Artificial Intelligence & Machine Learning , Government , Industry Specific

Pentagon Appoints New Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer

Radha Plumb Set to Replace the Defense Department’s First-Ever Chief AI Officer
Pentagon Appoints New Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer
The Pentagon announced leadership changes at CDAO.

The first-ever head of the Pentagon's Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office is stepping down from his post in April after building the newly created division into a highly influential component of the department and its operations.

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The Pentagon's AI office has released a steady stream of guidance, toolkits and resources under Craig Martell, who was appointed in April 2022 to serve as its inaugural chief digital and AI officer. Over the past two years, CDAO has developed a departmentwide strategy for data, analytics and AI adoption, published a publicly available Responsible AI Toolkit and launched an initiative to collect use cases for emerging technologies that could potentially benefit the Department of Defense.

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin thanked Martell for his service in a statement confirming his departure, saying: "Craig and the entire CDAO team had a monumental task of bringing together the diverse talents and cultures of four organizations to advance data, AI and analytics for our national security, and deliver tangible results in a short time."

"Dr. Martell and the CDAO team have delivered on those goals and his work will have a lasting impact on how the department approaches every data and AI driven task," the statement says.

Martell's successor will be Radha Plumb, who currently serves as deputy undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment.

Plumb "has worked to tackle pressing acquisition matters related to DoD," Austin said in his statement, "including building out and maintaining a robust national security industrial base and supply chain."

Before she was appointed to her current role in April 2023, Plumb served as chief of staff to the deputy secretary of defense and acting deputy director of administration and management. She also has held multiple roles in the private sector for major technology firms, including as the head of research and insights for trust and safety at Google and the global head of policy analysis at Facebook.

It was not immediately clear why Martell was stepping down from his role. CDAO did not immediately respond to requests for comment from Information Security Media Group.

About the Author

Chris Riotta

Chris Riotta

Managing Editor, GovInfoSecurity

Riotta is a journalist based in Washington, D.C. He earned his master's degree from the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, where he served as 2021 class president. His reporting has appeared in NBC News, Nextgov/FCW, Newsweek Magazine, The Independent and more.

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