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DOD Cloud Executive Steering Group

Cloud Executive Steering Group

On September 13, 2017, at the direction of former Boeing executive and Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Shanahan, DOD announced the formation of a Cloud Executive Steering Committee (CESG). The purpose of the CESG is to “devise and oversee the execution of a strategy to accelerate the adoption of cloud architectures and cloud services, focusing upon commercial solutions.”

Here the members of the CESG:

Chair: Ellen Lord, Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics

  • Confirmed by Senate in August 2017

  • Oct. 2012-June 2017: President and CEO of Textron Systems Corporation

  • Former Vice Chairman of the National Defense Industrial Association

  • Former Director of the U.S – India Business Council

  • Served at Center for New American Security’s task force on “Strategy, Technology, and the Global Defense Industry

  • Served on Board of Trustees of the U.S Navel Institute

Foundation Voting Members:

Dr. Will Roper, Director of the Strategic Capabilities Office

  • Founding Director of the Pentagon’s Strategic Capabilities Office

  • Served as the Acting Chief Architect at the Missile Defense Agency

  • Worked at MIT Lincoln Laboratory

  • Served as a missile defense advisor to the Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology, and Logistics

Raj Shah, Managing Partner of the Defense Innovation United Experimental

  • Previously senior director of strategy at Palo Alto Networks

  • Co-Founded and was CEO of Morta Security

  • Affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation

  • Chris Lynch, Director of the Defense Digital Service

  • Serves on United States Digital Service for the White House, 2015-present

  • Cofounder of KCBMedia

  • Cofounder of FlyPaper

  • Cofounder of Lynchseattle

Joshua Marcuse, Executive Director of the Defense Innovation

  • Board Appointed in August 2016

  • Chairman (former President) of Young Professionals in Foreign Policy Adjunct

  • Fellow at Center for Strategic and International Studies

  • Former Senior Advisor for Policy Innovation at Office of the Secretary of Defense (Sep. 2012-Aug. 2016)

  • Former Associate at Booz Allen Hamilton (Oct. 2006-Aug. 2012)

Advisor: John Bergin, Business Technology Officer for the DoD Chief Information Officer

  • Served as a Highly Qualified Expert for the DoD CIO (Feb. 2015-Aug. 2017)

  • Former consultant for Booz Allen Hamilton


The CESG will work in 2 phases.

Phase 1 will formulate a “tailored acquisition process to acquire a modern enterprise cloud services solution that can support unclassified, secret and top-secret information.” The solution must include in-depth technical analysis of the current environment, cloud migration support, change management and training.

While the scope of this proposed “tailored acquisition approach” is unclear, it sounds like they might apply nontraditional contracting practices like Other Procurement Authority. Or they may use existing GWACS or even Schedule 70.

In Phase 2, the CESG will rapidly transition “select” DOD components to the acquired cloud solution.

Briefings on progress are to be held biweekly. The first report outlining the DOD’s action plan is due November 15, 2017.

It is interesting that the DOD CIO is not part of this group, and we are hearing that the OCIO is “out of the portfolio”- an odd outcome under FITARA. We are hearing that the MILDEP and component CIO’s will be required to submit their plans to the Office of the Undersecretary and receive approvals from these offices when making cloud deployment decisions. Again, how this jibes with the consolidation thrust of FITARA remains unclear.

Our understanding is that Chris Lynch will be taking point on the acquisition side of this initiative. We understand that DOD is looking to MILCLOUD 2.0 as a model for this work.

The CESG is planning public outreach in the form of roundtables or meetings. We will keep you advised as this goes forward.


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