Air Force names Eileen Vidrine chief of data and AI

Vidrine, who served previously as Air Force's chief data officer, takes over as CDAO as Maj. Gen. John Olson, who held the role for the past year since its creation, departs.
U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. Alex Edwards, 125th Fighter Wing Detachment 1 commander, responds to a simulated alert call during the Advanced Battle Management System Onramp 2 demonstration out of Homestead Air Reserve Base, Fla., Sept. 3, 2020. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Nicholas Dutton)

The Department of the Air Force has appointed Eileen Vidrine as its chief data and artificial intelligence officer.

Vidrine, who served previously as Air Force’s chief data officer, takes over as CDAO as Maj. Gen. John Olson, who held the role for the past year since its creation, departs.

“Please join us in welcoming back Ms. Eileen Vidrine, as she returns to assume the position as the Department of the Air Force Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer,” the Air Force’s Chief Data and AI Office announced on social media Friday. “It is a privilege to continue achieving our goals under Ms. Vidrine’s expertise and guidance. Congratulations on your new role, ma’am!”

Eileen Vidrine

Vidrine spent the entirety of 2022 on a detail to the White House Office of Management and Budget serving as a senior strategic adviser for data to the Federal CIO.

“I was honored to be asked by our Federal CIO … to lead data innovation at a federal level,” Vidrine said on FedScoop’s Let’s Talk About IT podcast last spring. “This is really an opportunity to leverage the lessons learned and the proven state-of-the-art practices of bringing together data experts with our functional leaders to drive what I call data insights into that decision-making process. Tactical to strategic, it’s all about the art of the possible and then scaling data-driven decisions across the federal government.”

In addition to serving as CDAO for the past year, Olson is also the mobilization assistant to the chief of space operations for the U.S. Space Force.

Under Air Force CIO Lauren Kanusenberger’s recent CIO strategy, the CDAO has been tasked with spearheading the department’s efforts to enhance the use of data and AI, including “establish[ing] enterprise‐wide Data and AI conditions and readiness today to achieve leading AI‐enabled warfighting tomorrow,” among others things.

Billy Mitchell

Written by Billy Mitchell

Billy Mitchell is Senior Vice President and Executive Editor of Scoop News Group's editorial brands. He oversees operations, strategy and growth of SNG's award-winning tech publications, FedScoop, StateScoop, CyberScoop, EdScoop and DefenseScoop. Prior to joining Scoop News Group in early 2014, Billy embedded himself in Washington, DC's tech startup scene for a year as a tech reporter at InTheCapital, now known as DC Inno. After earning his degree at Virginia Tech and winning the school's Excellence in Print Journalism award, Billy received his master's degree from New York University in magazine writing while interning at publications like Rolling Stone.

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