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DIA's innovation lead not stepping down

Dan Doney

CORRECTION: DIA Chief Innovation Officer Dan Doney told FCW on Nov. 24 that he was not resigning, and plans to stay through the end of his contract. A full correction is available here.

Dan Doney is stepping down as chief innovation officer of the Defense Intelligence Agency, FCW has learned -- the latest in a series of high-level departures from the Pentagon’s spy agency in recent months.

Doney's last day at the agency will be Nov. 21, according to a former senior intelligence official.

A DIA spokesman, when contacted Nov. 20 by FCW, said he was unaware of Doney's plan to resign.

Doney has been DIA’s chief innovation officer since February 2013. His contract for the job was set to expire in February, but Doney has opted to step down now, according to the former official, who asked not to be identified.

DIA, which is responsible for feeding intelligence to deployed soldiers and assessing foreign militaries' capabilities, has been overshadowed by the bigger and better-funded Central Intelligence Agency. The agency created the position of chief innovation officer to help foster greater collaboration with private industry on intelligence issues.

And four months after taking the job, Doney said publicly he wanted DIA to get more innovative and less beholden to rigid planning. “When it comes to innovation, we haven't had a great reputation," he said at a DIA-hosted industry day in June 2013. "Put that in the past.”

The Pentagon had planned to ramp up DIA’s overseas presence by sending as many as 1,000 undercover officers abroad to work with the CIA and the Joint Special Operations Command. But Defense officials recently decided to cut in half the number of DIA agents posted abroad, in the face of congressional opposition, according to a Washington Post report.

Doney’s imminent departure means that four senior DIA officials in recent months have either left the agency or announced plans to do so. In August, David Shedd replaced Ret. Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn as DIA director on an interim basis. Two weeks later, then-CTO Gus Taveras resigned. The agency is also in search of a CIO to succeed Grant Schneider, a career employee who has held the job since 2007 and is on the way out the door.

The DIA spokesman, however, told FCW that should Doney indeed resign, the innovation office he oversees would remain otherwise intact.

Doney, who has a master’s in nuclear engineering from MIT, served as technical director of Strategic Enterprise Solutions, a Reston, Va.-based IT services contractor, prior to joining DIA last year, according to his LinkedIn profile.

Posted by Sean Lyngaas on Nov 20, 2014 at 7:46 AM


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