Karen Dahut, CEO of Google’s public sector division, has been selected to receive a 2023 Wash100 Award for her strategic vision in cloud platform delivery to government customers. This marks the third time that Dahut has been recognized in Executive Mosaic’s yearly list of executives who have shown exemplary leadership, innovation, vision and achievement in the government contracting industry.
“We’re excited about Karen’s future potential at Google based on her consistent ability to integrate complex solutions into a rapidly evolving market,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and creator of the Wash100 Award. “Karen’s award is based upon high expectation, virtually limitless resources and confidence to be at the tip of the spear,” Garrettson added.
Dahut leads the newly created Google business that aims to help federal, state and local governments accelerate their digital transformation initiatives with cloud technology. She assumed her current role on Oct. 31, 2022 after a nearly two-decade career with Booz Allen Hamilton, where she most recently served as president for the global defense segment.
“I am humbled by the opportunity to work with a world class team to grow a mission driven, tech forward, government focused division within the world’s best tech company, and I am incredibly energized by the impact Google can have on the public sector,” said the 30-year industry veteran on her appointment.
Established in June 2022, Google Public Sector has a separate board of directors and offers artificial intelligence and machine learning tools, data and analytics, open infrastructure and cybersecurity platforms.
A month following the launch of the division, the Defense Information Security Agency cleared Google Workspace, a web-based productivity and collaboration platform, to host controlled unclassified information for the Department of Defense. The Impact Level 4 authorization verifies Google Workspace’s capability to deliver secure communications and collaboration tools to the civilian, critical infrastructure, defense and intelligence sectors.
Dahut views her current role as a “privilege of a lifetime” and a “perfect opportunity” to apply the company’s engineering practices when helping federal customers prepare for and propel digital transformation initiatives to new heights.
In an exclusive interview with FedScoop, she cited the opportunities the company has for delivering cloud tools that are tailored to the customer’s mission.
“I think the opportunity for Google Public Sector is to listen to our clients, provide and enhance the choices they have available to them, and solution in partnership with them,” the three-time Wash100 awardee said.
Dahut, a former U.S. Navy officer and comptroller for the Navy’s biomedical research institute, said her military experience has helped her gain insights into how data analytics and AI play a key role in allowing the Department of Defense to understand the current threat landscape.
“I really have a fervent belief that once we can unlock the power of the cloud and the power of data and AI from that cloud, the sky’s the limit in terms of what we can do to support government.”
Speaking at a panel during the 2022 Reagan National Defense Forum, Dahut underscored the importance of applying artificial intelligence for use cases in the military and to spur new technology production.
“That’s where I think we need to focus our energy — applying these technologies to use cases rather than getting stuck in the R&D [research and development] pipeline around experimentation,” she said.
Google is one of the four companies holding positions on the Department of Defense’s $9 billion Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability procurement vehicle designed to provide DOD organizations with direct access to commercial cloud services across all classification levels and security domains.
Dahut was first inducted into the Wash100 in 2014 when she was still serving as executive vice president and head of the strategic innovation group at Booz Allen and secured her second induction in 2018 as head of the firm’s civil agency and commercial business portfolio.
Executive Mosaic congratulates Dahut and the Google Public Sector team for their selection to receive the 2023 Wash100 Award.
The voting period for this year’s Popular Vote ranking of Wash100 awardees is open until April 28. Cast your 10 votes now!