Commerce CIO Mendes announces retirement

André Mendes is retiring after more than 14 years of federal service.

André Mendes is retiring after more than 14 years of federal service. Photo courtesy: André Mendes

After more than 14 years in the federal government, André Mendes is returning to his home state of Texas for a county CIO post.

André Mendes, chief information officer at the Department of Commerce, announced his retirement from federal service effective at the end of the year.

Mendes, whose federal CIO career included more than eight years at the Broadcasting Board of Governors and a stint at the International Trade Administration before moving to the top tech job at Commerce, is moving back to his home state of Texas to take the position of CIO of Tarrant County, according to his announcement on LinkedIn.

His career highlights include leading a transformation to make ITA the first 100% cloud-based federal agency. At BBG, which is home to Voice of America and other federal broadcasting operations, Mendes generated more than $360 million in savings through optimization and technology management. He took over the CIO shop at Commerce on an acting basis in August 2019 and on a permanent basis in April 2020. Mendes led efforts there to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, managing the transition to full-time telework for a 120,000-strong workforce nationwide.

In his post, Mendes joked that American Airlines shareholders might take a hit from his retirement, since he commuted weekly from Texas to Washington, D.C., to serve in the federal government. 

"I will not miss the 2:45 alarms or 5:15 flights," Mendes said.