Executive Mosaic is thrilled to announce the 2023 Wash100 induction of Lieutenant General Robert Skinner, the dual-hatted director of the Defense Information Systems Agency and commander of Joint Force Headquarters of the Department of Defense Information Network. Skinner, a standout in this year’s crop of public sector Wash100 awardees, earned the distinction due to his concentrated work to help create and maintain an effective, unified, joint all-domain network for the DOD.
The Wash100 Award is the most sure-fire indication of success and achievement in the government contracting industry. The award is now a full decade into its life with no signs of slowing down. EM’s highly knowledgeable and discerning voting body reviews candidates throughout the year, evaluating both their current track record and their potential, establishing the award as a marker of who has garnered the most impressive contracts and inked the biggest M&A deals, as well as who will make the biggest impact in the coming year. Winners are always models of leadership, innovation, vision and reliability.
Cast a vote for Skinner and your other favorite Wash100 recipients in the highly competitive 2023 popular vote contest at Wash100.com!
Skinner followed up his 2022 debut in the Wash100 with a second award this year. Director of DISA since February 2021, Skinner was previously commander of the 688th Information Operations Wing of the U.S. Air Force and director of command, control, communications and cyber at U.S. Indo-Pacific Command, Camp H.M. Smith, Hawaii. In his stewardship of DISA, he builds on this past experience to oversee the international coalition of almost 19,000 service members, civilian employees and contractors who construct and implement the joint command and control system. In doing so, he is making direct contributions to the President, Joint Chiefs of Staff, combatant commanders and beyond.
Skinner’s team had a busy year. In March 2022, DISA was charged with spearheading the operationalization of the DOD’s nationwide public safety communication modernization initiative. As executive agent of the project, DISA is aiding in the emboldening of emergency response capabilities. Their work will primarily entail programming the IT infrastructure.
Similarly, in April 2022, the agency announced that it had put together a plan and course of action for the DOD to establish an emergency response system that allows military members to coordinate and liaise with 9-1-1 call centers through text messages and video or voice calls. These efforts have a clearly beneficial and appreciable impact on national security and show the ways IT upgrades can potentially save lives.
Later that same month, when addressing a crowd at the AFCEA TechNet Cyber 2022 conference, Skinner listed 14 activities that DISA requires industry collaboration on to fully bring about, in order to meet its goal of merging mission partner environment set-ups and Joint All-Domain Command and Control into a “joint and coalition environment.” He mentioned areas such as deploying cloud environments within hours, easy battlespace visualization, consistent software licensing and end point performance that doesn’t “crush souls.
“We have a mission partner environment, we have JADC2…How are we bringing those together to truly that, when any individual logs in to wherever they’re logging into, they have the right permissions, the right accesses to the right systems and the right data to perform their mission?… We do not have that today,” Skinner stated.
Additional notable DISA efforts in 2022 included the Thunderdome zero trust security project, the Defense Enclave Services endeavor (through which contracts were awarded to Booz Allen Hamilton and Leidos) and a new laboratory called DISAWERX built for all DOD employees to break new ground with IT research and development. The latter hub is hosted at the Joint All Domain Warfighting Lab of KBR in Maryland.
Skinner summarized the stellar year when speaking to the 2022 DOD Intelligence Information System Worldwide Conference in December, stressing the crucial nature of DISA’s work in combatting near-peer adversaries like China.
“It cannot be overstated – the time that we are in today in relation to the threat…International rules-based order is at stake…Innovation is alive and well. Innovation is here in the United States and innovation will continue to make us powerful,” Skinner told the crowd.
Executive Mosaic commends Lt. Gen. Skinner and DISA’s technology-powered push to keep the U.S. military updated and highly skilled in its communications network. Congratulations on your 2023 Wash100 Award!