March 9th, 2022 9:00am EST ON24
In alignment with the increasingly urgent federal push to bolster national cybersecurity and solidify the nation’s position in global competition, the U.S. Air Force is working to accelerate its digital transformation and information technology modernization efforts.
Notably, the Air Force is implementing an agile enterprise IT-as-a-service approach to enhance data interoperability and implement cybersecurity solutions at mission speed. Additionally, the service branch is leveraging advanced technology such as robotics, automation, virtual reality simulation and artificial intelligence to strengthen its workforce, update legacy infrastructures and address global pacing challenges in the modern battlespace.
Join GovCon Wire Events for the platform’s 2nd Annual Air Force IT: Plans and Priorities Forum to hear from public and private sector leaders as they discuss the strategic priorities, cutting-edge technologies and innovative initiatives driving the Air Force today.
Lauren Knausenberger, chief information officer for the U.S. Department of the Air Force, will deliver the forum’s keynote address, during which she will share invaluable insights into the service branch’s current and future plans and priorities.
Vincent DiFronzo is a senior vice president of operations for SAIC’s programs supporting the U.S. Air Force, Combatant Commands, and Department of Defense agencies. He is responsible for leading several thousands of employees and several hundreds of programs spanning information technology, policy support, research and development, engineering, systems development, and aircraft sustainment. DiFronzo joined SAIC in 2015 as a vice president, responsible for SAIC’s Air Force programs. He has more than 12 years of defense contracting experience, in addition to 27 years in the Air Force, where he retired as a colonel in 2007. In the Air Force, DiFronzo served two Pentagon tours, first as an air staff requirements action officer, which included support for the special assistant to the chief of staff of the Air Force for the commission on roles and missions, and then as the executive officer for the Deputy Chief of Staff. DiFronzo also commanded the Air Force’s 505th Command and Control Wing, the 23rd Fighter Group, and the 58th Fighter Squadron. He was also the 19th Air Force vice commander, vice wing commander for the 455th Expeditionary Wing at Bagram Airfield in Afghanistan, and director of the Air Force’s Central Combined Air Operations Center Combat Operations during the first year of Operation Enduring Freedom following 9/11. DiFronzo has 3,600 flying hours, including approximately 200 hours of combat time in the F-15C and A-10. He graduated from the Air Force Academy, the National War College, and Golden Gate University with an MBA.
Lauren Barrett Knausenberger is the Chief Information Officer for the Department of the Air Force, comprised of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. Ms. Knausenberger leads two directorates and supports 20,000 cyber operations and support personnel across the globe with a portfolio valued at $17 billion. She provides oversight of the Air Force’s Information Technology portfolio including the Information Technology investment strategy from networks to cloud computing, Enterprise policies, information resources management, IT innovation initiatives, information assurance, and related matters for the Department of the Air Force. As the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Ms. Knausenberger delivers cyber security, and enforces Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act laws. She integrates Air Force warfighting and mission support capabilities by networking and securing air, space, and terrestrial assets. Ms. Knausenberger also leads career management initiatives for 10,000 IT/Cyber civilian personnel across all human resources facets from recruiting to professional development. In 2017, Ms. Knausenberger joined the U.S. Air Force to drive innovation across the Department of Defense (DoD), speed adoption of emerging technologies, and create stronger partnerships between DoD, start-ups, and the venture community as the Chief Transformation Officer and Director of Cyberspace Innovation under the Deputy Chief Information Officer. Prior to joining the Air Force, she was the founder and President of Accellint Inc., a consulting firm and Venture Partner with NextGen Angels, specializing in solving problems of national security importance, and investing in commercial technologies that could be applied to a government mission. Ms. Knausenberger often jokes that she joined the Air Force “by accident.” Her work with Accellint and NextGen led to a serendipitous meeting with an Air Force Captain and General, where her bar napkin sketch turned into a powerful framework and the series of conversations that followed opened her eyes to a problem set that was too enticing to turn away. As the CIO she continues to go after hard problems, calculates risk differently, and ensures we keep a constant pulse on the voice of the Airmen. Prior to her time as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Ms. Knausenberger held positions of increasing responsibility at American Management Systems (acquired by CACI) and CACI, beginning as a systems analyst and designer, then as a go-to project manager for program turnarounds, a program manager for large IT and finance programs, and finally as a division manager overseeing much of the company’s Intelligence Community portfolio. During this time Ms. Knausenberger had the pleasure of serving the mission of the CIA directly as well as leading and mentoring cross-functional teams and organizations supporting national security missions. Ms. Knausenberger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in decision and information sciences from University of Maryland and a Master of Business Administration from University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business. EDUCATION 2003 Bachelor of Science, Decision and Information Sciences, University of Maryland-R.H. Smith School of Business, College Park, Md 2012 Master of Business Administration, University of Pennsylvania-Wharton School of Business, Philadelphia, Pa CAREER CHRONOLOGY 1. June 1998 - August 1999, Gifted and Talented Program (Cryptography/Intelligence Analyst Intern), National Security Agency, Fort Meade, Md. 2. July 2003 - July 2004, Business Systems Analyst, American Management Systems, Fairfax, Va. 3. July 2004 - October 2015, Division Manager-Program Director for Large IT Programs and Intelligence Community Finance, CACI, Fairfax, Va. 4. October 2015 - June 2017 President, Accellint Inc., Arlington, Va. 5. June 2017 - August 2020, Chief Transformation Officer and Director of Cyberspace Innovation, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. 6. August 2020 - Present, Deputy Chief Information Officer, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. 7. February 2021 - Present, Chief Information Officer, the Pentagon, Arlington, Va. AWARDS AND HONORS FedScoop Top Women in Technology Jimmy Doolittle Fellowship Award Wash100 Award
As a senior program director, Chris ensures that Peraton meets the U.S. Air Force’s expectations for solutions that support the mission to fly, fight and win. His experience in delivering commercial solutions across the IT services continuum provides ongoing value to key Air Force programs such as SIPRNet modernization. Through deployments of global technology solutions, Chris has become an expert in “as a service” delivery and 24x7 managed services. With this foundation he leads teams in aligning solutions to the U.S. Department of Defense framework and achieving program requirements. He works with customers to build a solid foundation for partnership, incorporate new capabilities for programs and foster a culture of continuous improvement. Chris holds a bachelor’s degree in business management and a security clearance level of Top Secret, TS/SCI.
Sanjay Sardar serves as the senior vice president for digital at SAIC, with responsibility overseeing and managing the company’s strategy of delivering digital transformation and IT modernization solutions and capabilities across all customers. Sardar is also responsible for SAIC’s overall direction and strategic growth aligned with the federal government’s digital transformation, leveraging cloud and platform technologies, application development, cybersecurity, and immersive technologies. Sardar joined SAIC in 2015 as vice president for advanced analytics and simulation, where he successfully led the development and implementation of the strategy to manage business and operations related to advanced analytics, big data engineering, information management, and knowledge management. In 2018, Sardar ran a $400 million citizen services and infrastructure portfolio, supporting the General Services Administration, Department of Commerce, Department of Energy, Department of Agriculture, Environmental Protection Agency, and other federal civilian customers. Prior to joining SAIC, Sardar was the chief information officer for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, where he had responsibility for oversight of the strategic management of its IT portfolio. During his tenure in civil service, Sardar also chaired the Federal Small Agency CIO Council, representing more than 80 small agencies on the Office of Management and Budget’s Federal CIO Council. Prior to 2008, Sardar was a senior manager at General Dynamics Information Technology, leading technology efforts for many major government agencies. During his career, Sardar has spent more than 25 years working and consulting in the public sector and private industry, focusing on providing strategic technology management services to technology providers, pharmaceuticals, telecoms, financial institutions, and federal/state/local governments. He has extensive training in advanced analytics, information management, systems/enterprise architecture, and custom software development. He previously held technology management positions at Oracle, Computer Associates, and several internet-based startups in Canada, Europe, and the U.S. Sardar serves on several boards including WashExec, Evanta, AFFIRM, and the Advanced Technology Academic Research Center (ATARC). Sardar earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Virginia and an MBA with concentration in finance and strategy from George Washington University.