AI Leader to Head National Security Innovation Network
ARLINGTON, VA - NOV. 14, 2022 - On Wednesday, November 9 Cheryl Ingstad was sworn in by Heidi Shyu, Department of Defense Under Secretary for Research and Engineering, as the Managing Director of the National Security Innovation Network (NSIN). The office was established in 2016 to bring together defense, academic and entrepreneurial innovators to solve national security problems in new ways. Ingstad will be meeting with partners throughout the NSIN network over the next three months beginning today in the Northwest.
November 14-16 Northwest Regional Tour:
- Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) Regional Roadshow
- Mission Acceleration Center (MAC)
- University of Washington
- Naval Sea Systems Command (NUWC)-Keyport
- Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
Ingstad brings extensive experience in both government and industry to NSIN. She most recently served as the inaugural director of the Department of Energy (DOE)’s Artificial Intelligence and Technology Office, where she was responsible for coordinating the department’s development and application of AI. In addition to standing up the new office, and achieving approval of its directives and authorities (charter), her team created the department’s AI strategy and created its first-ever AI coordination capability to track, prioritize and share best practices from 700 AI projects, with goals such as addressing climate change, supporting first responders, and providing COVID insights during the peak of the pandemic.
Prior to DOE, Ingstad led corporate and defense organizations for over 20 years. At 3M, she led critical R&D commercialization efforts in AI/Machine Learning for a business unit with revenue of $12 billion. At the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), she directed intelligence operations and was responsible for standing up new capabilities in joint information operations.
Shyu said, “NSIN is a key driver in propagating our defense innovation priorities across the country. Cheryl’s background and passion make her uniquely well positioned to lead this organization and I look forward to working with her to chart the course for the future of NSIN.”
“Cheryl brings critical public and private sector leadership experience working at the intersection of national security and breakthrough technologies with nontraditional problem solvers,” said Mike Madsen, Acting Director of the Defense Innovation Unit (DIU).
On the announcement, Ingstad said, “It is an honor to be appointed Managing Director of NSIN and to work with a team of such talented, accomplished and passionate leaders who collaborate with start-ups, academia, large and small businesses and non-profits to drive innovations that will give our Armed Forces the technological advantage against any adversary. NSIN is poised for scaling and accelerating the growth and adoption of innovations from diverse and non-traditional organizations in every part of our nation.”
Justin Dunnicliff, Deputy Director, said, “I am excited to partner with Cheryl to lead NSIN into a new phase of growth and problem-solving and to introduce her to the Pacific Northwest ecosystem this week. We share an ambition to change the way the DoD solves problems and build an effective network that engages new communities and efficiently delivers solutions to warfighter problems.”
Ingstad holds a master’s degree in international economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University, a bachelor’s degree in foreign service from Georgetown University, and she is also a graduate of the U.S. Army Signal Officer Basic Course and the U.S. Army Intelligence Analysis Course.
About National Security Innovation Network
NSIN is a government program office within the Office of the Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering (OSD(R&E)) that collaborates with major universities and the venture community to develop solutions that drive national security innovation. We operate two portfolios of programs and services: Talent and Venture. Together, these portfolios form a pipeline of activities and solutions that accelerate the pace of defense innovation.