Eileen Vidrine set to retire as Air Force CDAO by end of March

As chief data and artificial intelligence officer, Vidrine was tasked with developing and implementing enterprise data management, analytics, digital transformation and ethical AI strategies for the Air and Space Forces.
Department of the Air Force Chief Data and Artificial Intelligence Officer Eileen Vidrine speaks during Microsoft’s Federal Innovation Series. (Scoop News Group photo)

Eileen Vidrine will retire from her role as the Department of the Air Force’s chief data and artificial intelligence officer in the coming weeks, DefenseScoop has learned.

An Air Force spokesperson confirmed Thursday that Vidrine will be retiring “at the end of the month.” The spokesperson said they could not immediately provide any additional information about whether officials had identified someone to succeed her as CDAO, nor who would be managing those duties in the interim.

Vidrine has served as the department’s CDAO since January 2023, when she took over for Maj. Gen. John Olson. Prior to that, Vidrine was on detail to the White House Office of Management and Budget where she served as senior strategic adviser for data to the Federal CIO. She also previously served as the Air Force’s chief data officer, among many other roles she’s held in the defense and intelligence communities since she enlisted in the Army in 1986, according to her official bio.

As CDAO, Vidrine was tasked with developing and implementing enterprise data management, analytics and digital transformation strategies to improve performance and drive innovation across the Air and Space Forces. She was also responsible for promoting the ethical use of artificial intelligence and related technologies across all mission areas, a critical task as the Department of the Air Force strives to become “AI-ready” by 2025 and “AI competitive” in operations by 2027.


One of her top priorities was upskilling the workforce with additional training and education in AI and data-centric knowledge areas, including through partnerships with industry and academia.

“It really comes down to your talent. We’re in a fierce competition for talent, we’re competing with all of our industry partners for great talent,” she said last year during a keynote at Microsoft’s Federal Innovation Series, hosted by FedScoop. “I like to say with the team, ‘Mission first, but people always.’ And really, to drive that forward we have to make sure that we’re making targeted investments that have great return on investment.”

Vidrine did not respond to a request for comment.

Mikayla Easley

Written by Mikayla Easley

Mikayla Easley reports on the Pentagon’s acquisition and use of emerging technologies. Prior to joining DefenseScoop, she covered national security and the defense industry for National Defense Magazine. She received a BA in Russian language and literature from the University of Michigan and a MA in journalism from the University of Missouri. You can follow her on Twitter @MikaylaEasley

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