Navy leader for digital transformation announces retirement

Ruth Youngs Lew, the Department of the Navy’s program executive officer for digital and enterprise services, is retiring from the federal government.
(Navy photo)

Ruth Youngs Lew, the Department of the Navy’s program executive officer for digital and enterprise services, is retiring from the federal government.

Her departure is effective May 31, according to an announcement.

As the first-ever head of PEO Digital, which was established in 2020, Youngs Lew oversaw key information technology modernization efforts across the department. The office’s vast portfolio includes platform application services, digital workplace services, infrastructure services, cybersecurity and operational services, end-user services, public safety systems, and DON special IT services.

The organization’s mission is to “realize the vision of digital transformation and to optimize program alignment across the Navy and Marine Corps enterprise IT capabilities,” according to its website.


Last year, Youngs Lew signed a memo that established the new Neptune Cloud Management Office to help centralize and streamline the acquisition and delivery of cloud capabilities across the sea services.

Before taking on her current role, she led PEO for enterprise information systems — which was disestablished to make way for PEO Digital and program executive office for manpower, logistics and business solutions — where she oversaw an acquisition portfolio with a $2 billion annual budget.

“It is with profound mixed emotions that I announced my retirement from federal service effective 31 May. My decision was a difficult one, but after over 30 years of rewarding service, it is time for me to focus on my family and loved ones,” she wrote Tuesday in a post on LinkedIn.

“It has been an honor to support our Navy and Marine Corps missions by delivering the capabilities our Warfighters require, and it has been a pleasure to serve among the finest professionals throughout my career. To cap that off, the past seven years as Program Executive Officer (PEO) for Enterprise Information Systems and PEO for Digital and Enterprise Services were an amazing and transformative journey … I am extremely proud of the work we have done together to drive innovation resulting in tremendously positive impacts in the lives of so many Sailors, Marines, civilians, and industry partners,” she added.

Prior to those PEO roles, she served as executive director for communications and information systems and chief information officer for the commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, and executive director for program executive office for command, control, communications and computers, among other positions, according to her Navy bio.


After Youngs Lew’s retirement goes into effect, Louis Koplin, the executive director of PEO Digital, will serve as the acting program executive officer until a permanent replacement is identified, a Navy official told DefenseScoop.

Updated on May 29, 2024, at 2:40 PM: This story has been updated to note that Louis Koplin is expected to serve as the acting program executive officer at PEO Digital until a permanent replacement for Ruth Youngs Lew is identified.

Jon Harper

Written by Jon Harper

Jon Harper is Managing Editor of DefenseScoop, the Scoop News Group’s online publication focused on the Pentagon and its pursuit of new capabilities. He leads an award-winning team of journalists in providing breaking news and in-depth analysis on military technology and the ways in which it is shaping how the Defense Department operates and modernizes. You can also follow him on X (the social media platform formerly known as Twitter) @Jon_Harper_

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