DOD CIO John Sherman departing at the end of June

A statement from Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said Sherman has better positioned DOD to take advantage of technological developments and respond to digital threats.
DOD CIO John Sherman at DefenseTalks
DOD CIO John Sherman delivers a keynote at DefenseTalks 2023. (DefenseScoop)

The Department of Defense’s chief information officer, John Sherman, will be departing his role at the end of the month, according to a statement by Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin.

He will head off to Texas to serve as the next Dean of the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University, his alma mater, according to a post on LinkedIn.

Sherman has been the only Senate-confirmed CIO for the Pentagon during the Biden administration, having come to the role after a long career in the IT space for several national security organizations and most recently as the CIO of the intelligence community.

“Mr. Sherman has been a steadfast advisor and an innovative leader who has helped the Department adopt and utilize modern information technology to keep our country safe. His technical expertise has proven invaluable in tackling a variety of digital challenges. His focus on mission readiness has ensured that each of the Services is equipped with both the capabilities and the digital workforce necessary for modern warfighting,” Austin said in a statement Thursday. “Under his leadership during the past two and a half years, the Department has restructured its approach to cybersecurity. Today we are better positioned to take advantage of technological developments and respond to digital threats. And we’re working with our international partners to set the global rules and standards for responsible cyber practices for generations to come.”


Sherman’s initial tenure was marked by the significant shift of the DOD from the marred Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure (JEDI) cloud effort that sought a single vendor for the Pentagon’s first enterprise cloud capability. The department decided to move away from JEDI into a multi-vendor acquisition process under what is known as the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability (JWCC).

Four vendors — Google, Oracle, Amazon Web Services and Microsoft — were awarded under that effort in late 2022. Over 80 task orders with a total value of more than $600 million have been awarded to date.

Sherman has also overseen the DOD’s efforts toward a “zero trust” framework to better protect networks and data from unauthorized disclosures, leaks and adversary activities to steal sensitive information. Zero trust is a cybersecurity concept and framework that assumes networks are already compromised and require constant monitoring and authentication to protect critical information.

The Pentagon released its zero trust strategy in 2022 that sought to outline “target levels” of zero trust, a minimum set of 91 capability outcomes that agencies and components at the department must meet to secure and protect networks, and reach that no later than Sept. 30, 2027.

Most recently, Sherman unveiled a process across DOD to allow one organization’s authorization on the network to be honored by others, dubbed reciprocity.


The Pentagon announcement did not say who will be performing the duties of CIO after his departure. Leslie Beavers is currently serving as the principal deputy chief information officer.

Mark Pomerleau

Written by Mark Pomerleau

Mark Pomerleau is a reporter for DefenseScoop, covering information warfare and cyberspace.

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