Pentagon Picks Former JP Morgan Executive To Be CIO

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Dana Deasy brings considerable private-sector experience to the Defense Department’s efforts to transform its IT operations.

The Defense Department is getting a permanent chief information officer: JP Morgan Chase Managing Director Dana Deasy.

Pentagon spokesperson Dana White announced the appointment Thursday during a press briefing. She lauded his private-sector experience and noted the importance of IT management and cybersecurity to meeting the department’s mission.

“This is particularly important as we adopt cloud technology to make more informed and timely decisions on the battlefield,” White said.

Deasy joined JP Morgan as CIO in December 2013 after spending six years as CIO for BP, formerly British Petroleum. Prior to that, he served as CIO at General Motors, Tyco International and Siemens, as well as director of information systems for Invetech Company.

His new role at the Defense Department will be Deasy’s first foray into public service.

Deasy joins the department as it’s looking at commercial cloud options to transform its operations from headquarters to the troops on the battlefield. The department is currently in the draft solicitation phase of a $10 billion cloud contract known as Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. The project has brought a lot of industry and media attention as the department tries to balance the need to fast, reliable cloud infrastructure with the realities of trying to secure an IT system when lives and national security are in the balance.

“Mr. Deasy’s extensive enterprise-level experience and leadership will ensure the department drives a culture of performance and maximizes the value of every taxpayer dollar entrusted to us,” White said.

Deasy is set to start work at the Pentagon in early May. The position currently does not require Senate confirmation but will after January 2019, as mandated by the 2018 National Defense Authorization Act.

Essye Miller, deputy Defense CIO for cybersecurity, has served as the department’s acting CIO since December. Defense  hasn’t had a permanent CIO since Terry Halvorson retired last February. The Pentagon did not respond to requests to clarify Miller’s role going forward.