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Tech executive Victoria Coleman named director of DARPA

Coleman is a member of the Defense Science Board and has held several senior posts in the private sector and academia.
Victoria Coleman via LinkedIn

WASHINGTON — Technology executive and Pentagon advisor Victoria Coleman has been named director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Defense Department announced Aug. 31.

Coleman replaces Steven Walker, who stepped down in January 2020. DARPA deputy director Peter Highnam has served as acting director.

A DARPA spokesman said Coleman will officially join the agency in mid to late September.

Coleman for the past several years has been a senior advisor at the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS) at the University of California Berkeley. She was previously the CEO of Atlas AI, a public benefit corporation that applies artificial intelligence solutions to sustainable development.

She is a member of the Defense Science Board, a member of Lockheed Martin’s Technology Advisory Group and a member of Santa Clara University’s Advisory Board for the Department of Computer Engineering.

Coleman was the founding chair of DARPA’s Microsystems Exploratory Council. Her expertise includes artificial intelligence, microelectronics, mobile devices and other consumer electronics products.

Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Research and Engineering Michael Kratsios welcomed Coleman in a statement.

“During this era of great power competition, DARPA is critical to strengthening the U.S. military’s technological dominance and advancing innovations that benefit our warfighters,” Kratsios said.

Sandra Erwin writes about military space programs, policy, technology and the industry that supports this sector. She has covered the military, the Pentagon, Congress and the defense industry for nearly...