Profile: Defense CIO Teri Takai

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Teri Takai

As the Defense Department’s chief information officer, Teri Takai serves as the principal adviser to the defense secretary on matters regarding information management and information technology, non-intelligence space systems, satellite communications, navigation and timing programs.

She also advises the secretary on spectrum and telecommunications.

In July, she discussed a report on the use of government-held spectrum by unmanned aerial vehicles on the heels of a White House spectrum report (click over to our sister site TheNewNewInternet’s coverage of that report and Takai’s comments).

Takai in July joined the Board of the First Responder Network Authority, which will oversee deployment of a nationwide wireless broadband network for first responders (click here to read our coverage of the board’s formation and mission).

As CIO, Takai is also responsible for providing strategy, leadership and guidance to create the department’s information management and technology vision and for delivering information technology-based capabilities for the department’s missions.

Prior to joining the Pentagon in April 2010, Takai previously served as California’s CIO, a cabinet-level position, where she advised the governor on management and direction of IT resources. During her tenure in California, Takai led more than 130 CIOs and 10,000 IT employees across the state’s agencies, departments, boards, commissions and offices.

She also pursued the development of a project management and policy office, release of the state’s strategic IT plan, passage of the governor’s IT reorganization proposal, establishing a capital planning process and directing agency consolidation activities.

Prior to her appointment in California, Takai had served as director of Michigan’s IT department since 2003 and also served as CIO. There, she merged the state’s IT into one central department serving 19 agencies.

The Center for Digital Government selected Michigan as the number one state in digital government four years in a row during her tenure. In 2005, Governing magazine named her “Public Official of the Year.”

She has served as president of the National Association of State Chief Information Officers and currently serves on the Harvard Policy Group on Network-Enabled Services and Government.

Takai’s private sector career includes 30 years at the Ford Motor Company and technology positions at EDS and Federal-Mogul Corp. At Ford, she led the development of the company’s strategic IT plan.

She holds Master of Arts degree in management and a Bachelor of Arts degree in mathematics from the University of Michigan.

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