DOD Chief Data Officer Dave Spirk Named to 2021 Wash100 for Driving Data Strategy, Culture, Technology

Executive Mosaic is thrilled to announce that Dave Spirk, chief data officer for Department of Defense (DOD), has been named a recipient of the 2021 Wash100 Award for leading DOD’s new data strategy, advancing the department’s principles to adapt its data culture to support U.S. warfighters and military capabilities.

With this honor, Spirk has received the most prestigious award in all of government contracting (GovCon) for the first time in his federal career. His role as CDO for DOD demonstrates a keen vision and drive for innovation that represents the standard that the Wash100 Award has been in our community for the last eight years and will continue to do so beyond 2021. 

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In June 2020, Dave Spirk was appointed as chief data officer for DOD. Since his appointment, Spirk has been responsible for strengthening data management across the department and accelerated its transition to a data-centric culture. He’s also overseen other key initiatives, including the data governance process, data standards and policies, and the promotion of data acumen across the DoD workforce.

“Effective data management is the central component of the department’s Digital Modernization Strategy,” said Dana Deasy, former DoD chief information officer and 2020 Wash100 Award recipient. “Dave brings extensive experience and a thorough understanding of how data empowers joint, all-domain operations. I look forward to working with Dave as we create a strong data culture across the department.”

Shortly after his appointment as CDO, DOD released its new data strategy to demonstrate that data would be seen as a strategic asset critical to building and maintaining operational advantage on the battlefield. The new data strategy was seeking to advance eight guiding principles that included data ethics, collective data stewardship, data for artificial intelligence training. 

“The Strategy’s emphasis will allow us to concentrate on that. It reinforces DOD’s priority focus areas of joint warfighting, senior leader decision support and data analytics,” Spirk explained. 

In addition, Spirk emphasized in Sept. 2020 that DoD’s upcoming data strategy would back a “joint warfighting” approach to data use, management and collection. He said DoD will use a “hub-and-spoke” model to support the data strategy and recognize data literacy throughout the department. He also noted that the strategy will get the department involved in data governance to facilitate the flow of data to senior commanders responsible for making critical decisions.

Most recently, Spirk ensured the federal workforce that DOD’s new data strategy was created with the Joint All Domain Command and Control (JADC2) concept in mind. He said the department’s cross-functional team responsible for developing JADC2 has adopted the goals of the data strategy. 

“We’ve come to an agreement to bring the JADC2 data interoperability working group into one of our working groups under the DoD CDO Council,” he said. “When you lay the data strategy out and you really go to the principles inside of it, it’s about creating operational advantage and efficiency. The operational advantage puts JADC2 right at the heart of the data strategy, and it was designed to be that way.”

Executive Mosaic is honored to give Dave Spirk his first Wash100 Award and congratulates him on his visionary thinking to drive the DOD into the future of data strategy and IT technology innovation, which will have endless benefits for our nation’s capabilities and protection. 

GovConWire Events will host its Data Innovation Forum on June 15th to explore the federal government’s modernization data strategy, innovation in the artificial intelligence and machine learning data processing industry and how to better process and protect sensitive data.

David Spirk will serve as a keynote speaker during the Forum to address the DOD’s defense data strategy, plans for commercial data, analytics, AI and emerging data processing technologies. 

Visit GovConWire Events now to learn more about the event and register to keep your spot now!

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