I’ve had the privilege of leading two wonderful and very different federal R&D organizations: the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). In between, I worked for 15 years in Silicon Valley, first in a couple of companies and then for a decade as an early-stage venture capitalist at U.S. Venture Partners. I’ve teamed with great people at startups, mature companies, universities, government labs, and nonprofits across a variety of sectors. Together, we’ve advanced research, brought products to market, and demonstrated powerful new technological capabilities.
- Berggruen Fellow at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences (CASBS) at Stanford University 2017-18.
- Director of DARPA 2012-17. DARPA is the U.S. Defense Department agency with the mission to make the pivotal early investments in breakthrough technologies for national security. Working with an exceptional staff of about 200 government employees and an annual budget of $3 billion, I focused DARPA's efforts on fundamentally rethinking complex military systems; developing the next generation of artificial intelligence and data science; and planting new seeds of technological surprise in fields spanning causal modeling, biological technology, and social science.
- Partner and general partner, U.S. Venture Partners 2001-2010. I identified, invested in, and served as a board member for early-stage companies in energy and efficiency technologies, components for consumer electronics, and semiconductor process and design technology.
- Vice president and president of Interval Research 1998-2000.
- SVP and CTO of Raychem 1997-98.
- Director of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) 1993-97. NIST provides measurement standards and other infrastructure technologies for U.S. economic growth. With my team, I managed a staff of 3200 and an annual budget of $500 million to $1 billion. We implemented a DARPA approach for NIST’s Advanced Technology Program, starting 11 focused programs; worked with all 50 states to expand the Manufacturing Extension Partnership to full national scale; expanded the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award; and strengthened the NIST laboratories’ work on the measurement standards that enable commerce and research.
- Program manager for advanced semiconductor technologies and founding director of the Microelectronics Technology Office at DARPA 1986-93.
- Congressional fellow at the Office of Technology Assessment 1984-86.
- Ph.D. in applied physics and M.S. in electrical engineering from Caltech; B.S. in electrical engineering from Texas Tech.