Headshot of person/agency from Department of the Air Force

Lauren Knausenberger

CIO, Department of the Air Force

Golden Gov: Executive of the Year

Chief Information Officer Lauren Knausenberger has a laser-focused vision to transform the Department of the Air Force’s IT. In August, her office issued a “CIO strategy” meant to hone the department’s IT efforts through fiscal 2028 across six lines of effort: accelerate cloud adoption; future of cybersecurity; workforce; IT portfolio management; excellence in core IT and mission-enabling services; and data and AI. “This was our effort to publicly go to the next level of detail and say where are we throwing our money and our time and our focus and our effort, and where do we want industry and our community to also focus,” Knausenberger said then. “We’re at the point where we really have to execute and we have to block and tackle, and we have to be able to operate very, very effectively.” In the past year, she’s also been a champion for the personnel who have pushed the Department of Defense to deliver basic computing capability through the “Fix Our Computers” saga. “The department has gotten much more serious about replacing end-of-life equipment, and really cyber hygiene in general,” she said. “Culturally, we’re taking this a lot more seriously.”