Director, Information Technology Division
and Chief Information Officer
National Agricultural Statistics Service
U.S. Department of Agriculture
Ron Thompson is the Director of the Information Technology Division and Chief Information Officer of USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, where he provides leadership and oversight to protect the agency’s data and IT services to NASS’s divisions. His responsibilities include designing and maintaining automated systems for processing, directing the administration of IT security, and developing and maintaining effective relationships with the USDA Office of the Chief Information Officer as well as other federal agencies.
Ron has more than 25 years of progressive experience in leadership roles spanning the public and private sectors, where he was responsible for the design, engineering, operational management, and governance of complex IT solutions and services. His breadth of hands-on experience in organizational design and transformation bring new perspectives in partnership and creative problem solving.
Prior to joining USDA, Ron worked at the Environmental Protection Agency and served as the Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary at the Department of Veterans Affairs, where he provided the day-to-day operational leadership required to accomplish its IT strategic initiatives. He served as the Executive Director for the Engineering, Design and Operations in the Office of the Chief Information Officer of the Department of Health and Human Services, where he transformed the organization’s services to an IT service management model that increased value to the business improved service levels, ensured reliance and agility, and lowered overall costs.
Ron has an Executive Masters of Business Administration (MBA) and a Bachelor of Science in Information Systems Management, both from the University of Maryland, and he is a fellow in the American Council for Technology-Industry Advisory Council (ACT-IAC).
Having grown up in rural Maryland, Ron has strong ties to the agricultural community. He served in the United States Army in Europe and at posts throughout the United States and now resides in Maryland with his wife and two sons, and is active in Boy Scouts of America as Scoutmaster leading his sons’ troop.
ATARC Industry Advisory Board
ATARC Vice President
ATARC Account Manager
ATARC Marketing & Events Coordinator
ATARC Account Manager
ATARC Working Group Coordinator
The Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC) and The Government Information Technology Executive Council (GITEC) announced their merger on May 31, 2018.
The merger brought together two non-profits with similar goals that provide professional development and collaborative forums for Federal government, academia and industry to identify, discuss and resolve emerging technology challenges.
GITEC Board Members who voted to merge with ATARC were: Michelle Barr, HUD; Walter Bigelow, ATF; Adriane Burton, HSRC; Rolando Estrada, DHA; Denise Hill, DOE; Luwanda Jones, VA; Robert Lahmann, SEC; Carlo Lucchesi, FBI; Darryl Peek, DHS; Chad Sheridan, USDA RMA; John Sprague, NASA; and Natasha Varlack, USDA AMS.
GITEC was established in response to a June 28, 1966 White House memorandum to provide a forum through which Senior Level Government and Industry Executives could share and collaborate in an open forum on Information Technology (IT) ideas, challenges and successes.
For over 50 years, GITEC organized and structured an impressive array of initiatives to focus on vital and timely issues affecting the direction and future of IT, including executive seminars, workgroups, summits, committees, and for 25 years, GITEC hosted the annual Information Processing Interagency Conference.
Beginning with its 25th anniversary in 2009, GITEC changed its focus to reflect a new era for IT professionals and a new Administration. In March of 2010, GITEC hosted its first GITEC Summit.
Similar to GITEC, ATARC expanded from its original focus.
Created in September of 2012, the Advanced Mobility Academic Research Center (AMARC) was formed in response to the Digital Government Strategy, which was released earlier that year. AMARC founder Tom Suder played a prominent role in the formation of the DGS and created ATARC to continue the dialogue between government, industry and academia.
AMARC hosted a pair of Federal Mobile Computing Summits before being asked by the General Services Administration in 2013 to hold additional events on the topics of Cloud Computing and IT Networks.
As AMARC’s collaborative focus changed from Mobile to Federal IT, so too did its name. In early 2014, Suder renamed AMARC the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center and within the next year, ATARC expanded its portfolio to include Cybersecurity, DevOps, Data & Analytics and Health IT events.
In 2017, ATARC published a 235-page report to the American Technology Council and Federal CIO Council entitled Navigating the Future of Mobile Services. Produced in the spirit of the Digital Government Strategy and in conjunction with the cross-agency Mobile Services Category Team, the report was a collaborative effort between more than 160 people representing 75 agencies, bureaus and companies.
In 2018, ATARC published its 25th White Paper in conjunction with MITRE as outputs from events in the ATARC Federal IT Summit Series.