U.S.-Indian Dr. Raj Iyer took over as the U.S. military’s first chief information officer, after the Pentagon created the post in July 2020.
One of the most senior Indo-American civilians in the United States Department of Defense, Iyer, who holds a doctorate in electrical engineering, is the principal adviser to the Secretary of the Army and heads the representation of the secretary on matters relating to information management / information technology (IT), the Pentagon said in a statement.
Equivalent in rank to a three-star general, Iyer will oversee an annual budget of $ 16 billion for US military computer operations. More than 15,000 civilians and soldiers stationed in 100 countries work under him.
Iyer will lead the execution of policies and programs aimed at modernizing the U.S. military to achieve digital outclassing against close adversaries such as China and Russia.
The military is committed to leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as cloud computing, robotics and artificial intelligence as critical catalysts for future combat through a concept called multi-domain operations.
Previously, Iyer was a Partner and Managing Director of Deloitte Consulting LLP, where he led several technology programs supporting government clients.
During his 26-year career, Iyer has supported a range of defense and commercial clients on a number of complex business transformation challenges, including strategy, innovation and modernization.
He created new organizations, including the Army’s first technical director’s office, co-founded a successful tech startup, and led recovery programs such as Obamacare.
He also holds a patent and has published dozens of peer-reviewed articles.
Iyer holds a PhD from the University of Texas at Arlington as well as a number of masters including an MBA from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and an MSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas to Arlington.
Iyer, originally from Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, grew up in Bengaluru and completed his undergraduate studies at the National Institute of Technology in Tirchi before moving to the United States to pursue graduate studies.
In the United States, he barely had enough money to pay for tuition and a semester’s rent from his father’s savings, but he was soon able to secure a full scholarship to complete all of his higher education.
His father Manakkal K Ganesan, an engineer working as a general manager at Metallurgical and Engineering Consultants (MECON), helped show him a passion for public service and the value of education and hard work, according to an online testimony.
Iyer is married to Brindha, a health informatics program manager in the US government. They have two sons, Ashwin Iyer, a freshman majoring in data science at the University of California at Berkeley, and Abishek Iyer, a grade 9 student at Centennial High School in Maryland.
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