Executive Mosaic Lauds DOD CIO John Sherman’s Leadership & IT Innovation Efforts With 2023 Wash100 Recognition
Executive Mosaic is honored to induct Department of Defense Chief Information Officer John Sherman into the 2023 edition of the Wash100 for his work cultivating closer partnerships with the DOD’s industrial base and allied forces, trailblazing the department’s cloud adoption journey and spearheading information technology innovation across the American defense enterprise.
The annual Wash100 list names the top 100 most impactful, consequential and promising executives working in the government contracting sector. This year marks the prestigious award’s tenth installment and Sherman’s second consecutive year of recognition.
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“John has brought a refreshing dose of aggressive common sense to evangelize the need for tighter integration of the contractor community in the development of solutions while demonstrating a willingness to work with contractors hand in glove,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and founder of the Wash100 Award.
Sherman was officially sworn in as DOD CIO in December 2021, and in his nearly year and a half thus far in the role, he has guided the department’s monumental strides toward modernization, digital transformation and cloud migration.
Perhaps most notably in 2022, the former intelligence community CIO succeeded in getting the DOD’s highly-anticipated and long-awaited cloud effort, the $9 billion multi-vendor Joint Warfighter Cloud Capability contract, off the ground.
Sherman was instrumental in leading the enterprise’s transition from the single vendor JEDI program to its successor, JWCC, and in December 2022, the DOD awarded the JWCC contract to four cloud service providers: Amazon Web Services, Google, Microsoft and Oracle.
“The Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability really is a huge accomplishment for the department,” Sherman said in a recent video interview with Executive Mosaic. “It really provides several key features we haven’t had before, to include enterprise cloud — truly that spans the entire enterprise from the Continental United States all the way up to what we call the tactical edge.”
The result will be “a very powerful at the edge capability that we haven’t had before that will create decision advantage and be able to allow us to put our adversary back on their heels in a potential conflict,” Sherman explained.
In the latest development on JWCC, Sherman said he expects to release new guidance in the next couple of months regarding some of the requirements and details of how the DOD will leverage JWCC.
Sherman has also been an influential voice in the conversation on zero trust, the cybersecurity approach sweeping the GovCon landscape that uses a “never trust, always” verify approach to enterprise networks.
In conversation with Executive Mosaic, Sherman described the principle as focused on “assuming an adversary is already on your network or system and then segmenting your system in a way where that adversary might get in, but they can’t move laterally and certainly can’t get to your critical data.”
The DOD released its Zero Trust Strategy and Roadmap in November 2022, providing a first-of-its-kind framework for achieving targeted level zero trust implementation by fiscal year 2027 and transitioning to the advanced zero trust stage by FY 2032.
“The journey to Zero Trust requires all DoD Components to adopt and integrate Zero Trust capabilities, technologies, solutions, and processes across their architectures, systems, and within their budget and execution plans. Perhaps most importantly, they must also address Zero Trust requirements within their staffing, training, and professional development processes as well,” Sherman wrote in the strategy document’s foreword.
Another accomplishment for Sherman last year was serving as the first-ever acting chief digital and artificial intelligence officer for the DOD’s new office tasked with overseeing the department’s AI endeavors.
With the establishment of the new office and Sherman’s appointment as CDAO, he became responsible for overseeing four of the DOD’s major programs and offices, to include the Joint Artificial Intelligence Center, Defense Digital Service, the Office of the Chief Data Officer and the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification program.
In June 2022, the Office of the Chief Digital and AI Officer achieved full operating capability, and Sherman handed the reins to Dr. Craig Martell, who took over as CDAO.
Sherman told Martell during the leadership transition that they will jointly leverage commercial SATCOM, C3 and other areas “as we work together just to make sure that CDAO has the very best technology to get after your mission sets.”
Executive Mosaic congratulates John Sherman and the entire DOD CIO office for their 2023 Wash100 recognition and for their continued commitment to government missions today and into the future.