Federal CDOs Discuss Data and AI Strategies at CDO Magazine Federal Forum Mixer

Federal CDOs Discuss Data and AI Strategies at CDO Magazine Federal Forum Mixer

Leading federal data executives gathered at CDO Magazine's Federal Forum Mixer in Washington, DC, to discuss new initiatives, challenges and strategies in navigating the evolving landscape of data and artificial intelligence (AI). The event featured a panel discussion on the topic “Developing Your Enterprise Data & AI Strategy,” given the mandate to align with the White House Executive Order on AI.

The panel speakers were:

  • Lori Wade, Intelligence Community Chief Data Officer, U.S. Office of the Director of National Intelligence

  • Justin Marsico, Assistant Commissioner and Chief Data Officer, Bureau of Fiscal Service, U.S. Department of the Treasury

  • Oliver Wise, Chief Data Officer, U.S. Department of Commerce

The session was moderated by Michael Hughes, Chief Business Officer, Duality Technologies.

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Sharing her experience at the event, Wade says: "I had an opportunity to speak with fellow CDOs about our organizations' data strategies and the critical foundational elements needed to implement AI at speed and scale. It was refreshing to discuss the potential of AI from the CDO perspective and address how our efforts align with the President's recent Executive Order on AI. Thank you to CDO Magazine for bringing us together at this pivotal time in our continued digital and data transformation."

Speaker Marsico gives his perspective, saying: “What struck me was the level of consensus in the community about the need to continue to prioritize data fundamentals as we look to implement AI models and use cases. Understanding the quality of our data, training our people, building the right governance, and identifying the right use cases were important before AI was front and center, and they will continue to be important.”

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Providing his insight, panelist Wise adds: “We're all being compelled to accelerate AI deployment in our enterprises. I think we and the CDO community know that data has to be front and center in how we deploy AI responsibly. We have such diversity across the government and our panel. We had someone from the intelligence community, someone who deals with operational financial data, and myself who deals with statistical and scientific data. But I think we all understand the growing importance of data management and the centrality of that in advancing our respective missions.”

Moderator Hughes says the event was “a great opportunity to engage with the federal CDO community. We were able to go deep on the strategies that federal agencies and departments are developing to harness the potential that artificial intelligence promises.”

Sharing his take on the event, CDO Magazine Founder and Publisher Steve Wanamaker adds, “The leaders in the CDO Magazine Federal Forum are doing work that is impacting the lives of U.S. citizens and the cause of freedom around the world. It's an honor to champion their important efforts.”

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Data Society Group Chief Learning Officer and CDO Magazine Global Editorial Board member Merav Yuravlivker elaborates: “Seeing so many CDOs in a room, discussing their visions for AI in government was inspiring. The candid conversation about successes and challenges of implementation and talent development highlighted the importance of knowledge-sharing and bringing these leadership communities together to better serve their missions and their people.”

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Chief Data Officer Beth Puchek highlights the following takeaways from the panel discussion:

  • You can't run the marathon without training for it first. It is crucial to have a plan.

  • You really have to prepare for GenAI. You can't skip the tagging and have to have your ontology straight.

  • You need to have a management directive on data management to force you to prepare the foundation before you get into GenAI. You need a training coach to whip you into shape.

  • We're in the season of enhancement and preparing our budget for next year so I am thinking about how to address our training needs.

Adding his note, U.S. Coast Guard Chief Data and AI Officer Brian Erickson says, “I have not been at an event where more Chief Data Officers in the federal network were sharing ideas in a really collaborative setting.”

*Justin Marsico, Oliver Wise, Merav Yuravlivker, Brian Erickson, and Beth Puchek are members of the CDO Magazine Global Editorial Board.

Executives attending the CDO Magazine Federal Forum Mixer included:

Kirsten Dalboe, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chief Data Officer, Federal CDO Council Chair; Marseta Dill, Federal Aviation Administration Acting Chief Data Officer; Brian Erickson, Coast Guard Chief Data & Artificial Intelligence Officer; Mario Field, Postal Regulatory Commission Chief Data Officer; Oliver Jacob, Office of the Director of National Intelligence Senior Advisor; Ted Kaouk, federal agency CDO, former Federal CDO Council Chair; Rob King, Department of Energy Chief Data Officer, Federal CDO Council Vice Chair; Carlos Manjarrez, Economic Development Administration Chief Data Officer; Justin Marsico, Bureau of the Fiscal Service Assistant Commissioner & Chief Data Officer; Geoffrey Nieboer, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Chief Data Officer; Richard Patterson, Defense Security Cooperation Agency Chief Data Officer; Beth Puchek, Citizenship & Immigration Services Chief Data Officer; Amy Ritualo, Department of State Senior Advisor to the Chief Data & AI Officer; Eileen Vidrine, Department of the Air Force Chief Data & Artificial Intelligence Officer; Lori Wade, Office of the Director of National Intelligence Intelligence Community Chief Data Officer; Oliver Wise, Department of Commerce Chief Data Officer, Acting Under Secretary for Economic Affairs; Michelle Zebrowski, Customs & Border Protection Chief Data Officer; Ronen Cohen, Duality Technologies VP, Strategy; Michael Hughes, Duality Technologies Chief Business Officer; Kurt Rohloff, Duality Technologies Co-Founder & CTO; Thomas St. Onge, Duality Technologies Head, Strategic Alliances - Collaborative AI & Privacy Enhancing Technologies; Merav Yuravlivker, Data Society Group Chief Learning Officer; Steve Wanamaker, CDO Magazine Founder & Publisher; Camille Prado, CDO Magazine Global Editor.

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