Wennergren named Navy IT chief

Wasting no time after the Navy Department's chief information officer announced he was retiring, Navy Secretary Gordon England announced last week that David Wennergren is the department's new information technology leader.

The move gives the department some stability. Wennergren has been serving as the Navy's deputy CIO for enterprise integration and security for the past several years.

Wennergren also is an ardent proponent of e-government initiatives.

He had been chairman of the Defense Department's Smart Card Senior Coordinating Group, where he was responsible for the deployment of smart card technology across DOD.

Wennergren said he does not anticipate much lag time in the transition from his previous role to his new one, despite the fact that the Navy will be halving the CIO office's staff to 25 people.

"Having served as one of the department's deputy CIOs for the last four years, I've had a tremendous opportunity to actively participate in the broad range of transformational efforts that the Department of the Navy is successfully implementing," Wennergren said.

"While it is always difficult to reduce the size of an organization that is filled with such outstanding people and has won so many awards for its efforts, I do believe that the fundamental principles of this restructuring will significantly improve [IT] management across the Navy and Marine Corps," he said.

Dan Porter, who had served as the Navy Department's CIO since September 1998, retired Dec. 1 to become senior vice president for strategic development at Vredenburg Inc., a small professional services company in Reston, Va.

Ray Bjorklund, vice president of market intelligence and chief knowledge officer for Federal Sources Inc., a McLean, Va., market research firm, said Wennergren seems well-suited to the task ahead, but may experience some rough waters in the near future.

"Here's an event where Porter announces the cuts and then decides to leave," Bjorklund said.

"I wouldn't necessarily say there's going to be instability, but maybe a bit of chaos as they implement various plans," he said. "There is going to be tighter integration on the department, service and command levels and the significant cuts in the office staff, plus the new standards means the transition may not go that smoothly."

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