Department of Defense (DoD), USA names Dr. Radha Plumb as Chief Digital and AI Officer

Dr. Radha Iyengar Plumb
Dr. Radha Iyengar Plumb

The Department of Defense (DoD) in the United States has appointed Dr. Radha Plumb as its next Chief Digital and AI Officer, a key position within the Digital and Artificial Intelligence Office (CDAO). Dr. Plumb, set to commence her new responsibilities in April, will succeed Craig Martell, who has played a pivotal role in the position since 2022. Currently serving as the deputy secretary of Defense for acquisition and sustainment, Dr. Plumb brings a wealth of experience and expertise to her upcoming role at a crucial juncture for the DoD’s technological advancements.

The United States Department of Defense (DoD) is a federal government executive branch charged with coordinating and supervising all agencies and functions directly related to national security and the United States Armed Forces.

Dr. Plumb’s extensive background reflects her diverse capabilities and profound understanding of digital and AI domains. Described in her LinkedIn bio as “an experienced leader with deep technical analytic skills and a demonstrated history of working in government, academia, and industry,” Dr. Plumb possesses expertise in policy research, econometrics, trust and safety issues, and project management. 

Prior to her appointment, Dr. Plumb served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Defense, where she led the executive staff, provided counsel and advice to the Deputy Secretary, and ensured alignment of Deputy-led governance processes with key leadership priorities. Most recently, she held the position of Acting Deputy Director of Administration and Management within the Department of Defense.

In a statement, Dr. Radha Plumb expressed her commitment to leveraging AI and digital technologies in her new role: “It is an honor to serve in this role at a critical time for our nation. AI and digital innovation provide crucial new technologies and capabilities for our warfighters.”

She added, “I am looking forward to collaborating with partners, from military leaders to industry partners and academia to our allies and partners, to ensure we deliver digital and AI technological advancements at speed and scale.”

Before her current appointment, Dr. Plumb held positions such as Director of Research and Insights for Trust & Safety at Google and Global Head of Policy Analysis at Facebook. Her previous roles included serving as a senior economist at the RAND Corporation, focusing on improving measurement and evaluation of readiness and security efforts across the Department of Defense.

Dr. Plumb’s career also includes significant roles in government, such as serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to the Deputy Secretary of Energy, where she led policy processes related to modernizing nuclear infrastructure and enhancing energy sector security and resilience. Additionally, she served as the director of personnel and readiness at the National Security Council, where she played a key role in executive actions on sexual assault in the military.

Her academic achievements include a Ph.D. in economics from Princeton University. Her research has encompassed empirical evaluations of policies aimed at reducing various forms of violence, including criminal violence, sexual assault, terrorist behavior, and sexual and intimate partner violence. Earlier in her career, she served as an assistant professor at the London School of Economics and as a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Scholar at Harvard.



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