The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) named Oki Mek, a career public servant, its first Chief Artificial Intelligence Officer (CAIO) in Dec. 2020, according to his LinkedIn.

This is a new CXO-level position that puts Mek at the head of AI strategy for the agency.

Mek has been with HHS for over a decade and was already working on the AI innovation at HHS in his previous post as Senior Advisor to the HHS CIO. This becomes the eighth position he’s held at HHS, including the CTO and Chief Programming Officer, Emerging Tech Strategist, and Program Manager for the Division of Acquisition. He also served half a decade as a Senior Information Security Officer at the agency.

Mek has been an advocate of emerging technologies at HHS, including blockchain, cloud, and data management.

Before moving to HHS, Mek spent nearly eight years as a contractor for the Department of Energy (DoE). He was a web developer from 2002-06, then an IT project lead from 2006-10. Mek also spent six years as an infantry soldier with the Virginia Army National Guard, and another three with military intelligence with the Maryland National Guard, both having some overlap with his time at DoE.

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