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DOD’s Office of Chief Digital and AI Officer Achieves Full Operating Capability

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The office of the chief digital and artificial intelligence officer at the Department of Defense achieved full operating capability status on Wednesday and will manage DOD’s policy formulation and strategy development for AI, data and analytics.

The office of CDAO will directly report to Kathleen Hicks, deputy secretary of defense and a 2022 Wash100 Award winner, and expects to complete administrative alignment of resources and personnel by Oct. 1, DOD said Wednesday.

DOD made recent appointments at the newly created office. In late April, Craig Martell, formerly head of machine learning at Lyft, was named CDAO weeks after the appointment of Sharothi Pikar as deputy CDAO for acquisitions. In March, Margaret Palmieri, founder and former director of the Navy’s digital warfare office, was appointed deputy CDAO.

In May, Diane Staheli, an AI ethics and research expert, was named head of the responsible AI division within the CDAO office.

Other officials serving on the newly established office are Clark Cully, deputy CDAO for policy, strategy and governance; Greg Little, deputy CDAO for enterprise platforms and business optimization; Joe Larson, deputy CDAO for algorithmic warfare; Katie Savage, deputy CDAO for digital services; Dan Folliard, chief operating officer; Bill Streilein, chief technology officer; and Jane Pinelis, chief of AI assurance.

With the FOC designation, the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Defense Digital Service, Chief Data Officer and Advana or the Office of Advancing Analytics are now part of the CDAO office and will cease operating as independent organizations.

The office of CDAO, which achieved initial operating capability on Feb. 1, will address barriers to data and AI adoption and establish digital infrastructure and services that support the deployment of AI, analytics, data and digital-enabled platforms.