About the DON CIO

Published, September 11, 2017

What is the DON CIO?

Federal Chief Information Officers were mandated by the Clinger-Cohen Act of 1996 and the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995 to address information management, information technology, and information resources management (IM/IT/IRM) at the enterprise level.

The Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer (DON CIO) is the Military Department (MILDEP) CIO for the DON (Navy, Marine Corps, and the DON Secretariat). The MILDEP CIOs were also made responsible for cybersecurity and IM/IT/IRM policy by the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA) of 2002. The MILDEP CIOs are further directed by 10 U.S.C. § 2223 to review budget requests for all IT and national security systems acquired and operated by the respective departments, and to ensure compliance with Department of Defense and federal standards with an enterprise approach seeking interoperability and efficiency.

Given these statutory oversight responsibilities, the DON CIO develops strategies, policies, architectures, standards and guidance, and provides process transformation support for the entire DON.

Who is the DON CIO?

Dr. Kelly Fletcher began serving as the Acting Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer on 20 August 2017.


  • Reports to the Deputy Under Secretary of the Navy (Management) and also has a statutory direct line of reporting to the Secretary of the Navy (SECNAV);
  • Heads the office of the DON CIO;
  • Is the DON's senior IM/IT/IRM official;
  • Serves as the DON's principal advisor on and is responsible for IM/IT/IRM matters;
  • Carries out the IM/IT/IRM responsibilities and duties set forth in Titles 10, 40 and 44 of the United States Code;
  • Serves as the DON’s Senior Information Security Officer;
  • Serves as the DON’s senior Cybersecurity official;
  • Serves as the DON’s senior Electromagnetic Spectrum official;
  • Serves as the DON’s senior Privacy Act official;
  • Serves as the DON’s senior Civil Liberties official;
  • Serves as the DON’s senior Records Management official;
  • Serves as the DON’s senior Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) official;
  • Serves as the Community Leader for the DON Cyber IT Workforce and develops Cyber IT and Cybersecurity 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 qualified Cyber IT and Cybersecurity personnel;
  • Serves as the Department of Defense (DoD) Component Cyber IT and Cybersecurity Functional Community Manager
  • Oversees strategic planning for DON IM/IT/IRM functions;
  • Oversees DON IT capital planning and investment management;
  • Oversees compliance for protecting DON information and systems;
  • Oversees the process of developing and maintaining the DON enterprise architecture and assesses compliance with DoD and federal standards;
  • Develops DON-wide IM/IT/IRM policy, standards and guidance;
  • Oversees DON IM/IT/IRM compliance with applicable statutes, regulations, policy and guidance;
  • Ensures compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act;
  • 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 primary liaison with the Government Accountability Office, the Office of Management and Budget, the DoD CIO and other appropriate organizations on IM/IT/IRM matters for the DON;
  • Serves as a member of the Federal Chief Information Officers Council.

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 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.

Mr. Robert W. Foster was CIO from June 2015 through August 19, 2017. He strengthened the areas of Privacy, Spectrum, and Cybersecurity by developing policies to reduce the use of the SSN, protect the DON's use of spectrum, streamline the process for commercial broadband deployment on DON bases, and expand the options for the cybersecurity workforce to gain necessary certifications. He also supported the alignment of financial statement audit of IT systems by developing the Financial Management Overlay, focusing on four critical cybersecurity control families.

Organizational Structure of the DON CIO

Leadership Team

The DON CIO is organized to align and integrate IM/IT/IRM programs across the Navy and Marine Corps and focus department-wide IM/IT/IRM 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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