Defense Department chooses CIO

Unconfirmed reports indicate Teri Takai, chief information officer for the state of California, is the woman for the job

Teri Takai, chief information officer for the state of California, has been picked to become the Defense Department's next CIO.

The long-awaited appointment, which must still be confirmed by the Senate, will be announced in the next week or so, FCW sources confirmed. The nomination was first reported by NextGov.com's and then by Federal News Radio's DorobekInsider blog.

Takai would be the first woman to serve as Defense CIO, and also the first without military experience. She would take over a position that has been vacant since April 2009, following the retirement of John Grimes.

According to her official bio, Takai worked for the Ford Motor Co. for 30 years before moving into state government. At Ford she led the development of the company's information technology strategic plan. She also held positions in technology at EDS and Federal-Mogul Corporation.

In 2003, she became director of Michigan's Department of Information Technology and also served as the state's interim CIO. In 2005, Takai was named "Public Official of the Year" by Governing magazine. "She is a pro at closely linking technology activities and spending to the goals of the chief executive," Governing wrote. "Takai’s department doesn’t start with an IT plan. Rather, IT officials focus on the six issue areas, including health care, economic development and education, that are in the governor’s 'Cabinet Action Plan.' Then the IT department looks at the proposed budget. From there, the department determines the IT initiatives that can support the governor’s plans and be funded."

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed her as California's CIO in 2007.

About the Author

Technology journalist Michael Hardy is a former FCW editor.

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