• Home
  • >
  • Nancy Morgan, CEO, Ellis Morgan Enterprises

Nancy Morgan, CEO, Ellis Morgan Enterprises

Describe your career to date

I am CEO of Ellis Morgan Enterprises, a National Security Executive leader, and the former US Government Intelligence Community Chief Data Officer (IC CDO). I have over 35 years of executive level experience leading strategy, innovation and driving transformation in the data and information technology arenas. I now provide independent consulting and advisory board work related to data and artificial intelligence (AI) strategy, trustworthy use of data and AI, corporate governance and working with the public sector.  

While in Government, I successfully led numerous data and IT initiatives serving as a program manager and Executive Leader at the Central Intelligence Agency. I have extensive experience leading major corporate transformation efforts and standing up new organizations across portfolios for data strategy, data management, data policy, data literacy and data acumen, digital transformation, software development, and cloud technology adoption and migration in the national security and intelligence arenas.  

I am a champion for women in STEM fields and developing the next generation workforce. During my last tour with the Federal Government, I was on a joint duty assignment to the office of the Director of National Intelligence, where I served as Assistant Director of National Intelligence for Domestic Engagement, Information Sharing and Data and was dual hatted as the IC CDO.  

I led the IC’s strategic initiative to re-imagine the future of the IC’s data and information landscape in the digital era. I serve as a Strategic Advisor on SambaNova Systems’ Artificial Intelligence Innovation Advisory Council, Informa’s AI Security Council, and for The Cantellus Group. I am also an active member of Women Leaders in Data and AI (WLDA) and a frequent public speaker. 

What challenges do you see for data in the year ahead that will have an impact on your clients and on the industry as a whole?  

Challenges include the continued need for trustworthy data as a key enabler for all aspects of running an organization, creating business value, and powering AI solutions. Organizations are still grappling with the five data Vs: volume, variety, velocity, veracity, and validity. Strong data management practices and data quality are a key pillar of organizational readiness for AI and broader digital transformation.  

The other enabler and a source of competitive advantage is the need to increase data acumen at every level of an organization, including board members. Everyone has a role to play to ensure that the right data gets to the right people (and machines) in the right form and at the right time. 

How are you developing the data literacy of a) your own organization and b) your clients? 

Increasing data acumen at every level of the organization is a key investment – it may be essential to help your organization survive and thrive. I like to work across the digital C-suite to build the business case and drive investments for digital, data, AI, and cyber acumen and understand how to tie-in data management and cybersecurity to broader risk management practices.  

Creating opportunities for cross-functional teams to develop and prioritize use cases in turn can help prioritize where to focus data literacy resources. Organizations need to celebrate successes but also take time to inspect and adapt to learn from pilots and projects that do not go as planned. 

How are you preparing your organization and your clients for AI adoption and change management?  

Start with the overall organization strategy. What opportunities are you seeking or what problems are you trying to solve? Define your guiding principles and guardrails. Then think about which type of technical solution would be best suited.  

Teams will have to ideate, experiment and pilot to determine potential outcomes. Identify key internal and external stakeholders and partners who will be critical to success and engage with people who could be impacted by AI solutions.  

AI innovation and adoption bring enormous potential for good and for disruption. Teams need to think through potential outcomes, architect for change, and be ready to pivot as the mission priorities, environment, and threat landscape evolve. 

Nancy Morgan
has been included in:
  • 100 Enablers 2024 (USA)