Biden picks former Army acquisition exec for DOD's top tech job
- By Lauren C. Williams
- Apr 28, 2021
President Joe Biden has nominated Heidi Shyu, former assistant secretary of the Army for acquisition, logistics and technology, to lead the Defense Department's tech investments as undersecretary for research and engineering.
Shyu chairs the board for manufacturing company Plasan North America, leads her own consulting firm and has held several executive positions at Raytheon.
As the Army's acquisition executive, Shyu worked to streamline the Army's program executive offices, especially around cybersecurity.
"Cyber cuts across every single one of my programs," Shyu previously said. "It's not stove-piped. You don't want … Cyber Command to talk to every single PEO individually – that's just stupid."
The White House also nominated former Defense Department acquisition chief, Frank Kendall, to be secretary of the Air Force.
Kendall, who was most recently an independent consultant and a senior fellow for the think-tank Center for American Progress, served as DOD's acquisition chief during the Obama administration and the deputy director of defense research and engineering for tactical warfare programs.
Previously, he was also the vice president of engineering for major defense contractor Raytheon. He also sits on the board of directors for Leidos, another major defense technology contractor.
Gina Ortiz Jones, an experienced Air Force intelligence officer and former special advisor to the Defense Intelligence Agency's deputy director, was also nominated to be the Air Force's number two. In addition to her military experience, Ortiz Jones was the investment director for the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) portfolio.
The White House also nominated Thomas Monheim to be the inspector general for the intelligence community. Monheim is currently acting in the role and was previously the deputy general counsel for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency and Office of the Director of National Intelligence.
Photo: Heidi Shyu on a 2015 visit to Ft. Bliss. Credit to DOD and Sgt. Jessica Littlejohn.
This article first appeared on FCW, a Defense Systems partner site.
Lauren C. Williams is senior editor for FCW and Defense Systems, 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 [email protected], or follow her on Twitter @lalaurenista.
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