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Obama to nominate California CIO as top Defense tech chief

President Obama said on Monday that he plans to nominate the chief information officer of California as the top technology chief for the Defense Department.

For months, Washington technology insiders have speculated that Teresa "Teri" Takai would be the president's pick for Defense CIO, or the assistant secretary of Defense for networks and information integration, Nextgov first reported in early February.

Takai will fill a key post in the Obama administration that has been vacant for almost a year since John Grimes resigned in April 2009.

If confirmed by the Senate, she would be the first woman selected for the position, which is responsible for setting policy and providing oversight of all Defense information processes, systems and technologies, according to a White House press release.

Takai has served as the California CIO since December 2007 and has no military experience. But she has experience at the state level in managing information as an asset, developing policies for the use of social media by employees and development of an enterprise information technology architecture -- all key Defense concerns.

Before she took the California job, Takai served as the CIO of Michigan from 2003 to 2007, and prior to entering government service, she worked for Ford Motor Co. for 30 years, where she helped develop the company's strategic IT plans. Takai also worked for EDS when it was part of General Motors and helped develop GM's global supply chain.

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