I'm picking up very strong signals that the White House has started to vet Teri Takai, who has served as the California's chief information officer for the past two years, as the next CIO of the Defense Department.
I asked Bill Maile, Takai's spokesman, on Tuesday if Takai cared to make a comment for this item. On Wednesday, Maile referred me to the White House, an indication she is in the running for a top level job. The White House has not returned my calls yet, but I know they're real busy there.
Industry folks I have talked to said that Takai, who also served as the director of the Michigan Department of Information Technology from 2003 to 2007, tell me she is the front runner for the Defense CIO post, which has been open since John Grimes retired in April 2009.
If Takai gets the nod, she would be the first woman Defense CIO and the first without any experience in the military.
But she has a good background in logistics, running General Motors' global supply chain for EDS earlier this decade. Warren Suss, founder of Suss Consulting, told me that Defense really could use help in reforming its logistics IT systems.
Dan Lohrmann, Michigan's chief technology officer, told me he believed Takai could do a great job at Defense. You can get more of his insights in this blog post.