Katie Arrington is currently on leave as the Department of Defense’s (DoD) chief information security officer (CISO) for acquisition and sustainment, a DoD spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk.

With Arrington on leave, John Garstka – a long-time DoD analyst and former Joint Staff chief technology officer – is stepping in as acting DoD CISO for acquisition and sustainment, FedScoop reported.

The DoD was not able to comment on the nature of Arrington’s leave nor the timeline of her absence out of respect for her privacy. Garstka’s stepping up in an acting capacity was first reported on June 25.

Garstka has had a long military career, dating back to 1983 when he joined the Air Force as an officer. After a decade, he took a two-year foray as a senior systems engineer at Cambridge Research Associates before coming back to the Pentagon.

He helped develop the concept of Network Centric Warfare in his time as a scientific and technical advisor on the Joint Staff, according to his LinkedIn, and later spent time in the DoD as the assistant director for concepts and operations for the Office of Force Transformation and as an action officer and special assistant to the director in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. He joined his current department in 2009 and has been a senior analyst in the office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Networks and Information Integration.

Arrington had previously been heavily involved in the DoD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certificate program, but with Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Industrial Policy Jesse Salazar recently claiming oversight of the program, it is unclear how much involvement she had before taking leave or what role Garstka will play in her absence.

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