Commerce CIO Mendes announces retirement from federal government

Mendes announced plans to take on a CIO role for Tarrant County, Texas, following his exit from the federal government after 14-plus years.
Commerce CIO Andre Mendes delivers the opening keynote at the 2022 Zero Trust Summit. (FedScoop)

Department of Commerce Chief Information Officer André Mendes will step down from his position at the end of the month after roughly 14 years in the federal government, according to a post on his LinkedIn page Tuesday.

Mendes will take on a new role as CIO for Tarrant County, Texas, starting in January, according to the post. His move comes after roughly four years as Commerce’s CIO and previous leadership roles at the International Trade Administration and the U.S. Agency for Global Media.

“Well friends. I am retiring from the Fed!” Mendes wrote in his post. “Over 14+ years, far exceeding expectations and bets when I joined, I have had a ball.”

Before taking on the top information technology role for Commerce in August 2019, Mendes was CIO for the agency’s International Trade Administration for nearly two years. There, Mendes said, he became “the first Portuguese to head a US Agency, [and the] highest ever ranked career Latino at Commerce.” He attributed the agency’s success to the “extraordinary cadre of individuals” with whom he worked.


Mendes also spent more than eight years in various leadership roles at the U.S. Agency for Global Media, formerly the U.S. Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), before joining Commerce. Those roles included CIO, chief technology officer, chief operations officer, and acting chief executive officer and chief financial officer, according to his LinkedIn.

“At the BBG, we transformed a once great organization that had become ossified. By the time we left, the BBG had the widest distribution portfolio of any western media, Shortwave to Twitter. Audience rose from 165M to 278M in 6 years. We were 90% cloud based by 2014,” Mendes wrote. 

Mendes’s last day is Dec. 31, according to his post. His new role in Tarrant County — where he said he’s commuted from weekly for the past two-and-a-half years — begins Jan. 2.

The Department of Commerce didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mendes has won several FedScoop 50 awards and was a recipient of the Golden Gov: Federal Executive of the Year award in 2023.

Madison Alder

Written by Madison Alder

Madison Alder is a reporter for FedScoop in Washington, D.C., covering government technology. Her reporting has included tracking government uses of artificial intelligence and monitoring changes in federal contracting. She’s broadly interested in issues involving health, law, and data. Before joining FedScoop, Madison was a reporter at Bloomberg Law where she covered several beats, including the federal judiciary, health policy, and employee benefits. A west-coaster at heart, Madison is originally from Seattle and is a graduate of the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.

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