TN-Born Becomes First Chief Information Officer of US Army

Now that the US Congress has certified the electoral vote count and declared the victory of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris, Joe Biden and Kamala Harris are all set to be sworn-in as the President and Vice President of the United States on January 20, 2021.

 Amidst this, the United States Army has got its first Indian-born Chief Information Officer. Tamil Nadu-born Raj Iyer is the first Indian-born to hold the position of US Army’s Chief Information Officer. One of the highest ranking in the US Department of Defense, the position of Chief Information Officer was created in July 2020 and Dr Raj Iyer, Indian-American, has taken over the post now.

Equivalent in rank to a three-star General, Iyer will supervise an annual budget of USD 16 billion for the US Army’s IT operations. Over 15,000 civilians and military personnel posted across 100 countries work under him. Raj serves as the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Army and directs representation of the secretary in matters relating to information management/information technology (IT), the Pentagon said in a statement.

Raj will direct the execution of policies and programmes to modernise the US Army to achieve digital overmatch against near peer adversaries such as China and Russia.

Raj, originally a native of Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, grew up in Bengaluru. Raj Iyer completed his engineering at NIT-Trichy before flying to the US for his Masters. He holds a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering.

Raj is married to Brindha, a healthcare IT programme manager in the US government. They have two sons, Ashwin Iyer, a freshman majoring in Data Science at the University of California at Berkeley, and Abishek Iyer, a 9th grader at Centennial High School in Maryland.

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