Administration Unveils Senior Tech and Acquisition Leaders

Administration Unveils Senior Tech and Acquisition Leaders

With President Joe Biden’s Cabinet nominees still waiting for confirmation, federal agencies including the Defense, Health and Human Services and Veterans Affairs departments as well as the General Services Administration published lists of leaders who will fill key roles during the early days of the administration. 


While some will serve only in acting, interim, or “performing the duties of” (PTDO) capacities, others announced at GSA and HHS will step into permanent roles. Unlike Cabinet-level nominations, names for these roles—which include key technology posts—were not publicized prior to the Jan. 20 inauguration. 


Defense Department


Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (PTDO): Terence Emmert 
Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition and Sustainment (PTDO): Stacy A. Cummings
Assistant Secretary of Defense, Homeland Defense and Global Security (PTDO): Bob Salesses 
Under Secretary of Defense Comptroller/Chief Financial Officer (PTDO): Douglas Glenn 
National Security Agency Director (incumbent): Gen. Paul Nakasone. Nakasone is also the current commander of U.S. Cyber Command, serving in a so-called “dual hat” role some lawmakers wanted to split up but the plan has recently received bipartisan criticism from Congress
National Reconnaissance Office Director (incumbent): Christopher Scolese 
DOD Chief Information Officer (acting): John Sherman. Sherman previously served as principal deputy CIO for DOD under then-CIO Dana Deasy. Sherman came to the job as DOD wrestled with the pivot to mass telework during the coronavirus pandemic.
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Director (acting): Dr. Peter Highnam. A DARPA spokesperson confirmed to Nextgov Wednesday that Highnam, the agency’s deputy director, wi ..