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DISA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner Secures 3rd Consecutive Wash100 Award for AI, Cybersecurity Leadership

DISA Director Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner Secures 3rd Consecutive Wash100 Award for AI, Cybersecurity Leadership
Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, Director, DISA

Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner, director of the Defense Information Systems Agency, was included in Executive Mosaic’s esteemed roster of 2024 Wash100 Award winners. This is the third time that the DISA leader was named among Executive Mosaic’s annual list of 100 elite leaders in the government and government contracting space.

Vote for Skinner as one of your favorite awardees at This year’s popular vote competition runs through April 30, so cast your 10 votes now!

“As DISA Director, Lt. Gen. Skinner oversees one of the world’s most complex global defense and communications networks, and he’s responsible for maintaining our nation’s readiness in the event of a conflict; the gravity of his work cannot be understated,” said Jim Garrettson, CEO of Executive Mosaic and founder of the Wash100 Award. “Lt. Gen. Skinner is an authoritative, stalwart leader whose impacts at DISA echo across the entirety of the defense and intelligence landscapes. We’re proud to include him and his consequential work in our Wash100 list for the third consecutive year.”

In its 11th year, the Wash100 continues to recognize the government and GovCon industry leaders who are anticipated to drive the future of government contracting in addition to demonstrating vision, innovation and career excellence.

Artificial intelligence is one of the focus areas of DISA under Skinner’s leadership. The U.S. Air Force lieutenant general said at a cyber conference in March that AI– one of the most disruptive technologies– could be used to gain strategic advantage in industry and government.

“[We are] thinking about how this applies to cybersecurity. How does it apply to intelligence? How does it apply to our warfighting capabilities? And that’s where we really need industry’s help. To help us understand faster and better than the adversary how this capability can be leveraged,” remarked Skinner.

At another event in September, Skinner shared that DISA is utilizing AI, “especially from a cybersecurity standpoint,” and that as AI is part of the Defense Enterprise Office Solution, the agency is embracing AI.

Skinner also highlighted the importance of strengthening cybersecurity measures through zero trust adoption and the need for secure information systems amid a rapidly changing digital landscape.

In July 2023, DISA tapped Booz Allen Hamilton to broadly implement and operate Thunderdome, which is to be the agency’s zero trust network access and application security architecture. The follow-on production other transaction authority agreement has a one-year base period and four one-year option periods.

The award followed the completion of the project’s prototyping effort. At that time, Skinner underscored, “Thunderdome will help us achieve this advantage by making [the Department of Defense’s] networks more secure and thereby more challenging for threat actors to gain access to DOD systems.”

Another of DISA’s cyber-oriented moves is its establishment of the Orion Cyber Operations Center-Hill to provide security capabilities for the Department of Defense Information Network. The active-active site located on Hill Air Force Base is part of the agency’s broader command and control modernization efforts. Aside from leading DISA, Skinner also serves as commander of the Joint Force Headquarters-DODIN.

At a cyber-focused conference in May, he said DISA is undergoing organizational restructuring to be more aligned with the DOD warfighting functions and with the Joint Staff and combatant commands.

Notably, the DOD used the Joint Warfighting Cloud Capability contract to award $200 million in task orders and Skinner said the department is gearing up for additional 13 task orders.

In addition to AI and cybersecurity, DISA is prioritizing efforts to boost the recruitment, training, promotion and retention of its team. The Workforce 2025 initiative is aimed at enhancing agency personnel’s cyber defense skills and knowledge in line with the 2022 National Defense Strategy requirements. It has four lines of effort: connecting the mission, expanding knowledge base, gaining edge and recruiting the best.

“The goal of the strategy is to lay a foundation for employee success that sets the standard for excellence for years to come,” said Skinner.

Executive Mosaic congratulates Lt. Gen. Robert Skinner and the DISA team on their selection to receive the 2024 Wash100 Award. Advocate for him and your other favorite awardees at

Hear insights from Skinner and other government and industry leaders who are speaking at the Potomac Officers Club’s 5th Annual CIO Summit on April 17. Register here for the in-person event.

POC - 5th Annual CIO Summit

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Written by Christine Thropp

oversees day-to-day content production for ExecutiveBiz, a publication under Executive Mosaic's media group covering government contracting industry news. She also writes about executive movements and commentaries, M&A activities, contract awards and technology and service offerings of medium-sized businesses and other GovCon companies. Prior to assuming her current responsibilities with EBiz, Thropp produced daily competitive intelligence briefings for the company's GovCon customers.

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