About the DON CIO

Published, June 29, 2015

What is the DON CIO?

Federal Chief Information Officers were mandated by the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 to address information management and information technology (IM/IT) at the enterprise level.

The Secretary of the Navy established the office of the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer in 1997 to provide top-level advocacy in the development and use of IM/IT and to create a unified IM/IT vision for the department. The DON CIO develops strategies, policies, architectures, standards and guidance, and provides process transformation support for the entire Department of the Navy. Additionally, the DON CIO ensures that the development and acquisition of IT systems are interoperable and consistent with the department's objectives and vision.

Who is the DON CIO?

Mr. Robert Foster is the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer.


  • Reports directly to the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV);
  • Heads the office of the DON CIO;
  • Is the DON's senior information management, information technology (including National Security Systems), and information resources management (IRM) official;
  • Serves as the department's principal advisor on and is responsible for IM/IT and IRM matters;
  • Oversees the IM function within the Office of the SECNAV, the Chief of Naval Operations and Headquarters Marine Corps;
  • Carries out the IM/IT responsibilities and duties set forth in Titles 10, 40 and 44, U.S. Code;
  • Oversees strategic planning for all IM/IT functions;
  • Oversees IT capital planning and investment management;
  • Oversees compliance for protecting information and systems;
  • Oversees the process of developing and maintaining the DON enterprise architecture and assesses compliance with DoD and federal interoperability standards;
  • Develops DON-wide IM/IT policy, standards and guidance;
  • Oversees DON IM/IT compliance with applicable statutes, regulations, policy and guidance;
  • Ensures that DON IT complies with government and DoD standards and is interoperable with other relevant IT systems;
  • Serves as the DON IT/Cyberspace Efficiency Lead;
  • Serves as the Senior Military Component Official for Privacy and Civil Liberties;
  • Has overall responsibility for coordinated management of the DON Freedom of Information Act program;
  • Ensures compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act;
  • Has overall responsibility for DON records management;
  • Serves as the DON agent for DoD Enterprise Software licensing initiatives;
  • Promotes the effective and efficient design and operation of all major IRM processes, including improvement to DON work processes;
  • Serves as the Community Leader for the DON Cyber/IT Workforce and develops cyber/IT workforce policies, plans and guidance in coordination with the Assistant Secretary of the Navy (Manpower and Reserve Affairs), as appropriate, to ensure that the DON has sufficiently trained personnel in IM/IT competencies;
  • Serves as primary liaison with the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Defense CIO and other appropriate organizations on IM/IT matters;
  • Chairs the Information Enterprise Governance Board; and
  • Serves as a member of the Federal Chief Information Officers Council.

What the DON CIO Does Not Do

The DON CIO is not the Navy public affairs office and does not provide general Navy information or maintain general Navy directives or military personnel records.

For Navy public affairs issues and general information about Navy ships, submarines, shore stations, Naval aviation, Navy leadership, careers, news, Navy images or links to other Navy-related sites, visit the official U.S. Navy website, www.navy.mil, maintained by the U.S. Navy Chief of Information (CHINFO).

For Marine Corps public affairs issues and general information about the Marine Corps, visit the official U.S. Marine Corps website, www.marines.mil.

For policy, guidance and instructions released by the Secretary of the Navy and the Chief of Naval Operations, visit the Department of the Navy Issuances website. For Navy forms, visit Navy Forms Online. For Marine Corps orders and directives, as well as forms, visit the U.S. Marine Corps website. For information regarding military personnel records, visit the official website for the Department of Defense.

History of the DON CIO

With the enactment of the Information Technology Management Reform Act (subsequently known as the Clinger-Cohen Act) in 1996, then Secretary of the Navy, John H. Dalton, established the Office of the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer and appointed Dr. Marvin J. Langston to head it. Under Dr. Langston, DON CIO developed the department's first strategic plan in 1997. When Dr. Langston left the organization to join the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, John W. Douglass succeeded him as interim CIO.

Dr. Ann Miller was appointed DON CIO in April 1998. She focused on the department's infrastructure and standards.

Mr. Dan Porter, a veteran of the Navy Acquisition Reform Office, was designated DON CIO in September 1998. As CIO, he stressed development of information assurance, architecture and standards guidance, and knowledge management strategies and processes, and facilitated development of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet.

Mr. David M. Wennergren was named DON CIO in December 2002. As Deputy CIO, Wennergren led the way in the use of smart cards and their eventual adoption as the DoD Common Access Card. As CIO, he championed IT transformation and cultural change. His forward thinking in the area of smart cards paved the way for greater security of the department's networks through the use of cryptographic log on and Public Key Infrastructure.

In November 2006, Mr. Robert J. Carey was named the DON CIO while deployed as a reservist in Iraq. Mr. Carey further strengthened security of the DON's information and networks through the use of computer network defense solutions including data at rest encryption to protect data residing on removable media. He also championed Web 2.0 applications and was known as the first federal CIO to blog.

Mr. Terry Halvorsen was named DON CIO in November 2010. Shortly after taking the position, the Under Secretary of the Navy designated the DON CIO as the department's IT/Cyberspace Efficiency Lead. As such, Halvorsen's primary focus as DON CIO was to identify IT efficiencies and improve the way the department manages business IT in order to achieve cost savings while continuing to enhance operational effectiveness. Prior to his appointment as DON CIO, he served as the Deputy Commander, Navy Cyber Forces and Deputy Commander, Naval Network Warfare Command.

Mr. Thomas W. Hicks was the Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (Acting) from July 2014 through October 2014. Mr. Hicks was appointed as Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Management) in August, 2013 and performed the Acting CIO responsibilities in a dual-hatted role.

Dr. John A. Zangardi was named Acting CIO from November 2014 through June 14, 2015. Dr. Zangardi held the CIO position in addition to his role as Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Navy (DASN) C4I, IO, and Space. He focused on reducing administrative burden and streamlining DON IT processes.

Organizational Structure of the DON CIO

Leadership Team

The DON CIO is organized to align and integrate IM/IT programs across the Navy and Marine Corps and focus department-wide IM/IT efforts on warfighter priorities. Overall leadership responsibility is vested in the CIO, supported by Deputy CIOs for the Navy and Marine Corps, and a Principal Deputy CIO, who directs the operations of the DON CIO functional teams.

Functional Teams

The functional teams, led by DON CIO directors who are subject matter experts in their areas of responsibility, advance the goals and objectives of the DON CIO.

TAGS: CIO Authorities, Governance

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