U.S. Air Force Chief Information Officer (CIO) Lauren Knausenberger is stepping down from her post in June, an Air Force spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk today.

While her replacement has not been identified yet, the spokesperson said “the process to select the next CIO is expected to begin in early March with the goal to identify the new CIO before her departure.”

The current deputy CIO at the Air Force is Winston Beauchamp, who could possibly take over the role in the interim.

Knausenberger has served as the Air Force’s CIO since August 2020, and previously was the service branch’s chief transformation officer and director of cyberspace innovation.

As CIO, she oversees two directorates and supports 20,000 cyber operations and support personnel around the globe with a portfolio valued at $17 billion. She also provides oversight of the Air Force’s Information Technology portfolio.

Last month, the CIO said that her agency is focusing its modernization efforts on functional analysis as a way to help accelerate legacy mission system migrations to the cloud.

“There are a lot of things that we will be able to get rid of as we are able to deliver a more cohesive data strategy at that level,” Knausenberger said at SAIC’s OutFront event on Jan. 25. “We just have to get through the functional analysis, but that is something that actually we’re getting organized for success on now. It is becoming a much hotter topic. And we have the mission imperative – we’ve got to get it done.”

The CIO explained that at her agency, a lot of things are not yet in the cloud because “they’re really, really old.” However, she said it’s a challenge to sort through everything and determine what is “absolutely critical to our national defense” and what isn’t.

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Grace Dille
Grace Dille
Grace Dille is MeriTalk's Assistant Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.