The National Guard has hired Martin Akerman as its first-ever chief data officer, according to Akerman’s LinkedIn.

Previously, Akerman served as the director of data strategy at the U.S. Air Force from November 2019 to September of 2021, reporting to Chief Data Officer Eileen Vidrine.

“Thank you for all the support as I continue to transition into the new role,” Akerman said in a LinkedIn post. “One of the missions of my office will be to see how we can leverage HXL [Humanitarian Exchange Language], IATI [International Aid Transparency Initiative], and GTFS [General Transit Feed Specification] data management best practices to maximize limited resources in domestic emergency response.”

Akerman explained that HXL is used “when you have responders on the ground with limited access to technology and you know the data is important and needs to be collected and usable.” He said IATI is for “when you have time to establish a single language to describe and communicate absolutely everything related to joint operations with mission partners,” and GFTS is “when your mission relies heavily on your ability to collect information from organizations over which you have little to no authority.”

Akerman has served in a number of senior government tech roles, including the lead IT specialist at the Department of Transportation’s Office of Airline Information in the Bureau for Transportation Statistics, and the chief of transparency and enterprise risk management at the United Nations Population Fund.

Akerman also was a part of Booz Allen Hamilton’s Strategic Innovation Group and a data architect at Millennium Challenge Corporation.

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