Oki Mek, who became the Department of Health and Human Services’ (HHS) first chief artificial intelligence officer in late 2020 and left government service in February of this year, landed at Microsoft in August as the company’s chief information security officer (CISO) for the Federal civilian sector.

Mek had worked in the Federal government since 1997, spending the largest chunk of his time overseeing information technology and security for both the Energy Department and HHS.

“I am extremely excited to join #Microsoft as CISO for Federal Civilian sector,” Mek wrote on his LinkedIn page this week. “As a veteran and a lifelong civil servant, I am privileged to be given the opportunity to continue to support the federal government and to help strengthen the nation’s cybersecurity posture.”

As the first-ever appointee to oversee the AI strategy at HHS in December 2020, Mek chalked up several accomplishments including publishing an AI playbook, launching a community of practice, finalizing the AI council, and facilitating the guidance of regulation for AI applications.

After just over one year of leading the department’s commitment to improve health and human services through AI, Mek joined Equideum Health as CISO in April 2022.

“It’s important to recognize Oki Mek for his dedication and outstanding service as the very first CAIO,” an HHS spokesperson told MeriTalk earlier this year. “He built a strong foundation and greatly advanced the Department’s AI efforts during his time at HHS.”

Microsoft declined to comment for this story.

Read More About
More Topics
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan
Cate Burgan is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.