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Rachelle Henderson, ICE CIO, Addresses Department-Wide Modernization Goals & Challenges

Rachelle Henderson chief information officer (CIO) of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), recently discussed modernization efforts, priorities and challenges that support national security initiatives during Potomac Officers Club’s 2021 Border Protection Innovations and Technology Forum.

If you missed the virtual event, you can still access the OnDemand version by visiting Potomac Officers Club’s Event Archive.

Prior to her keynote address, Shamlan Siddiqi, chief technology officer of NTT DATA’s Public Sector, introduced Henderson. She began her address by stating, “what is a challenge is also an opportunity to support our mission and our people. Now is the time for technology to play a critical role in our agency.”

Henderson noted that technology will help the government meet progressive goals. DHS and ICE have four challenges that have contributed to technology innovation. Of those is COVID-19, which has shifted the implementation of technology. Additionally, Henderson noted that the DHS must strengthen its security posture, following the recent cybersecurity attacks.

She used a basketball metaphor to explain how mission partners, industry, DHS employees and academia can work together to create innovation solutions. “Delivering technology at the speed of the mission is a team sport… Playing their position, but also communicating and remaining flexible. I’m here today because we need to communicate the technologies we need to support our critical missions,” Henderson said.

She discussed some of the technology priorities she has worked on, since joining ICE last year. She addressed ICE’s infrastructure, such as networks, cloud and digital transformation. She also discussed data analysis and analytics that work to support decision making, tactically, operationally and strategically.

“We need the best available infrastructure to automate our business processes, support secure operational functions and put data in the hands of decision makers. These are the key elements that will drive our mission forward,” Henderson said.

Some of DHS’ infrastructure modernization efforts have enabled the department to leverage commercial technology to increase bandwidth and application performance. For example, with this technology DHS has been able to work remotely, use secure video conferencing, as well as expand network connectivity options.

Additionally, ICE is 100 percent in the cloud, meaning that the department does not host applications in the agency’s data centers. ICE also recognized its operators and forward leaning partners that can help operationalize field ideas and launch cutting edge technologies.

“We certainly don’t have it all figured out, but it’s important to understand the foundation so we can figure out the next steps together,” Henderson added. To hear Henderson’s complete keynote address, you can register for the OnDemand footage by visiting Potomac Officers Club’s Event Archive.

Mark your calendars for March 4th, 2020, when Potomac Officers Club will host the 2021 Space Development Agency (SDA) Forum.

Since its inception in 2019, the Space Development Agency has continually worked to develop and modernize architecture concepts, systems designs, innovative technologies and emerging capabilities to enable leaders across the space domain to leverage next-generation space capabilities that increase warfighters’ lethality, maneuverability and survivability.

As the SDA continues to evolve, it is more vital than ever before that the government and industry work together to deliver the best technologies, so the nation can maintain its advantage in the modern space race.

During Potomac Officers Club’s 2021 SDA Forum, notable public and private sector leaders will unite to address the latest initiatives, efficiencies and challenges facing the nation, as we compete to maintain space superiority.

To register for the event, as well as view upcoming opportunities, visit Potomac Officers Club’s Event Page.

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