Longtime intelligence community and Defense Department (DoD) leader Jennifer Hay recently took over as the new principal deputy at the agency’s Directorate of Digital Services (DDS) – which falls under the Chief Digital and AI Office (CDAO).

“Join us in welcoming our new Principal Deputy here at DDS, Jennifer Hay,” DDS posted to LinkedIn on Feb. 14. “We are excited for her to join our team as she brings her expertise from the #tech industry as well as her various roles throughout the years with the DoD and the White House.”

“We look forward to her contributing and excelling our mission within the DoD Chief Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office,” the agency wrote.

According to her LinkedIn, Hay’s DoD expertise dates back to 2002 where she served as a senior intelligence analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency.

Hay held several other high-status leadership positions at the department over the years, including senior advisor to the deputy secretary of defense and director of the Office of the Undersecretary of Defense for Intelligence.

Overall, Hay has spent more than 13 years as a Federal employee for the Pentagon.

For a brief stint – January 2016 to July 2017 – Hay served as the director for defense policy and strategy on the White House National Security Council.

Hay also brings expertise from academia and industry to her new position as principal deputy for DDS within the CDAO.

The directorate is made up of software developers, data scientists, and engineers who procure commercial technology and recruit tech workers for DoD.

The first iteration of DDS — originally known as the Defense Digital Service — was formed in November 2015 as a pilot program to drive technological transformation within the DoD.

A year ago, DDS kept its acronym but was absorbed into the newly established CDAO as the Directorate for Digital Services. In its current iteration, DDS still encompasses technology experts working to quickly deliver digital capabilities and usable products to the Pentagon.

DDS’ current Acting Director, Jinyoung Englund, described the organization as “a SWAT team of nerds based at the Pentagon in the office of the Secretary of Defense tasked with solving the DoD’s most pressing problems leveraging the best in modern technology.”

Englund wrote to Hay on LinkedIn, “Welcome to the team Jennifer K. Hay! You’re exactly the kind of person we need at this stage of our evolution and I’m thrilled to be working with you!”

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Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.