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Redhorse CEO John Zangardi Awarded 2nd Consecutive Wash100 for Efforts to Reimagine Government Processes With AI

Redhorse Corporation CEO John Zangardi, an accomplished technology leader with extensive public and private sector experience, has won the 2023 Wash100 Award. The honor is Executive Mosaic’s annual celebration of the top talents in government contracting and the federal sector. Zangardi secured a spot in this year’s roster for effectively deploying a technology strategy through his company’s consulting and practitioner services, with a particular emphasis on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

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2023 constitutes the 10th year of the award and Zangardi’s second consecutive time receiving it. Last year saw Redhorse’s significant expansion through a minority investment by Blue Delta Partners, because of which Zangardi was appointed CEO. He was previously the company’s president for nearly two years and prior to that, held the position of senior vice president overseeing business initiatives and strategic partnerships at Leidos’ civil group.

“John Zangardi has a tireless commitment to team-building and the continuous integration of technology into his company and the peer groups that he’s led throughout his career. Not only a technologist, but an economist as well, John’s unique combination of strengths in both the macro and micro aspects of the government and GovCon industries remains as his force multiplier,” commented Executive Mosaic CEO Jim Garrettson, the founder of the Wash100 Award.

The first chapter of Zangardi’s career was spent in the military and the federal government, serving as a flight officer in the U.S. Navy before being appointed head programmer of the Navy staff’s Information Warfare organization and eventually earning his way to chief information officer of the Department of the Navy. Zangardi’s success continued, ascending to acting CIO and principal deputy Department of Defense CIO as well as Department of Homeland Security CIO prior to his pivot to the private sector. In these roles he gained an intimate familiarity with the technological needs and plans of the government.

In an Executive Spotlight interview with GovCon Wire published in January 2023, Zangardi said he has “had a ringside seat witnessing the evolution of this approach to warfighting,” referencing the growth from Sensor-to-Shooter strategies to the current Joint All Domain Command and Control model.

“Transforming valuable data to solve complex problems of national importance is what Redhorse is about. Being part of this is incredibly rewarding,” Zangardi continued.

During the interview, he referenced Redhorse’s three-year contract from the Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office, announced in September 2022. The award calls for the company to deliver AI-powered data analysis capabilities to bolster aircraft part and component failure prediction methodologies. It is just one step in Zangardi and Redhorse’s conceit of utilizing AI to transform the way that agencies and service branches function.

“I am excited to be a part of this important effort to increase aircraft availability, optimize fleet maintenance and minimize aircraft downtime…Along the way our team is going to help the Air Force to streamline data cleaning and model development processes, and introduce new modeling and analytics approaches,” Zangardi explained.

Redhorse’s Air Force Rapid Sustainment Office work built on the April 2022 confirmation of a spot on a $241 million basic ordering agreement to assist the Department of Defense’s Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office with machine learning-based data architecture, data ingest and labeling. They are also set to deliver cloud integration and feature engineering support to the DOD and other federal entities.

“We are pleased to continue supporting the DOD’s efforts to accelerate the adoption of artificial intelligence to sustain and extend America’s military advantage by enabling decision advantage for our warfighters,” Zangardi stated.

In a video interview with EM’s Summer Myatt in May 2022, Zangardi delved more into the benefits of AI, ML and robotic process automation, describing how they can enrich decision-making. He noted that he believes AI and ML are “absolutely critical” to the future of JADC2. (Watch the full interview here.)

Zangardi remains a vigilant proponent of strengthened cybersecurity practices and thorough cyber hygiene. In an October 2022 podcast interview with FedScoop, the executive said it is imperative that agencies like the Department of Veterans Affairs are able to “aviate, navigate and communicate” about cybersecurity with chief information security officers.

“It’s about establishing a cyber hygiene program that looks at patching, multifactor authentication, how are you getting these things done,” Zangardi said.

During his Executive Spotlight, Zangardi said, “It’s clear the U.S. government at the highest levels understands how important cybersecurity and achieving [zero trust] is. I’m thrilled to see the Biden administration Executive Order on Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity and CISA’s Shields Up effort. I also want to congratulate DOD CIO on its ZT strategy.”

“There remains some education to be done across all levels of government and industry. There are those who haven’t thought through the cybersecurity problem, and they must be convinced,” he concluded.

We at Executive Mosaic look forward to watching Zangardi and his team at Redhorse assure and promote the necessity of cybersecurity best practices to organizations across the public sector. We congratulate Zangardi on his 2023 Wash100 win and know he will continue to do great things as the year rolls along.

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