Lauren Knausenberger has been appointed as the U.S. Air Force deputy chief information officer (CIO) to lead the service branch's enterprise IT policy and management office, succeeding Bill Marion, who retired from the Air Force as deputy CIO in April 2020.
“Lauren's a digital superhero, and her powers of innovation and digital transformation are unmatched,“ LTG Christopher Weggeman, deputy commander of Air Combat Command, said. “She's a people- and talent-focused leader.“
As deputy CIO, Knausenberger will command the SAF/CN office, leading the department's enterprise IT, cybersecurity and digital transformation initiatives. Prior to assuming her new role, Knausenberger served as chief transformation officer and director of cyberspace innovation with the Air Force.
With the division, Knausenberger drove innovation across the Department of Defense (DoD), expedited the adoption of emerging technologies and created stronger partnerships between DoD, start-ups and the venture community.
Before joining the government, Knausenberger was founder and president of Accellint, Inc., a consulting firm specializing in solving problems of national security importance and investing in commercial technologies that could be applied to a government mission.
Knausenberger has invested in emerging technology companies, such as Graphene Frontiers, and has applied the venture capital (VC) model to the Air Force through Spark Tank, a DoD version of the Shark Tank television series.
“The past three years serving in the Air Force have genuinely been the most fulfilling of my entire career,“ Knausenberger said.
She added that as deputy CIO, she plans to “stay true“ to her reputation as a change agent, driving transformation and innovation and taking calculated risks. Knausenberger noted that she will focus her efforts on growing the digital workforce through Digital University, boosting user experience and eliminating manual processes where possible.
“To our airmen: As we drive toward that digital future, we're going to do our best to make it all about you,“ Knausenberger said. “You joined the Air Force to make a difference and to bring the best of what you can contribute to this incredible mission “”and everything we deliver will be focused on empowering you to best serve that mission, because you're the ones that are out there fighting.“