The Architect Behind the Intelligence Community's Cloud Move Retires

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Longtime public servant Al Tarasiuk’s career in the IC began in 1988, with an electrical engineering job at the CIA.

The architect behind the strategy that catapulted the 17 agencies within the intelligence community to the cloud retired Tuesday.

IC Chief Information Officer Al Tarasiuk, who authored the IC Information Technology Enterprise strategy in 2011 at the behest of Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, announced his retirement after 28 years of public service.

ICITE (pronounced EYEsite) changed the business model for agencies within the IC by requiring they share services under a unified vision to securely discover, access and share information. ICITE is what drove the Central Intelligence Agency to pursue what became a $600 million deal with Amazon Web Services to provide cloud computing services to the IC.

Cloud computing is one of the core pillars of ICITE. Led by the CIA and the National Security Agency, agencies have begun hosting apps, data and signals intelligence in the cloud. The move is expected to save agencies time and money while increasing the efficiency at which they operate.

Other ICITE components include a common desktop, an IC-wide applications mall, and network requirement and engineering services -- all led by the largest IC agencies.

Tarasiuk’s career in the IC launched in 1988, with an electrical engineering job at the CIA, developing and implementing radio frequency systems. He’d eventually become the CIO of the CIA before he stepped into the role as the IC CIO, where ICITE became his main focus.

According to Clapper, Tarasiuk did not disappoint.

“Behind Al’s leadership, the IC Information Technology Enterprise initial operational capability became available just 20 months after I issued this task,” Clapper said in a statement. “Since then, the ICITE set of capabilities has grown significantly and the focus has shifted to agencies adopting IC ITE capabilities.”

The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has not announced Tarasiuk’s replacement yet, but that individual will have some large shoes to fill. The IC isn’t talking about ICITE anymore; it’s performing mission-focused actions under ICITE -- and Tarasiuk was perhaps the main reason why.

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