Sherman, Pentagon’s tech leader, to leave post for Texas A&M

Sherman, Pentagon’s tech leader, to leave post for Texas A&M

The Pentagon’s chief information officer will step down from his position at the end of June, the department announced Thursday.

John Sherman will leave the government gig to become dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University.

Sherman, who served for three years as the intelligence community’s CIO before moving to the Pentagon post in 2021, “has been a steadfast advisor and an innovative leader who has helped the Department adopt and utilize modern information technology to keep our country safe,” Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said in the announcement. “His technical expertise has proven invaluable in tackling a variety of digital challenges. His focus on mission readiness has ensured that each of the services is equipped with both the capabilities and the digital workforce necessary for modern warfighting.”

Under Sherman, the Defense Department refocused its approach to communications technology, spectrum management, cybersecurity, and positioning, navigation and timing policy. He told Congress last year that the U.S. must “regenerate” its electronic warfare capabilities after years of neglect to ensure dominance on the battlefield.

“As we get ready for China, we better be able to fight and dominate” the electromagnetic spectrum, he told the House Cyber, Information Technologies, and Innovation Subcommittee at a March 2023 hearing on defense in the digital era.

“As we’ve seen on the Ukrainian battlefield — all the dynamics with [electromagnetic spectrum operations], of how the Russians are trying to use it, and the Ukrainians are using it — we cannot be cut off on this, to be able to make sure we can conduct combat operations,” Sherman said.

Sherman was also a strong backer of cybersecurity practices known as zero trust, which he said could have prevented leaks including the 2022 disclosure of the classified reports by a 21-year-old member of the Massachusetts Air National Guard, if they had been fully instituted at the time.

“I am grateful for Mr. Sherman’s loyal service to the Department and to our Nation,” Austin said in the statement. “Our national security is stronger today because of his efforts.”

Sherman, who has also held senior positions in the CIA, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence and the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, will start in his new role Aug. 1, the university said in a statement.

He’s a distinguished military graduate of Texas A&M with a bachelor’s degree in history. While at the university, he was a Ross volunteer, which performs honor guard duties, and served as commander of the Corps of Cadets. He also earned a Master of Public Administration from the University of Houston.

After graduating from Texas A&M, Sherman was an air defense officer in the U.S. Army’s 24th Infantry Division.

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