DON CIO Discusses Leadership Change

By Aaron D. Weis - Published, April 8, 2020

Aaron D. Weis, DON CIOWith the announcement of Secretary Modly's resignation, I have gotten a number of questions from members of our community, across DON, Navy and Marine Corps, and externally about what this means for our mission of Digital Transformation to Modernize, Innovate and Defend the Department's information. The answer is: Nothing.

For those of us with more than a few years work experience (and in 30 years myself), the one constant is change in leadership. We’ve all gotten new bosses, COs, CEOs, CIOs, etc. We can be assured that just when we are comfortable with our surroundings, something will change. Well, change is (once again) upon us, with Secretary Modly's departure and the appointment of Secretary McPherson as the Acting Secretary of the Navy.


As I have told all the teams which I have led in times of change, the most important thing we can do right now is to keep our eyes on the mission and execution which we have laid out. In times of change, a team's destiny is in their own hands. Our ability to remain focused on doing what we said we would do, will guide us through the leadership transition as a team that knows its mission, is executing on the mission and is making an impact.

Over the last seven to eight months, our combined Navy and Marine Corps team has built the Vision, Mission, Team, Organization, Relationships, and Support that we need. We always knew that the built-in tailwind from Secretary Spencer and Secretary Modly would change over time, and here we are. We have the momentum and initiative that we need to arrive at this moment and I'm confident that we will maneuver this transition successfully. We will be successful because the importance of the mission of Digital Transformation is so great.

We have risen to the occasion and have shown how well we transition to meet change as we support a record number of teleworkers and accelerated the use of collaboration tools due to the COVID-19 challenges. I’m confident that we will transition with new leadership equally well. I’m looking forward to working with new leadership and continuing to work with all of you as we continue to keep our eyes on the prize and focused on the mission. We are ready!

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