Michael Foster

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Michael Foster

Chief Data Officer

Department of Defense

U.S. Central Command

Dr. Michael Foster was chosen in Oct. 2023 to serve as the Chief Data Officer for U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) within the Department of Defense. He leads efforts across the organization’s headquarters, components, and subordinate units to leverage data more effectively for digital modernization and data-centric operations in support of the warfighter and CENTCOM’s missions.

Dr. Foster previously served in technology and data leadership positions in private industry, including as Director of Emergent Government Solutions for Maxar and Head of Solutions Engineering for CrowdAI. In these roles, he drove the development and integration of critical data and AI capabilities across the technology sector and the Department of Defense. His experience spans big data management, artificial intelligence model development, and spatio-temporal analytics.

His previous leadership positions in government included serving in the Senior Executive Service and Co-Director for Commercial GEOINT Activity for the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency. He also was a Commissioned Officer in the U.S. Air Force, including assignments at the Air Force Research Laboratory as a laser radar scientist and at the National Reconnaissance Office as a Branch Chief for Advanced Payloads and a Legislative Liaison.

Dr. Foster earned his PhD in Imaging Science from Rochester Institute of Technology and a physics degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy.

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