Defense Digital Service gets a new director

Former Defense Digital Service Director Chris Lynch speaks during the JEDI Cloud Industry Day in Arlington, Va., on March 7, 2018. (DoD photo by EJ Hersom)

Chris Lynch, shown here at a 2018 JEDI industry day event, is being replaced as Defense Digital Service director by Brett Goldstein.

The Defense Digital Service has a new leader.

The Pentagon announced on April 23 that Brett Goldstein will succeed Chris Lynch, DDS' founding director. Goldstein comes to job after being the Navy Department's special advisor, providing technical expertise on projects such as restructuring the Navy's personnel and manpower systems and infrastructure, and developing data analytics and machine learning for the Joint Special Operations Command.

Goldstein has a mix of government and private sector experience, having been the managing partner of Ekistic Ventures and CTO for GCM Grosvenor, a global investment and advisory firm. He was also the City of Chicago's first chief data officer and later CIO.

"Technology has never been more important to the mission of national defense," Goldstein said in a statement. "We will be growing efforts to solve critical tech issues within the DOD to improve services for civilians and service members and the country as a whole."

Acting Defense Secretary Patrick Shanahan recruited Goldstein, who is a senior fellow and advisor in urban science with the University of Chicago, and said he will pick up where Lynch left off.

"Under the leadership of Chris Lynch, DDS has hacked the bureaucracy to strengthen our national security and improve the lives of service members and their families," Shanahan said. "Although we will miss Chris, the unique startup culture he built and the talented team he recruited will continue to disrupt and transform technology at the DOD."

DDS employees serve on term-limits and Lynch left his post voluntarily, DOD officials told FCW via email. However, Lynch will help with the leadership transition in the coming weeks. Goldstein started his new role earlier this week.

About the Author

Lauren C. Williams is a staff writer at FCW covering defense and cybersecurity.

Prior to joining FCW, Williams was the tech reporter for ThinkProgress, where she covered everything from internet culture to national security issues. In past positions, Williams covered health care, politics and crime for various publications, including The Seattle Times.

Williams graduated with a master's in journalism from the University of Maryland, College Park and a bachelor's in dietetics from the University of Delaware. She can be contacted at, or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.

Click here for previous articles by Wiliams.


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