New DOD CIO calls for partnerships in first public appearance

Teri Takai says efficiencies, cybersecurity top priorities

New Defense Department CIO Teri Takai has called for partnership and maximizing technology as DOD continues to transform into a 21st century military force with emerging cyber capabilities.

“Technology is at the forefront of [Defense Secretary Robert Gates’] mind and the minds of other executives at DOD,” Takai said Jan. 19 at a reception held by TechAmerica. “This is an important backdrop for the things we’re doing.” The event was Takai's first public appearance since becoming CIO.

She said IT must be part of broader DOD efforts to restrain spending and increase efficiencies, and also said her office would be focusing on cybersecurity, including partnering with the new U.S Cyber Command.

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Teri Takai becomes Defense Department CIO

“Our heavy dependence on technology in DOD is going to be make-it-or-break-it in securing our information and infrastructure,” Takai said, adding that she foresees a close relationship between DOD's CIO office and Cybercom.

“We’re going to be the cyber team," Takai said. "Going forward, there’s going to be a very strong partnership. I’m looking forward to working with [Cybercom Commander Gen. Keith Alexander] – it’s a privilege and honor to have that working relationship with him."

Takai also said she plans to work closely with federal CIO Vivek Kundra and that key partnerships are high on the list of priorities.

“Many of the things we’re embarking on won’t be successful without partnership,” she said.

“DOD is not so different from other departments" when it comes to budget problems, Takai said. “Having budget deficits doesn’t stop us from doing the things we have to do. It’s about taking money we do have and figuring out how to use it more effectively.”

The CIO office won’t be immune to the belt-tightening across DOD, Takai added.

“We’re not protected or isolated from our share of efficiencies – we have to stand up and be counted as part of that,” she said. “But it doesn’t mean we’re going to be less secure or less effective.”

About the Author

Amber Corrin is a former staff writer for FCW and Defense Systems.

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Reader comments

Wed, Jan 26, 2011 Nicole

When was EHR Way Ahead dropped?

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 Paul

I just want to know what her plans are for replacing AHLTA/CHCS. With Way Ahead dropped we need a replacement project and we need it yesterday. The current 40% solution to care for our military population and their families has to stop. I'm tired of having to continually ad hoc every little thing (and distrust the results) because CHCS is an outdated POS system.

Mon, Jan 24, 2011 Dennis McDonald

It will be interesting to see if how the new CIO promotes collaboration in order to streamline operation:

Fri, Jan 21, 2011 Gail Bernard Michigan

I have had the privilege of knowing Teri Takai for many years. Her contributions to the success of both public and private industries is nothing short of amazing. I congratulate Dave Wennergren for his persistance to bring Teri aboard. His commmittment to DOD is commendable. Teri will ensure that she meets and exceeds the expectations of Dave, DOD, and most importantly the taxpayers who rely on our government workers to seek excellence as is required of the private sector. Teri has the knowledge and most importantly the professionalism to do the hard work ahead. I for one am happy for all the stakeholders..WOW...great hire!

Thu, Jan 20, 2011 John Weiler Alex VA

Teri will have a unique opportunity to leverage the expertise and structure of a new public/private partnership called the IT Acquisition Advisory Council (IT-AAC) led by Mike Wynne (21st AF SEC), and credited for initiating this wave of IT Acquisition Reform. The IT-AAC was established to provide a conflict free resource to both the innovators and federal IT users who have been sidelined with the outsourcing of critical thinking since 2001.

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