The United States Defense Digital Service (DDS) will change leadership next month, with Director Brett Goldstein stepping down in June and deputy director Katie Olson stepping in as acting director, DDS confirmed to MeriTalk today.

Goldstein’s departure will make the end of a two-year tenure at DDS, an agency that reports directly to the Secretary of Defense. The DDS is a mix of software developers, data scientists, designers, and product managers from the private sector, government, and military that all report directly to leadership in a flat hierarchy, according to its site.

“It’s been a wild, adventurous and rewarding ride with the team at Defense Digital Service. I’m proud to see the growth in talent and diversity across the team, and that we’ve continued to challenge the status quo, to go big and bold, and to make changes that matter to national security [sic],” Goldstein said in a LinkedIn post.

Before the move to DDS, Goldstein served as a tech advisor at ThinkCERCA and Pangea Universal Holdings, and he is a former chief technology officer of asset management company GCM Grosvenor. Before that, Goldstein spent a few years working for the City of Chicago as a chief data officer (CDO), then as commissioner and CDO for the city’s Department of Innovation and Technology.

Olson’s promotion to acting director will complete an ascent in the agency that began when she came on as DDS chief of staff in May 2019. She has acted in her current capacity as deputy director since March 2020. Before joining DDS, Olson spent the five years prior as a co-founder and eventual director of operations in services for the City Tech Collaborative.

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Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson
Lamar Johnson is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.