Hello. I’m Cheryl Cook, the Chief Information Officer at the Department of Agriculture.
The USDA mission is incredibly diverse and reaches far beyond what you might typically think of as “agriculture.” It’s no exaggeration to say that what we do touch every American citizen, across every state, throughout every day—when you consider that:
- The Food and Nutrition Service is our Nation’s first line of defense against hunger, especially for children and low-income citizens
- The Food Safety and Inspection Service protects the nation against food-borne illness
- The Forest Service leads all efforts prevent and manage wildland fires
- USDA is the tenth largest lender in the United States and through Rural Development has over 1 million loans in rural America
- USDA finances both housing and essential community facilities such as schools, hospitals, water supplies, electricity, and broadband access
All of these services support the prosperity of our nation. All of them require information technology to achieve their objectives. All of them rely on the OCIO to:
- Keep our IT resources secure, yet readily available to authorized users
- Align IT investments with USDA’s business needs
- Provide the highest level of service to an increasingly mobile workforce
- Manage the Department’s IT portfolio on behalf of American taxpayers
The OCIO’s job is making sure our IT infrastructure supports the entire USDA mission. As CIO, my job is providing leadership to the dedicated professionals who make that happen.