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CISO Tim Roemer Tapped to Lead Arizona Homeland Security

Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey has appointed state Chief Information Security Officer Tim Roemer to direct the state Department of Homeland Security. Roemer will bring new cybersecurity focuses to the department.

Arizona CISO Tim Roemer.
Arizona CISO Tim Roemer has been tapped to lead the state's Department of Homeland Security.
Image Courtesy State of Arizona (Twitter)
The Arizona Department of Homeland Security (AZDOHS) is receiving a new director and, soon, an expanded set of responsibilities. Tim Roemer — chief information security officer of the Arizona Department of Administration-Arizona Strategic Enterprise Technology office (ADOA-ASET) — took up the post yesterday and will bring with him some of the cybersecurity responsibilities he oversaw as CISO, according to an ADOA press release.

Roemer replaces outgoing Gil Orrantia, who is retiring after an 11-year stint with the agency.

Gov. Doug Ducey announced that the cybersecurity operations Roemer had handled in his previous role will transfer over to the purview of the state Department of Homeland Security once the new fiscal year begins on July 1, 2021. Roemer will be collaborating with ADOA-ASET’s CIO J.R. Sloan to manage that shift and future cooperation between the two organizations.

NEW: I’m announcing the appointment of @TimRoemerAZ to Director of the Arizona Department of Homeland Security. 1/ pic.twitter.com/G3eUaZBNKh — Doug Ducey (@dougducey) April 6, 2021


The pandemic shone a spotlight on the importance of this kind of cybersecurity work, as the state shifted many employees to remote work for public health reasons. The state then found itself forced to contend with the strains that this new level of demand put on existing tech infrastructure as well as a ramp up in attempts by fraudsters and hackers who saw tempting opportunities and sought to exploit new work-from-home arrangements, the release notes.

“Tim has been a welcome addition to the ADOA team to lead and protect the state during what would turn out to be unprecedented challenging times… Many systems were taxed beyond capacity and more bad actors used this time to increase cyberattacks,” the ADOA release states. “The cybersecurity team was resilient and unrelenting in their focus to protect the State during these increased attacks. Their resolve and efforts kept the State of Arizona systems and data safe.”

Cybersecurity continues to be of high importance as the state faces down new threats and it will be integral to its long-term defense strategy. The governor said this motivated him to fold such functions into the Department of Homeland Security. 

“Cybersecurity is homeland security — that’s why I’m looking forward to moving Arizona’s critical cyber mission to the Department of Homeland Security,” Ducey said in a press release.

Roemer will be appointing a deputy chief information security officer to support the department in its enhanced cybersecurity work.

Roemer comes to the directorship following a long history of public service that saw him serve as deputy director for the very department of homeland security that he now helms. Previous posts include serving as the governor’s public safety adviser and, later, the governor’s deputy director of legislative affairs, as well as 10 years spent in the CIA.

Eyragon Eidam is the Web editor for Government Technology magazine, after previously serving as assistant news editor and covering such topics as legislation, social media and public safety. He can be reached at eeidam@erepublic.com.
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