The Department of Defense’s resident digital team is getting new leadership. The agency announced April 23 that Brett Goldstein would be taking over as the director of the Defense Digital Service.
Goldstein takes over from Chris Lynch, who founded the DDS in 2015 and whose term working for the agency expires next month.
“Under the leadership of Chris Lynch, DDS has hacked the bureaucracy to strengthen our national security and improve the lives of service members and their families,” said Acting Defense Secretary Shanahan, who recruited Goldstein, in a news release.
“Although we will miss Chris, the unique startup culture he built and the talented team he recruited will continue to disrupt and transform technology at the DoD,” Shanahan continued. “We are excited for Brett to be taking on the role of director to build and expand the team and its work. His public and private sector knowledge, technical expertise and commitment to improving government through technology will be invaluable to a range of critical missions across the department.”
DDS is a component of the U.S. Digital Service, which was created in 2014 under the Obama administration to provide Silicon Valley tech experts with the opportunity to join the government for short periods of time and help move federal IT projects forward.
Click here for more on the evolving relationship between Silicon Valley and the Pentagon.
DDS, specifically, has led major efforts at the DoD such as Hack the Pentagon, the first-ever bug bounty program in the federal government; reforming DoD health services; redesigning training for cyber soldiers; leading procurement of the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure cloud; and overhauling the logistics system for moving military families.
The JEDI procurement recently came under scrutiny for the fact that a DDS employee working on the contract had previous ties to Amazon Web Services, one of the major competitors on the contract.
“Technology has never been more important to the mission of national defense. From analyzing data, to strengthening security, to recruiting top talent, we have an opportunity to make a huge impact,” said Goldstein in a statement.
“We will be growing efforts to solve critical tech issues within the DOD to improve services for civilians and service members and the country as a whole. I'm excited to lead a talented team of amazing men and women who want to make a difference and help protect our nation.”
Goldstein has experience in both public and private sector technology development, having worked for the City of Chicago, the Chicago Police Department, and OpenTable and founded his own technology company CivicScape.
Goldstein will take up the DDS director position this week, a DDS spokesperson told Federal Times.
Jessie Bur covers federal IT and management.