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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