Executive Mosaic, the leading provider in connecting, promoting and branding government and government contracting (GovCon) executives of consequence, is thrilled to announce Gen. Lloyd Austin, the new Secretary of Defense, as a recipient of the Wash100 Award for the first time.
Gen. Austin has received the most celebrated and acclaimed award in all of GovCon for assuming the role of defense secretary, focusing on innovation to ensure U.S. tech dominance, driving collaboration between federal and state leaders in the days to come and advancing battlefield networks and artificial intelligence tech to succeed in the future of warfare.
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It was announced in Dec. 2020 that President Biden would be nominating Lloyd Austin, retired general for the U.S. Army to serve as defense secretary. After the Senate confirmed Lloyd Austin for the position, he became the first African-American in U.S. history to lead the Department of Defense (DOD).
Austin accumulated more than four decades of extensive experience in military service before retiring as the head of U.S. Central Command in 2016. His military career also included lead roles as the vice chief of staff for the U.S. Army and the commanding general of U.S. forces in Iraq.
President Biden explained that Gen. Austin had “intimate knowledge of DOD” as the result of his long military career. “[Austin] and I share a commitment to empowering our diplomats and development experts to lead our foreign policy, using force only as our last resort,” Biden said after Austin’s confirmation hearing.
Gen. Austin was also given the chance to discuss his top priorities before the SASC members at his confirmation and included his plans to address the COVID-19 pandemic and reaffirm military alliances with countries in the Indo-Pacific.
Austin spoke of his awareness regarding DOD’s emphasis on technology and innovation programs. Most notably, he specifically stressed the need to employ the use of space-based platforms and artificial intelligence technology to enable our nation’s competitive advantage over China and other rivals in technology and innovation.
In addition, Gen. Austin revealed his intentions to improve collaboration with the elite technology leaders across the federal government and sector to accelerate modernization across DOD’s platforms and networks. He mentioned a desire to work with the Joint All-Domain Command and Control (JADC2) to leverage emerging technologies to increase interoperability and efficiency.
He emphasized the importance of battlefield networks and that one of his top priorities was to drive AI’s influence over the future of warfare. Austin was also clear about working with senators on technology issues, such as acquisition reform, to increase innovative, solution-driven methods, reducing rigid requirements.
Most recently, Gen. Austin signed a memo to conduct a zero-based review of the Department of Defense (DoD) advisory committees. The review will be led by the interim director of Administration and Management (DA&M), in consultation with the acting general counsel of the DoD (GC DOD). The final recommendations will be made to the secretary of Defense on each committee by June 1, 2021.
“Our stewardship responsibilities require that we continually assess to ensure each advisory committee provides appropriate value today and in the future, as times and requirements change,” Lloyd wrote. This review will focus our advisory committee efforts to align with our most pressing strategic priorities and the National Defense Strategy.”
Executive Mosaic congratulates Gen. Lloyd Austin for his appointment as our nation’s new defense secretary and for receiving the first Wash100 Award of his long military and federal career.