Iyer will administer an annual budget of USD 16 billion for the US Army’s IT activities, equivalent in rank to a three-star general. More than 15,000 civilians and military personnel function under him, who are posted around 100 countries.
After the Pentagon created the position in July 2020, Indian-American Dr Raj Iyer decided to take over as the first Chief Information Officer of the US Army.
Iyer, who holding a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering, is one of the highest ranking Indian-American civilians in the US Department of Defense and works as the principal advisor to the Secretary of the Army and coordinates the secretary’s representation on information management/information technology (IT) matters, the Pentagon said in a statement.
Iyer will administer an annual budget of USD 16 billion for the US Army’s IT projects, equal in rank to a three-star general. More than 15,000 civilians and military personnel function under him, who are posted around 100 countries.
To achieve digital overmatch against near-peer competitors such as China and Russia, Iyer will guide the implementation of policies and programs to modernize the US Army.
The Army is devoted to utilizing emerging technology such as cloud computing, robotics and artificial intelligence through a concept called multi-domain operations, as vital facilitators for future warfare.
Earlier, Iyer was a partner and managing director at Deloitte Consulting LLP, where he directed numerous government customer service technology programs.
Iyer has assisted a variety of security and business clients on a number of dynamic business transformation challenges, including policy, innovation and modernization, over the course of his 26-year career.
He has set up new agencies, including the army’s Chief Technology Officer’s first office, co-founded a popular start-up in technology, and led recovery programs such as Obamacare. He also owns a patent and has written hundreds of articles that have been reviewed regularly.
Along with other master’s degrees, Iyer earned a Ph.d. from the University of Texas at Arlington, including a Master of Business Administration from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor and a Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the University of Texas at Arlington.
Initially from Tiruchirappalli in Tamil Nadu, Iyer having grown up in Bengal and accomplished his undergraduate studies at the Tirchi National Institute of Technology before moving to the United States to continue higher studies.
In the United States, from his father’s life savings, he barely had enough money to pay for tuition and rent for a semester, but was soon able to acquire a full fellowship to complete all of his graduate studies.
According to an online testimonial, his father, Manakkal K Ganesan, an engineer working as General Manager at Metallurgical and Engineering Consultants (MECON), was instrumental in demonstrating him a passion for public service and the importance of education and hard work.
Iyer is married to Brindha, the US government’s IT program manager for healthcare. They have two sons, Ashwin Iyer, a freshman at the University of California at Berkeley with a major in Data Science, and Abishek Iyer, a 9th grader at Maryland’s Centennial High School.