Jennifer Wendel was appointed Acting Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on December 4, 2023. Prior to her Acting CIO appointment, Jennifer served as Deputy Chief Information Officer (DCIO) for HHS since January 2023.
Jennifer provides leadership and oversight of the information technology (IT) systems and security activities for a workforce of over 83,000. As the head of the Office of the Chief Information Officer (OCIO), she leads the Department’s efforts in developing and implementing IT policies, managing high priority projects, and planning strategic IT investments. As the Acting CIO, Jennifer also provides leadership and oversight of the Department’s $7B IT portfolio in support of its expansive mission to enhance the health and well-being of Americans.
Immediately prior, Jennifer served as Acting DCIO for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) since March 2020. There she supported the CIO for strategic decisions regarding technology advancements, guiding executive through leadership in IT services, cybersecurity and governance. She also provided key insights on technical administration including policy, budgeting, enterprise licenses, innovation, and risk management frameworks.
Prior to becoming the Acting DCIO at the FBI, Jennifer worked in numerous roles, including Section Chief of the Enterprise IT Management where she was responsible for developing and leading key initiatives to ensure IT and data resources strategically aligned to the mission. She also served as the Chief of the Executive Staff Unit within the Criminal Investigative Division (CID) and supported the Assistant Director in managing and administering programmatic responsibilities for the division.
Jennifer started her career at the FBI in 1996 as a biologist, managing forensic DNA cases, interpreting DNA profiles, reporting the results, and testifying as a DNA expert in court. She later became the Chief of the Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) Unit, where she managed the CODIS Program and the National DNA Index System (NDIS) and was responsible for developing, deploying, and operating the CODIS software to federal, state, and local crime laboratories in the United States.
A member of the Senior Executive Service of the Federal Government, Jennifer holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology from LeMoyne College, and a Master of Forensic Science with a concentration in forensic molecular biology from the George Washington University.
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