CENTCOM hires new chief data officer

By Georgina DiNardo / December 1, 2023 at 4:42 PM

U.S. Central Command announced the hiring of a new chief data officer today, who will oversee data efforts spanning the organization's headquarters, components and subordinate units.

Michael Foster was hired in November to fill the role.

"I am honored to be given the opportunity to serve with CENTCOM and contribute to their already impressive accomplishments," Foster said. “I am excited by the challenges of developing data-centric solutions to enable warfighting across the CENTCOM region.”

Previously, Foster served as the machine learning director for Maxar, the head of solutions engineering for CrowdAI and led Defense Department integration efforts regarding artificial intelligence and data. He also has experience working with “big data management, artificial intelligence model development and spatio-temporal analytics,” according to a CENTCOM press release today.

"As an organization focused on digital modernization and data-centric operations, we are committed to leveraging our data more effectively and efficiently in support of our missions. Dr. Foster brings an impressive resume as a data leader at the U.S. Air Force, National Reconnaissance Office and multiple cutting-edge artificial intelligence and machine-learning companies. We look forward to leveraging his exceptional capabilities to drive forward our digital initiatives," said Gen. Michael Kurilla, commander of CENTCOM. “Dr. Foster joins our Chief Technology Officer, Schuyler Moore and our adviser for AI, robotics, cloud computing and data analytics, Dr. Andrew Moore, CENTCOM’s Innovation and Capabilities Integration Cell.”

Foster, a graduate of the U.S Air Force Academy, has a degree in physics and previously served as a member of the senior executive service for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency.

"Our strategic approach -- summarized by 'People, Partners, and Innovation,' relies on bringing in the best talent from across the military and from civilian industry and then empowering that talent," said Kurilla. "Dr. Foster is a phenomenal talent with a rare set of skills in the employment of data to enable the warfighter. He will help us advance as a data-centric organization to enable our critical mission in the region."