The Navy is removing “acting” from Jane Rathbun’s job title, officially making her the department’s chief information officer on a more permanent basis.
She will also serve as special assistant for information management, according to a release issued Nov. 3 by Navy Secretary Carlos Del Toro, and be the principal staff assistant to the SECNAV on information technology, digital modernization, cybersecurity and data management.
Rathbun had been performing the duties of CIO since Aaron Weis departed in March to take a job with Google Public Sector. She oversees the department’s $12 billion-plus IT portfolio including efforts related to cyber readiness, zero trust, cloud and enterprise services delivery, among others.
“Jane’s leadership, technical acumen, and personal character stood out amongst a very competitive field of candidates and represent the best of our ongoing efforts to build a culture of warfighting among our one Navy-Marine Corps team,” Del Toro said in a statement. “She is the right person to drive our efforts to implement the Department of Defense Digital Modernization Strategy and enable our ability to leverage data for decision advantage.”
Before becoming acting CIO earlier this year, Rathbun was the deputy secretary of the Navy for information warfare and enterprise services and the department’s chief technology officer. She’s also held other positions at the Pentagon including deputy director for defense business systems in the Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for C3, Cyber and Business Systems, according to her official bio.
“I am honored and humbled to serve the DON as the [special assistant for information management] and CIO,” she said in a statement. “I take seriously our mission to build a modern, agile, and adaptive naval information environment that can be leveraged anytime and anywhere to meet the challenges during all phases of competition, crisis, and conflict. I look forward to working with the [chief of naval operations] and [Marine Corps] Commandant to achieving the operational and business outcomes articulated in the NAVPLAN and Force Design 2030.”
Like other Department of Defense components pursuing information-technology modernization, the Navy and Marine Corps are trying to adopt more cloud capabilities, and they recently set up the Neptune Cloud Management Office to help streamline acquisition and delivery of these types of capabilities.
During remarks last month at AFCEA NOVA’s Naval IT Day, Rathbun highlighted some key cloud pursuits, including the Flank Speed initiative.
“In our work with Flank Speed … we actually physically put a cloud on a ship and are extending that enterprise IT concept more to the tactical edge,” she said. “I think that there’s going to be a lot of opportunity going forward to rethink cloud in a tactical environment.”