Chief Technology Officer
Sue E. Bussells is the Chief Technology Officer (CTO) at the United States Department of Agriculture. She has more than 32 years of federal service. Most recently, she served as the USDA Executive Officer (Deputy Chief Information Officer) for Enterprise Management in the Office of the Chief Information Officer (CIO), and Chief of Staff , where she created a deliberative decision-making framework through the USDA CIO Council to increase agency support for enterprise-wide initiatives, implemented broad process improvements for identifying and communicating opportunities for such initiatives, and significantly increased agency participation in shared service opportunities that reduce costs while enabling better service delivery at USDA.
Her prior roles at USDA include a term serving as the acting CIO for USDA’s Rural Development Agency, and five years as the Deputy CIO for the Farm Service Agency, where she expanded project collaboration, reduced expenses by converting to electronic media, and oversaw stabilization activities while justifying the funding for modernization. Her federal career also includes working as the CTO for the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, where she initiated the business cases that modernized the systems supporting the commodity financial markets. At the Department of Veterans Affairs, she was the Technical Infrastructure Manager, overseeing one of the largest transformation efforts in federal financials, as well as enhancing cyber security capabilities and enterprise architecture transitional efforts. At the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, she implemented for the first time, a secure online patent application process by using the leading-edge capabilities of Public Key Infrastructure. While a project manager at the Office of Management and Budget, she was responsible for modernizing and developing the applications supporting the President’s budget.
Prior to coming to Washington, D.C., from Texas in 1999, Ms. Bussells worked with the Department of Justice at the U.S. Border Patrol, overseeing the El Paso Sector as Senior Technology Manager. She pioneered biometric technology throughout the sector and theater, supporting agents patrolling a geographical area that covered several southwestern states and more than 200 sites. She also held several project and program manager positions at the Department of Defense, responsible for a wide range of initiatives. These included developing and implementing major projects for military intelligence systems and, with the Army Research Laboratory, research and development of weapons and acoustical and meteorological detection systems. As a change agent in modernization and transformation, she has continued to lead her organizations through quality management, process improvements, and innovative changes, which helped one agency win the Malcolm Baldridge Quality Award for two consecutive years.
Ms. Bussells is a decorated veteran and served in the United States Army as a Military Intelligence Analyst (Electronic Warfare Signal Intelligence). She was stationed in Hawaii and at Ft. Bliss in El Paso, Texas.
Ms. Bussells holds a bachelor’s degree in Computer Science (Science and Engineering Option) from Roosevelt University and a master’s degree in Computer Resources and Information Management from Webster University. She also has a Master’s Level Certification as a Chief Information Officer from the National Defense University, and is a published author in the International Journal of Enterprise Architecture. In addition, she completed the Leadership for a Democratic Society Program at the Federal Executive Institute.
Sue attributes her strong work ethic and her love for gardening and animals to her early years growing up in Maryland as a farmer’s daughter. Today, she spends much of her free time lovingly caring for her rescue cats, professionally training her five German Shepherds and Great Dane, and tending her vegetable plants in her greenhouse and garden. In good weather, she can be found swimming in her pool or cruising on her motorcycle.