's Tech Service to Return to Private Sector

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GSA also confirmed reports that the Technology Transformation Services is losing another program leader next month, as well.

After 18 months in his first public sector job, Anil Cheriyan, director of the General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Services, is leaving government.

“It’s never easy to leave an organization you believe in, but it’s even harder when you feel so passionately about the mission,” Cheriyan said Tuesday in an email to staff. “Although my intention was to stay longer, a private sector company reached out directly with an opportunity with global impact that I can’t turn down.”

Cheriyan did not immediately respond to Nextgov about what that next opportunity entails.

The last year and a half have seen some significant changes to the TTS portfolio, which includes the Presidential Innovation Fellows; the government’s internal tech consultancy, 18F; and the TTS group, which includes FedRAMP, Login.gov, Challenge.gov and many others.

But the biggest changes were in the Centers of Excellence, a program Cheriyan spent significant time on. Early in his time with TTS, Cheriyan made it a goal to expand the modernization consultancy program while keeping the unique aspects that have made it useful for client agencies.

Since then, the program has expanded beyond the initial five focus areas and has been bringing on new customer agencies at a more rapid pace.

Cheriyan’s last day will be July 17, according to the note to staff.

“Anil has done a tremendous job leading TTS and I am very grateful for all he and his team have accomplished during the past 18 months,” GSA Administrator Emily Murphy said in a statement announcing Cheriyan’s departure. “GSA is committed to continuing the important work Anil has led and I look forward to watching the talented TTS team bring about significant, meaningful change in federal IT for years to come.”

Prior to joining GSA, Cheriyan served as chief information officer for SunTrust Bank and chair of the Technology Business Management Council, a non-profit that developed the TBM framework for coupling IT spending with outcomes, now a requirement for all federal agencies.

“If I can ask one thing of this team, it’s to maintain your drive and focus,” Cheriyan said in his letter to staff. “Keep the focus on the mission and do what you do best as it can truly change the lives of the people we serve. TTS does incredible work and I thank you for allowing me to be a part of a team so inspirational and impactful.”

Cheriyan was the fourth permanent leader to run TTS since the service was stood up in 2016, and has served the longest term to date. 

”Anil made leading the digital transformation of the federal government a top-priority,” said Federal Acquisition Service Commissioner Julie Dunne. “He guided TTS to sharpen its vision, strategy, and focus on the key elements vital to the future of federal IT modernization.

A GSA spokesperson also confirmed the impending departure of CoE Director Bob DeLuca, first reported by Federal News Network’s Jason Miller. Details on DeLuca’s retirement were not immediately available.

The news comes less than a week after Federal CIO Suzette Kent, the government’s top IT leaders, announced her plans to retire in July, as well.