You're Fired! Trump's Worst Hire Ever: IT Incompetent Fed CIO Suzie Kent
By Duane Thresher, Ph.D. April 10, 2018
There has been endless ignorant talk about President Trump's hirings (and firings). Whatever else his appointments have been, most have at least been somewhat qualified. Not so with his appointment of IT incompetent Suzette Kent as Federal Chief Information Officer (CIO), the CIO of CIOs. Suzie Kent is Trump's worst hire ever and should be fired.
A CIO is not just any management position. It requires a specific education, exactly like judges being educated in the law or doctors being educated in medicine. If a CIO does not have to have an IT education then neither should a judge have to have a law education or a doctor a medical education.
An IT incompetent CIO, like IT people at every level in the IT hierarchy, will not know who is competent to hire. This results in a situation where every level in the IT hierarchy is IT incompetent and thinks it's OK because those in the level below must be IT competent and will take care of the all-important technical details. Those at the lowest level just assume that all the defaults in the equipment and programs will always be fine. This may work until something unusual quickly happens, like a hacker.
The Federal CIO does not have to get Senate confirmation so there is no excuse of choosing someone that is incompetent but politically acceptable. Because only an IT expert like myself can know who is IT competent to hire and there are none of these higher up in government and business, it has become standard in government and business to hire IT incompetent women as CIO, as a sop to political correctness, i.e., women's rights. But this is just stupid and dangerous, as the ever-worsening plague of data breaches shows, and no one has a right to a job they are not competent to do.
Suzette Kent only has a BA in journalism from Louisiana State University (LSU), according to LSU. Someone with a journalism degree is not qualified to use a computer, never mind be a CIO. Further, journalism is at the bottom, along with Communications (often they are one and the same), as a respectable major and LSU is not even a top-tier university. (For writers the best advice has forever been to get a degree in the subject you are going to write about, not journalism, and this includes those who write about IT.)
Or does Suzette Kent only have a BA in advertising and marketing from LSU, as she wrote on her LinkedIn page? This discrepancy brings up an ethical question about Kent: did she lie on her resume? In any case, advertising and marketing is no better an education, and maybe worse, for the Federal CIO.
The Federal CIO is the top IT job in the U.S. Government and its holder should be the best, not someone with no IT education at all. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has to have a legal education. The Surgeon General has to have a medical education. The Federal Chief Information Officer has to have a ... marketing education?
A joke that my young daughter likes (and understands) is that Suzie Kent "thinks an IP address is where she goes to the bathroom". IT incompetent Suzie Kent having the job of CIO of CIOs makes her the biggest fake in all of IT so she should be called "Fake Suzette".
Judging from what Suzie Kent has said -- she mostly just tweets and talks about women's rights -- she is not even interested in IT, just in saying how great it is that women, no matter how IT incompetent, are in government and business IT and that there should be many more.
Having hordes of the IT incompetent in government and business IT will, without exaggeration, ultimately mean their destruction. For example, imagine that anyone could be a doctor without having gone to medical school. Combine that with anyone being able to be a judge without having gone to law school. You'd have a legion of quack doctors killing masses of people and getting away with it.
In this Information Age, we already have the situation that anyone can be a CIO without an IT education and the beginning of the destruction is obvious; the death of Equifax for example, because having been hacked its credit reports are now worthless. Further, the law and medicine are limited in their extent but IT extends to everything, including nuclear weapons.
Suzie Kent has talked about how hard it is to hire the IT competent in government IT. But if she is really concerned, the best thing she could do would be to quit as Federal CIO. No competent employee in any field wants to work for someone who knows nothing about the field. It's frustrating and demoralizing. Wake up little Suzie, you gotta go home.
If Suzie Kent doesn't even have the brains to know to quit as Federal CIO, Trump should fire her, before she makes the Equifax data breach seem trivial. Fortunately, even after he has hired them, Trump is not afraid to fire those he thinks are not right for the job, which is clearly the case here.
Below are my tweets on this topic.