David Spirk, Jr.
Chief Data Officer, USSOCOM
In August 2018, Dave rejoined USSOCOM as its first-generation Chief Data Officer (CDO). In this role he is responsible to the Commander for the creation of a data driven decision making culture while leading the integration of Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning/automation across the US Special Forces enterprise.
Immediately prior to this assignment, Dave was the Associate Director of Technology Investment at the Secretary of the Air Force’s (SECAF) Concept Development and Management Office for Advanced Analytics and Technology Investment (CDMA). Since 2016, Dave was responsible for advising SECAF and Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence (USDI) leadership on industry leading technology required to advance the Defense Intelligence Enterprise mission across operational and functional requirements. His primary focus was support to the DoD’s pathfinding Artificial Intelligence effort (Project Maven) where he conceptualized, stood up, and lead the DoD’s first training quality data production refinery and brokerage house.
Prior to that, Dave joined the United States Special Operations Command (USSOCOM) Intelligence Directorate in March 2015 and assumed the position of Associate Director. In the position, Dave was responsible for advising USSOCOM leadership and the Director of Intelligence (J2) on operational activities associated with the provision of intelligence to support the Special Operations Force (SOF) Enterprise. Dave’s primary effort was establishing a series of collective outcomes to focus the J2’s activities while advocating for and establishing policies and technology to enable the broad use of Public Available Information (PAI) into a traditionally closed intelligence system.
Before the shift to USSOCOM, Dave served as the Deputy Director of Intelligence at United States Central Command (USCENTCOM). As the Deputy Director of Intelligence for Operations, Dave led the USCENTCOM J2's Divisions for Operations, Plans, Intelligence Surveillance, and Reconnaissance (ISR), and Foreign Disclosure/Special Security Office. Dave arrived at USCENTCOM in August of 2010 but quickly moved forward to Afghanistan to serve as the Commander of the International Security and Assistance Force's Senior Intelligence Advisor.
In 2009, he was selected by the Director of National Intelligence to stand up the Associate Director of National Intelligence for Afghanistan and Pakistan (ADNI Af/Pak) and was retained by the ADNI Af/Pak to serve as its Deputy and Chief of Operations. In this role, Dave was responsible for overseeing daily operations, working with senior officials across the US Interagency, while also ensuring strategic alignment of the IC's Af/Pak and counter-terrorism missions. In addition to running the day-to-day operations of the team, Dave regularly represented the senior IC position on Af/Pak matters at the White House and with congressional leaders.
Dave joined the ODNI in June 2007 to be the Chief of Operations for the Cuba/Venezuela Mission Manager where he also took the lead role in developing and implementing the US Intelligence Community's strategy to support US Interagency and Government of Mexico efforts against the expanding influence and violence of drug cartels.
Dave is a former-Marine that served across echelons at various east coast United States Marine Corps (USMC) elements that set the stage for many deployments throughout the Balkans, Africa, and South Asia. He was the first USMC Intelligence Specialist in Afghanistan after the attacks on the September 11, 2001 where as a member of Task Force-58, more specifically the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit (Special Operations Capable), he participated in the seizure of Kandahar Airfield and the reopening of the American Embassy in Kabul.
Following his time in Afghanistan, Dave received orders to United States Southern Command (USSOUTHCOM). While working at USSOUTHCOM he deployed to Colombia numerous times, totaling over 18 months in country, and held various analytic/targeting positions before leaving the Marine Corps when asked by the USSOUTHCOM Director of Intelligence to standup a Venezuela Division as a Department of Army Civilian. During this time, Dave served as the USSOUTHCOM Commander’s principle briefer for distinguished visitors and Strategic Planning Process' Mission Panel Chair for Ensure Domain Awareness out of which arose the Partnership for the Americas Command Center.
Dave is married to Amy Weiss, MD, and they have two sons: Eli (7) and Hudson (5). He is an avid entrepreneur who is an investor/operations consultant of a regional coffee production/retail company and is in the process of launching a technology forward basketball training business.