The Department of Defense (DoD) has selected Dave McKeown as its new CISO, a DoD spokesperson confirmed to MeriTalk.

“Dave … is a proven leader in IT strategy; cybersecurity; and the design, planning, and implementation of enterprise IT services,” said DoD CIO Dana Deasy.

McKeown is replacing former CISO Jack Wilmer, who left the Pentagon in July for the private sector. Since Wilmer’s departure, Mark Hakun has served as the acting CISO.

Prior to accepting this new role, McKeown most recently served as the director of Enterprise Services for the Department of Justice. McKeown has served in the Federal government for more than 30 years, with much of his time spent at the U.S. Air Force. At the Pentagon McKeown has served as the chief of the Enterprise Services Center and the chief of Cyber Security Center.

“Dave brings a wealth of experience from his prior positions … I am confident Dave has the right skills to serve as the Department’s leader in cybersecurity and look forward to him joining our team,” Deasy added.

McKeown joins the Pentagon at a crucial time for cybersecurity. Amid the pandemic, roughly a third of the DoD’s workforce is working remotely, which poses unique cybersecurity risks. DoD Principal Deputy CIO John Sherman confirmed Nov. 10 that the Pentagon plans to continue the use of its commercial virtual remote (CVR) capability – that has helped enable telework for the military during the coronavirus pandemic – until June of 2021. Sherman also said DoD is keeping cybersecurity at the forefront of its thinking, so that will likely be high on McKeown’s list of priorities.

He will also likely have some involvement in DoD’s Cybersecurity Maturity Model Certification (CMMC) program. The DoD’s current interim rule for CMMC is slated to take full effect on Dec. 1.

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Kate Polit
Kate Polit
Kate Polit is MeriTalk's Assistant Copy & Production Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.