John Sherman Named Acting DOD Chief Digital and AI Officer

John Sherman, chief information officer at the Department of Defense and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, has been named acting chief digital and artificial intelligence officer with oversight of DOD’s strategy and policy development efforts for data, AI and analytics.

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Deputy Defense Secretary Kathleen Hicks wrote in a Tuesday memo that the office of the CDAO has achieved initial operating capability status and Sherman will work with James Mitre, senior adviser to the deputy secretary of defense, to enable the newly created office to reach full operating capability by June 1.

Sherman will oversee the Joint AI Center, Defense Digital Service and DOD’s chief data officer and serve as DOD CIO and CDAO as the Pentagon continues its search for a permanent chief.

Sherman previously served as interim CIO at DOD. Prior to joining the Pentagon, he was CIO of the Intelligence Community. He also served as deputy director of the CIA’s Open Source Enterprise and spent seven years at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, where he held senior executive roles.

Hicks, a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, noted in the memo that the CDAO will review authorities and governance structures related to DOD data, AI and analytics and submit recommendations by May 1.

Hicks also released another memo clarifying how the new CDAO role will differ from other positions within the office of the secretary of defense.

The document states that the CIO will continue to oversee cybersecurity, networks, cloud, transport and other components of core infrastructure, while the office of CDAO will help establish requirements for core infrastructure and come up with policy and guidance for AI, analytics and data.

John Sherman will keynote the Potomac Officers Club’s 3rd Annual CIO Summit, scheduled for April 26. Visit the Potomac Officers Club site to learn more about this summit and view POC’s full calendar.

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