Pentagon announces new leadership for chief digital, AI office

The CDAO is targeting October 1 for the full administrative alignment of personnel and resources.
The Pentagon (Getty Images)

The Pentagon’s new Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO) has hired nearly a dozen senior leaders to serve in its top positions — and met its June 1 deadline to reach full operating capability, FedScoop learned Wednesday.

This news comes nearly six months after the Department of Defense launched a major organizational restructure to place a number of technology-driving components under this newly established office, with the ultimate aim to better scale digital and Al-enabled capabilities across its massive enterprise.

“Following a multi-step process from [initial operating capability] to FOC the CDAO has fully merged and integrated the former component organizations of Advana, Chief Data Officer, Defense Digital Service, and Joint Artificial Intelligence Center. Legacy component names will no longer be recognized or used unless attributed to a product or capability specific to the department,” according to a statement from CDAO’s spokesperson.

New hires include: 

  • Chief Digital and AI Officer – Craig Martell
  • Deputy CDAO – Margaret Palmieri
  • DCDAO for Acquisition – Sharothi Pikar
  • DCDAO for Policy, Strategy and Governance – Clark Cully
  • DCDAO for Enterprise Platforms and Business Optimization – Greg Little
  • DCDAO for Algorithmic Warfare – Joe Larson
  • DCDAO for Digital Services – Katie (Olson) Savage
  • Chief Operating Officer – Dan Folliard
  • Chief Technology Officer – Bill Streilein
  • Chief of AI Assurance – Jane Pinelis

Diane Staheli was also recently tapped to lead the CDAO’s Responsible AI (RAI) Division.

Several of these officials have already made waves within DOD, including founder and former director of the Navy’s digital warfare office Margaret Palmieri, and Joe Larson, who previously served as deputy chief for the Pentagon’s Project Maven.

In these new roles at the CDAO, the officials will help steer the Pentagon’s strategy development and policy formulation for associated solutions; enable data access and AI adoption within appropriate institutional processes; establish a strong digital infrastructure and services to support military and department components’ AI- and digital-driven deployments, and more.

The CDAO is targeting October 1 for the full administrative alignment of personnel and resources, the spokesperson told FedScoop.

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