DoD CIO John Sherman to step down at end of June

Sherman, the DoD CIO since December 2021, has taken the position of dean at Texas A&M's Bush School of Government.

John Sherman, a longtime federal technology executive who has served as the Defense Department’s top IT official since 2021, will leave the Pentagon at the end of this month, his office announced Thursday.

Sherman has accepted a position as dean at the Bush School of Government at Texas A&M University, the same institution he graduated from in 1992 before becoming an Army air defense officer. He’ll start that position on Aug. 1, the school said in a statement.

“The spirit of service and focus on preparing students for the future they instilled in the school will be our guiding light as we look to the challenges the next generation of leaders will face,” Sherman said. “Liz and I are excited to get back home to College Station and beginning this next chapter in our lives.”

Defense officials did not immediately announce who would succeed Sherman in the DoD CIO role. One likely candidate, at least on an interim basis, would be Leslie Beavers, the office’s current principal deputy.

In a statement, Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin credited Sherman with leading the department through several major technology advancements over the past two and a half years, including a restructured cybersecurity approach through DoD’s first-ever zero trust strategy.

“Mr. Sherman 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,” Austin said. “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.”

Sherman spent most of his federal civilian career in the intelligence community, starting as an imagery analyst. He worked his way up through the IC over the next 20 years, including positions as the CIA’s deputy director for open source intelligence, and eventually as the IC’s chief information officer. He joined DoD as its CIO in December 2021.

At Texas A&M, Sherman will succeed retired Gen. Mark Welsh, a former Air Force chief of staff, as the Bush School’s dean. Welsh now serves as the president of the university.

“When President Bush laid out his vision for the Bush School of Government and Public Service and the importance of preparing new generations of dedicated public servants, he thought of people like John Sherman,” Welsh said. “John is a true public servant, having worked in government service his entire career, including 25-plus years in the U.S. intelligence community. He’s built an incredible professional reputation as a leader in public service and national security, but maybe more importantly, for how he treats others.”

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