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:

  • Ongoing Efforts in Veterans Health Care Modernization

    This report discusses the current state of veterans health care

  • Modernizing IT for Mission Success

    Surveying Federal and Defense Leaders on Priorities and Challenges at the Tactical Edge

  • Top 5 Findings: Security of Internet of Things To Be Mission-Critical

    As federal agencies increasingly leverage these capabilities, government security stakeholders now must manage and secure a growing number of devices, including those being used remotely at the “edge” of networks in a variety of locations. With such security concerns in mind, Government Business Council undertook an indepth research study of federal government leaders in January 2017. Here are five of the key takeaways below which, taken together, paint a portrait of a government that is increasingly cognizant and concerned for the future security of IoT.

  • Coordinating Incident Response on Posts, Camps and Stations

    Effective incident response on posts, camps, and stations is an increasingly complex challenge. An effective response calls for seamless conversations between multiple stakeholders on the base and beyond its borders with civilian law enforcement and emergency services personnel. This whitepaper discusses what a modern dispatch solution looks like -- one that brings together diverse channels and media, simplifies the dispatch environment and addresses technical integration challenges to ensure next generation safety and response on Department of Defense posts, camps and stations.

  • Forecasting Cloud's Future

    Conversations with Federal, State, and Local Technology Leaders on Cloud-Driven Digital Transformation


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