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Illuminate Mission Solutions’ Randy Soper Moderates Expert Panel at GovConWire Events’ Data Innovation Forum on Tuesday

Randy Soper, lead data strategist at Illuminate Mission Solutions, acted as the moderator for an expert panel discussion during GovCon Wire Events’ Data Innovation Forum on June 15th, 2021.

The following panelists discussed the federal government’s data innovation goals and priorities featuring Chris Borneman of Software AG Government Solutions, Thomas Sasala of the U.S. Navy, Ron Bewtra of the Department of Justice (DOJ), Eileen Vidrine of the U.S. Air Force and David Markowitz of the U.S. Army.

If you missed the Data Innovation Forum, you can still access the OnDemand footage by visiting GovCon Wire Events Page.

David Spirk, chief data officer of the Department of Defense (DOD) delivered the Forum’s keynote address. Spirk, a 2021 Wash100 Award recipient, discussed the DOD’s defense data strategy and data management priorities. Gregg Melanson, EVP and GM of Illuminate Mission Solutions, introduced Spirk before his address.

After the keynote address, Dr. David Markowitz, chief data officer for U.S. Army mentioned how the Army is working to accomplish data management goals. He stated that the service branch needs to get to a point where data is readily available and secure across senior leadership and warfighters to enable an informational and decisional advantage against adversaries.

In his remarks, Thomas Sasala, chief data officer of the U.S. Navy, emphasized the importance of data inventory and knowing exactly where critical data resides and how to access it. He said that “our adversaries are attempting to break through our infrastructure and systems to steal the data inside.” He says that the Navy needs to know where specific data resides in its systems to protect it from hostile actors.

Ron Bewtra, chief data officer of the Department of Justice (DOJ), talked about the importance of scalability with data management for the federal government’s massive workforce. He explained that in the DOJ, multiple groups are working to execute data strategy goals, which include building an enterprise approach to data management, data interoperability, identifying credential access management needs and building a data literate workforce.

Eileen Vidrine, chief data officer of the U.S. Air Force, discussed her Office’s focus on fueling data innovation. She explained that she drives data insight to senior leaders across the Air Force by evaluating enterprise-level use cases and then working with functional components. She stressed her goal of having data be a part of every airmen and guardians DNA moving forward.

Chris Borneman, chief technical officer at  Software AG Government Solutions, expressed how his company is focused on supporting DOD efforts to manage data more effectively. Especially by assisting in system integration efforts at the enterprise level, department level and supply chain-related challenges.

If you missed the Data Innovation Forum, you can still access the OnDemand footage by visiting GovConWire Events Page.


Mark your calendar for June 17th, when GovConWire Events will host it’s Army: IT Management and Transformation ForumDr. Raj G. Iyer, chief information officer for the U.S. Army will deliver the Forum’s keynote address. He will discuss development efforts of new capabilities and truncated legacy programs, which will be essential for new concepts of operations and Army organization.

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