Meet the Head of the Pentagon’s Agile New Digital Team

Staff Sgt. Alex Garviria and 2nd Lt. Rachel James work in the Global Strategic Warning and Space Surveillance System Center Sept. 2, 2014, at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colo.

U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Krystal Ardrey

AA Font size + Print

Staff Sgt. Alex Garviria and 2nd Lt. Rachel James work in the Global Strategic Warning and Space Surveillance System Center Sept. 2, 2014, at Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, Colo.

Tech entrepreneur Christopher Lynch will come over from the White House’s own U.S. Digital Service.

The Pentagon is standing up a Defense Digital Service, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today. Modeled on the White House’s own agile cadre of technology wizards, the DoD DDS will be a small team of engineers and data experts meant to “improve the Department’s technological agility and solve its most complex IT problems,” defense officials said.  

In a Nov. 18 speech at George Washington University, Carter said the DDS “will bring in talent from America’s technology community to work for a specific period of time, or for a specific project, to apply a more innovative and agile approach to solving DoD’s complex IT problems. It will be led by Chris Lynch, a serial entrepreneur in the tech world. And Chris is not only sitting in the audience; it’s also his first day on the job. He flew out here from the West Coast just yesterday. Welcome to the team, Chris.”

Lynch previously served on the White House’s U.S. Digital Service, launched in August 2014 after the debacle, where he revamped tech and policy to improve delivery and manage benefits for service members.

The DoD DDS follows in the spirit of the USDS, and in the footsteps of other executive-agency teams subsequently created around the federal government. In April, Carter announced that his own department would create a similar team. “DOD doesn’t have many effective ways to harness promising technologies they come up with,” the secretary said at the time. “We need to fix that. I don’t want us to lose out on an innovative idea or capability we need because the Pentagon bureaucracy was too slow to fund something, or we weren’t amenable to working with as many startups as we could be.”

Carter’s pick to lead this new team, Lynch, previously served as a vice president for Daptiv (acquired by ChangePoint) and at Microsoft as development manager in charge of the architecture, engineering, and operation of a global customer relationship management application. “He has built companies focused on personal health, big data analytics for enterprise, consumer gifting, gaming platforms, customer insights, and engineering processes and services,” the Pentagon said in a statement. “Lynch is also a hobbyist photographer, tech geek, music lover, consumer of all things media, triathlete and Ironman.”

Note: Lynch, serial entrepreneur and new head of DDS, should not be confused with Chris Lynch, serial entrepreneur, and co-founder of Boston-based tech incubator Hack/Reduce who led the first hackathon with the Defense Department.

Close [ x ] More from DefenseOne

Thank you for subscribing to newsletters from
We think these reports might interest you:

  • Software-Defined Networking

    So many demands are being placed on federal information technology networks, which must handle vast amounts of data, accommodate voice and video, and cope with a multitude of highly connected devices while keeping government information secure from cyber threats. This issue brief discusses the state of SDN in the federal government and the path forward.

  • Military Readiness: Ensuring Readiness with Analytic Insight

    To determine military readiness, decision makers in defense organizations must develop an understanding of complex inter-relationships among readiness variables. For example, how will an anticipated change in a readiness input really impact readiness at the unit level and, equally important, how will it impact readiness outside of the unit? Learn how to form a more sophisticated and accurate understanding of readiness and make decisions in a timely and cost-effective manner.

  • Cyber Risk Report: Cybercrime Trends from 2016

    In our first half 2016 cyber trends report, SurfWatch Labs threat intelligence analysts noted one key theme – the interconnected nature of cybercrime – and the second half of the year saw organizations continuing to struggle with that reality. The number of potential cyber threats, the pool of already compromised information, and the ease of finding increasingly sophisticated cybercriminal tools continued to snowball throughout the year.

  • A New Security Architecture for Federal Networks

    Federal government networks are under constant attack, and the number of those attacks is increasing. This issue brief discusses today's threats and a new model for the future.

  • Information Operations: Retaking the High Ground

    Today's threats are fluent in rapidly evolving areas of the Internet, especially social media. Learn how military organizations can secure an advantage in this developing arena.


When you download a report, your information may be shared with the underwriters of that document.