John Sherman, currently serving in an acting capacity, will step down during the confirmation process.
President Joe Biden nominated the Defense Department’s Acting Chief Information Officer John Sherman—a long-time technology-focused federal employee who grew up in rural Texas—to serve permanently in that role as the Pentagon’s tech chief.
He was listed among five professionals the president recommended for roles on Thursday, including Nickolas Guertin, who was picked to potentially serve as DOD’s director of operational test and evaluation, and Krista Boyd, who was nominated to be the Office of Personnel Management’s inspector general.
The Pentagon’s CIO role requires Senate confirmation.
"During the confirmation process Mr. Sherman will step down from his position as the Acting DOD CIO,” a department spokesperson told Nextgov. “Dr. Kelly Fletcher will be performing the duties of DOD CIO during the confirmation process."
Sherman’s nomination comes nearly 25 years after he started pursuing technology and innovation efforts in the government’s national security realm. Early on, he was an imagery analyst for the intelligence community, and he later served in the White House Situation Room. The executive also gained experience steering the Central Intelligence Agency's Open Source Enterprise, as well as multiple large offices at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.
In 2017, Sherman was named Office of the Director of National Intelligence CIO—or the IT lead for the entire intelligence community. He joined the Defense Department in 2020, and was named acting CIO earlier this year.
“At each assignment he led modernizations involving large-scale government enterprises with cloud computing, cybersecurity, and collaboration capabilities,” an announcement from the White House regarding the nominations reads.
DOD’s CIO advises the Defense secretary and others on information technology systems, modernization pursuits, space and satellite systems, telecommunications—and more. In that capacity, Sherman has already unveiled plans to launch a new portfolio management team to facilitate zero trust architecture implementation, and announced the cancellation and replacement of the multibillion-dollar Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud contract, among other notable moves.
Editor’s note: This article was updated to include new information from the Defense Department.