WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The USDA Farm Service Agency has selected Jim Gwinn as its new Chief Information Officer. Gwinn, a veteran of private industry information technology, will lead the agency's transition to modernized and streamlined software and business systems.

"Jim Gwinn is the right person to lead our agency's continued information technology transformation," stated Teresa Lasseter, administrator for FSA. "He has a huge task to continue developing and acquiring the enhanced financial accounting system, but we know he is extremely qualified and well prepared to fulfill the mission."

Gwinn will play a key role serving as the information technology (IT) advisor on the senior executive staff of the FSA administrator. As CIO, he will be responsible for the overall strategic direction of the agency's IT program, providing guidance and oversight to technology and business system's modernization projects as well as development and acquisition of new information systems for the agency. He will lead the Information Technology Services Division, replacing Steven Sanders, who is now the director of FSA's Kansas City Commodity Office. As the CIO, Gwinn will work in partnership with numerous Department of Agriculture agencies in modernizing systems to provide information resources for policy and decision making.

This position has become an important element of FSA's Modernize and Innovate the Delivery of Agricultural Systems (MIDAS) project. Over $300 million will be invested in the coming years to upgrade existing technology and streamline the Commodity Credit Corporation's (CCC) program delivery business processes. Gwinn will manage 630 federal employees and contractors and will oversee the implementation of off-the-shelf software systems via web-enabled network access.

Gwinn previously served in a director capacity and Vice President, Information Technologies for Network Systems for Verizon Business in Nashville, Tenn., where he managed an IT workforce of more than 1400 employees worldwide with a budget of more than $130 million. He brings a record of success in transitioning legacy systems to state-of-the-art technology.

Prior to joining Verizon, Gwinn held senior leadership positions with MCI, WorldCom and EDS. His work has been recognized with professional awards in the IT field. He received his B.A. in Management and an MBA with a major in Management from Trevecca Nazarene University in Nashville, Tenn.