U.S. Army Chief Information Officer Leonel Garciga has been named to Executive Mosaic’s prestigious Wash100 list for 2024. Garciga’s bold approach to information technology modernization and his spirit of catalyzing innovation within the Army have earned him his first Wash100 Award.
Vote for Leonel Garciga as your favorite 2024 Wash100 Award winner at Wash100.com! Voting closes on April 30, and the winner of the Wash100 popular vote competition will be announced shortly thereafter.
Each year, 100 promising executives are named to Executive Mosaic’s Wash100 list. These individuals are recognized not only for their proven leadership and innovation in the government and government contracting sectors, but also for their potential to influence GovCon in the coming year.
“Leonel has taken up the mantle as the Army’s new CIO, and as such, he’ll be playing a pivotal role in ushering the service branch into a new era of data centricity and transformative IT modernization,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and founder of the Wash100 Award.
“His technical expertise as the former top tech officer for Army intelligence, combined with his reputation for cutting through red tape make Leonel a well-equipped leader to oversee the Army’s $18 billion cyber and IT portfolio and an obvious pick for this year’s Wash100 list,” Garrettson added.
Garciga, a U.S. Navy veteran, was appointed to the Army CIO post in June 2023. In this role, he is the principal adviser to the secretary of the Army and he oversees the service’s technology modernization efforts and manages information systems.
In his first few months as Army CIO, Garciga has already earned a reputation for being a “bureaucracy hacker” and a “yes man” who prioritizes speed and capability in adopting and deploying emerging technologies and capabilities.
“We’ve got to move fast, right? We have to be able to adapt. We cannot be stuck with the bureaucracy. I live for people telling me why I can’t do something that’s written down, or that I’m already allowed to do, because of an interpretation,” said Garciga at the AFCEA TechNet Augusta conference in August.
As CIO, Garciga also has taken the helm of executing the service’s Digital Transformation Strategy, released by former Army CIO Raj Iyer in 2021. The strategy outlines how the Army plans to use innovative technologies to achieve overmatch across all domains, and Garciga is already imbuing a sense of urgency and action into how he carries out the strategy.
“Cloud? Let’s run as fast as we can, let’s learn as fast as we can. Defensive cyber? Let’s move as fast as we can, learn as fast as we can,” said Garciga. “We’re in, kind of, the next stage. A little bit of the foundation is in place, and now we’ve got to pick up all the pieces.”
Shortly after assuming his role, Garciga began developing interim policies for software, cybersecurity and data aimed at helping the Army keep pace with commercial developments in these areas.
“We’re going to focus on some things that are huge leaps, both from a security perspective and from the ability to build software out faster. Container guidance — that’ll be coming out soon,” Garciga said in August.
Prior to becoming CIO, Garciga served as director of information management within the Army’s Office of the Deputy Chief of Staff, G-2 for four years. Earlier in his career, Garciga served as the chief technology officer for the newly established Joint Improvised-Threat Defeat Organization, which later moved under the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He also worked as an intelligence analyst at the Defense Intelligence Agency for three years.
Executive Mosaic extends its most sincere congratulations to Leonel Garciga and the U.S. Army for their inclusion in this year’s Wash100 list.
Don’t forget to vote for Garciga as your esteemed 2024 Wash100 awardee at Wash100.com!