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US State Department names DoD veteran Dr Kelly Fletcher as CIO  

The US Department of State has appointed Dr Kelly Fletcher as its new Chief Information Officer (CIO).

She will lead a team of 2,700 IT professionals and oversee $2.5 billion of digital transformation programmes.

Among those programmes is a recently signed $1.58 billion contract with Verizon to modernize the global communications infrastructure and provide IT services for US embassies and other key locations globally.

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Dr Fletcher – whose doctorate is in engineering – is a defence veteran with considerable experience of managing substantial budgets. She has served as acting CIO at the Department of the Navy, Deputy CIO at the Department of Defense and as the Deputy Director for Program Analysis at the Department of Homeland Security.

The State Department said on October 6: “Dr. Fletcher brings a wealth of experience in both technological and strategic resourcing domains… Dr. Fletcher’s appointment as CIO aligns with Secretary of State Antony Blinken’s call for modernization of American diplomacy.  Securing top talent to drive technological innovation helps ensure an interconnected, secure, and informed Department for twenty-first century diplomacy.”

Who is new State Department CIO Dr Kelly Fletcher?

Dr Fletcher’s federal government career has included leadership roles in both the technology and strategic resourcing domains and she has led a number of significant reorganizations, an earlier DoD biography notes.

Her previous responsibilities have included overseeing development of a $50 billion Department of Homeland Security (DHS) budget. She also led the realignment of the Federal Protective Services (more than 10,000 employees, ~$1B annual spend) from CISA to the DHS's Management directorate.

Dr. Fletcher served in the Department of the Navy from December 2016 to September 2018. As the CIO, she provided strategic leadership for all Department of the Navy information technology policy and budget decisions and led a Department-wide reorganization of information technology governance and oversight.

Dr. Fletcher spent six years with the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD) Cost Assessment and Program Evaluation (CAPE) where she served as the Special Assistant to the Deputy Director and as an operations research analyst.  Prior to her government service, she worked in the private sector as an engineer.

She takes over from acting CIO Glenn Miller, a State Department technology veteran and former soldier.

See also: US Space Systems Command CIO “Colonel K” on shipping good code, transforming culture