Lauren Barrett Knausenberger is the Chief Information Officer for the Department of the Air Force, comprised of the U.S. Air Force and U.S. Space Force. Ms. Knausenberger leads two directorates and supports 20,000 cyber operations and support personnel across the globe with a portfolio valued at $17 billion. She provides oversight of the Air Force’s Information Technology portfolio including the Information Technology investment strategy from networks to cloud computing, Enterprise policies, information resources management, IT innovation initiatives, information assurance, and related matters for the Department of the Air Force.
As the Chief Information Officer (CIO), Ms. Knausenberger delivers cyber security, and enforces Freedom of Information Act and Privacy Act laws. She integrates Air Force warfighting and mission support capabilities by networking and securing air, space, and terrestrial assets. Ms. Knausenberger also leads career management initiatives for 10,000 IT/Cyber civilian personnel across all human resources facets from recruiting to professional development.
In 2017, Ms. Knausenberger joined the U.S. Air Force to drive innovation across the Department of Defense (DoD), speed adoption of emerging technologies, and create stronger partnerships between DoD, start-ups, and the venture community as the Chief Transformation Officer and Director of Cyberspace Innovation under the Deputy Chief Information Officer.
Prior to joining the Air Force, she was the founder and President of Accellint Inc., a consulting firm and Venture Partner with NextGen Angels, specializing in solving problems of national security importance, and investing in commercial technologies that could be applied to a government mission. Ms. Knausenberger often jokes that she joined the Air Force “by accident.” Her work with Accellint and NextGen led to a serendipitous meeting with an Air Force Captain and General, where her bar napkin sketch turned into a powerful framework and the series of conversations that followed opened her eyes to a problem set that was too enticing to turn away. As the CIO she continues to go after hard problems, calculates risk differently, and ensures we keep a constant pulse on the voice of the Airmen.
Prior to her time as an entrepreneur and venture capitalist, Ms. Knausenberger held positions of increasing responsibility at American Management Systems (acquired by CACI) and CACI, beginning as a systems analyst and designer, then as a go-to project manager for program turnarounds, a program manager for large IT and finance programs, and finally as a division manager overseeing much of the company’s Intelligence Community portfolio. During this time Ms. Knausenberger had the pleasure of serving the mission of the CIA directly as well as leading and mentoring cross-functional teams and organizations supporting national security missions.
Ms. Knausenberger earned a Bachelor of Science degree in decision and information sciences from University of Maryland and a Master of Business Administration from University of Pennsylvania Wharton School of Business.