John Sherman, who has served as Acting CIO for the Department of Defense (DoD) and is the nominee to move into the position permanently, told members of the Senate Armed Services Committee at a confirmation hearing on October 28 that he wants to put in place a new strategy to develop DoD cyber talent, among other steps if his nomination is confirmed.

Sherman, who received bipartisan support during the confirmation hearing, would if confirmed take the reins of the Federal government’s largest IT budget.

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The nominee said he plans, if confirmed, to implement a new strategy that looks at cyber and digital talent in what he called “whole of nation effort.” Along those lines, Sherman said recruiting IT and cyber professionals for a 30-year career with the Feds is not something the government can count on anymore.

Further, Sherman said that he wants to update the Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program to function fully for small and medium-sized businesses.

President Biden nominated Sherman back in September to move from acting CIO to the full-time CIO position at DoD. He has roughly 25 years of experience in national security technology and innovation across DoD and the intelligence community.

Sherman has also been a vocal champion of moving DoD towards the adoption of zero trust architectures, and improving agency cybersecurity.

“I really want to use this opportunity to move toward zero trust,” Sherman said at MeriTalk’s IT Modernization: 5 Keys to Success in 2021 webinar in March. “This is going to take a whole team effort to make this work. We are going to be a leader for Federal colleagues.”

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.