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CHIPS Articles: Taking Advantage of Learning and Networking Opportunities

Taking Advantage of Learning and Networking Opportunities
By Rob Foster - January-March 2016
It is very important to me to spend time meeting with Department of the Navy (DON) stakeholders to maintain active communication and feedback channels. I have made it a point to get out of the Pentagon and visit various Navy and Marine Corps commands to see for myself the excellent IT-related work that’s taking place and hear directly about IT-related challenges and concerns. I have strongly encouraged the DON Chief Information Officer (CIO) staff to follow suit, and pursue networking and collaboration efforts within the Navy and Marine Corps communities.

The DON IT conferences provide excellent opportunities to network and collaborate while also learning about the latest IT initiatives. Scheduled for Feb. 17-18, 2016 in San Diego (West), and April 20-21, 2016 in Washington, D.C. (East), the conferences offer an outstanding array of opportunities for learning and information sharing.

Cybersecurity is a critical issue throughout the Department of Defense, and that is reflected in the breadth of cybersecurity issues covered at the conferences. Additionally, I will be speaking on a panel with the Navy and Marine Corps Deputy CIOs, the Coast Guard CIO, and the Commander, U.S. Fleet Cyber Command, on a cybersecurity panel at the AFCEA/USNI WEST conference held at the same venue as the San Diego DON IT Conference.

In addition to cybersecurity, participants will hear from subject matter experts in areas including: privacy; enterprise services including the Next Generation Enterprise Network (NGEN), cloud, and mobility; spectrum; innovation; and process improvement. Additionally, some of the sessions provide credits toward continuous learning for cyberspace/IT workforce members.

The DON IT conferences provide exceptional opportunities to interact directly with DON, Navy, and Marine Corps leadership. I will be joined by the Navy and Marine Corps Deputy CIOs for two events: a session for Echelon II CIOs on IT-related policy and initiatives, and the open-to-all DON CIO Town Hall. Additionally, each DON Deputy CIO will hold their own Service-specific town hall that includes a discussion followed by a question and answer session. These conference offerings enable a unique occasion for engaging with leadership that should not be missed by those attending either the West or East Coast conference.

During the DON CIO Town Halls at both the East and West Coast conferences, I look forward to presenting the different categories of DON IM/IT Excellence Awards. Recognition is a cornerstone of my management approach, and it gives me great pleasure to recognize those individuals and teams who have transformed DON IT processes, and through IT, have improved their organization’s effectiveness in achieving their mission.

I hope to see and hear from you at one of these events, and urge you to participate, learn, and share your ideas for moving the DON IT community forward.

Rob Foster, Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer
Rob Foster, Department of the Navy Chief Information Officer
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