Haines taps intelligence community veteran to serve as IC chief information officer

Director of National Intelligence Avril Haines has selected Adele Merritt to serve as chief information officer for the Intelligence Community.

Haines announced the news in a statement Monday. Merritt has held several positions in the intelligence community during a career spanning more than two decades.

She began her career at the National Security Agency, served as principal deputy CIO for cyber at the Department of Energy, and director and acting senior director for intelligence programs on the National Security Council during the Obama administration, according to ODNI.

Merritt was most recently program manager at DreamPort, a cyber innovation nonprofit created by U.S. Cyber Command.

“Dr. Merritt will lead our ongoing modernization efforts to transform the IC Information Technology Enterprise, ensure the security of the IC’s Information Technology systems, and enhance IT cooperation within the IC,” Haines said.

Michael Waschull had been acting IC CIO for the past year. Haines said he would stay on as Merritt’s deputy.

Merritt’s appointment comes as intelligence agencies are in the early stages of transitioning from the legacy “C2S” cloud program to a new “C2E” contract with multiple providers. The CIA awarded C2E in November 2020 to Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle. The C2S contract, awarded in 2013, is exclusive to AWS.

Meanwhile, artificial intelligence, machine learning, data and computing technologies continue to be top priorities under ODNI’s fiscal year 2022 to FY-26 science and technology investment landscape. 

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