DoD names new principal deputy CIO

John Zangardi will take over for David DeVries as DoD's principal deputy CIO as the Pentagon makes major IT shifts.

The Defense Department named John Zangardi as its new principal deputy chief information officer.

Zangardi will replace David DeVries, who announced he was leaving his position at DoD this summer to take on the role of CIO at the Office of Personnel Management.

Zangardi assumed his duties Oct. 2 and will assist the DoD CIO in areas of information management, technology and assurance. The position also deals with non-intelligence space systems, satellite communications and telecommunications.

Zangardi has spent the last four years as the deputy assistant secretary of the Navy for command, control, communications, computers, intelligence, information operations and space.

He joins DoD as it is working closely with OPM to stand up the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB).

NBIB will absorb the current responsibilities of the Federal Investigative Service (FIS), with DoD designing, building, securing and operating its IT and cybersecurity systems.

Experts in and out of government agree that DoD’s role and experience with secure networks and systems will be key to the NBIB’s success.

DoD is also going through two major migrations. DoD CIO Terry Halvorsen set a goal for the department, military services and DoD components to transition all IT systems to Windows 10 by 2017.

Halvorsen admitted that goal was out of reach.

“I don’t think most people understand how hard it is to get to Windows 10 single operating system in a DoD of 4 million plus,” Halvorsen said during AFCEA’s Sep. 1 Joint Warfighter IT Day in Vienna, Virginia. “Plus actually interacting with some of our big customers that also have to be in places where we can talk seamlessly. So it’s a big audience. Will we hit that number in January? No. Is that still the goal? Yes. Are we going to be pretty close? Yes. Is it going to be really hard? Double yes, but people are committed.”

DoD is also working to transition to the cloud. The CIO office has been overseeing that transition, but has delegated a lot of the responsibility to the military services.

Zangardi will take on those challenges as someone who previously served as director for program integration for the deputy chief of naval operations information dominance.

Zangardi is from Scranton, Pennsylvania and graduated from the University of Scranton. He has a master’s degree from the Naval Postgraduate School and a Ph.D from George Mason University.

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