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John Sherman, Department of Defense Chief Information Officer (CIO), participates in a virtual cybersecurity panel at the Pentagon, April 15, 2021 (DoD photo by Chad J. McNeeley)

The Defense Department’s chief information officer acts as a principal advisor to the secretary of defense in areas including IT, information management and telecom. Government Matters’ Mimi Geerges spoke with John Sherman, DoD CIO and acting chief digital and AI officer, about goals and challenges.

  • “As CIO, with that hat on, cybersecurity is my absolute top priority,” said Sherman. He said his organization aims to be a federal leader in the paradigm shift towards zero trust.

Marines with Marine Corps Forces Cyberspace Command in the cyber operations center in Lasswell Hall at Fort Meade, MD, Feb. 5, 2020 (Photo from U.S. Department of Defense)

  • Sherman said DoD has made progress in IT modernization and the cloud and is currently working on the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC), which will provide enterprise cloud capability at all three security classifications.
  • Sherman said his office is helping enable Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) and has coordinated remote work capabilities across the enterprise.
  • He said the chief digital and AI officer role was created to provide decision advantage to everyone from the secretary of defense to battlefield leaders using data, advanced analytics and digital capabilities and to break down institutional barriers.
  • DoD is helping the United States European Command with the AI and Data Acceleration initiative and working with the chief data officer and others to support U.S. and NATO priorities in the crisis in Ukraine, said Sherman.

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