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Wennergren led a variety of important IT initiatives as CIO of the Department of the Navy, and later as Deputy CIO for the Defense Department. He also was an influential member of the Federal CIO Council who often spoke publicly about the importance of integrating, not simply balancing, the need to share information with the need to secure it. But he was equally passionate about enlightened management practices, which earned him an influential oversight position at DoD. News of his retirement was based on an email announcing a retirement gathering in his honor and first reported by Federal News Radio. Wennergren's office did not respond to requests for details.
In his most recent position, Wennergren served as the delegated decision authority and principal deputy to the DoD's deputy chief management officer, Elizabeth McGrath, overseeing efforts to "better synchronize, integrate and optimize business operations to improve effectiveness and increase efficiency," according to the DOD. Prior to that, Wennergren had served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for information management, integration and technology, and deputy chief information officer.
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As deputy CIO, Wennergren stressed the importance of using open source in the U.S. military. In a memo sent to top military officials during that time, he pointed to reliability, security and lower total cost of ownership as among the potential benefits. He argued that "misconceptions and misinterpretations" of laws and defense policy "have hampered effective DoD use and development" of open source software.
The arc of Wennergren's career included leadership stints at a variety of workgroups and initiatives. As chair of the Committee for National Security Systems and chair of the DoD's Identity Protection and Management Senior Coordinating Group, Wennergren achieved the successful deployment of the DoD Common Access Card. And in his role as the director of the DoD-Veterans Affairs Interagency Program Office, Wennergren worked on improving health information technology for service members and veterans. Additionally, Wennergren was vice chair of the government's Federal CIO Council for five years.
Before joining the DoD, Wennergren served for four years as the Department of the Navy's CIO, while taking on another role as critical infrastructure assurance officer. Prior to that, he spent four years as the Navy's deputy CIO, leading enterprise integration and security efforts. He also led the redesign of the Navy's shore installation management structure, and worked as a management analyst at naval field activities.