Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has appointed two Indian Americans – a former F-16 pilot and an Iraq war veteran – in leadership positions for the Pentagon's centre in Silicon Valley aimed at innovation in IT solutions for the military.
Defence Secretary Ashton Carter has appointed two Indian Americans – a former F-16 pilot and an Iraq war veteran – in leadership positions for the Pentagon’s centre in Silicon Valley aimed at innovation in IT solutions for the military.
The four-member team of Raj Shah and Vishaal Hariprasad, along with Christopher Kirchhoff and Isaac Taylor, would report directly to Carter, as he announced to scale up his brainchild Defence Innovation Unit Experimental (DIUx) that he opened in Silicon Valley last year.
It would also have another outpost in Boston, Carter said during his visit to Silicon Valley yesterday.
Since its launch eight months ago, DIUx has made progress in putting commercially-based innovation into the hands of America’s soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines, Carter said.
“We’re upgrading this DIUx’s processing power,” he said adding that he has requested a USD 30 million in new funding to direct toward non-traditional companies with emerging commercially-based technologies that meet military needs.
“Because the missions now assigned to DIUx are far broader than any one person can oversee, I’m establishing a partnership-style leadership structure for DIUx, one that includes technologists, investors, and business executives,” he said as he named the four partners – Shah, Hariprasad, Kirchhoff and Taylor.
Most recently, Shah was the Senior Director of Strategy at Palo Alto Networks. Previously he was CEO and Co-Founder of a cyber security company acquired in 2014.
Earlier he was a Special Assistant in the Office of the Secretary of Defence and began his business career as a consultant with McKinsey.
Shah has also served an F-16 pilot in the US Air Force where he completed multiple combat tours and has attended Princeton University and is an MBA from the Wharton School.
He is a member of the Council of Foreign Relations and an affiliate at Stanford University’s Center for International Security and Cooperation (CISAC).
Hariprasad is an Iraq War veteran who earned the Bronze Star Medal. He is the former Technical Co-founder and Director of Software Engineering for Morta Security, prior to the firm’s acquisition by Palo Alto Networks.
A graduate of the US Air Force Academy with a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics, he served as a Cyberspace Operations Officer for the air force and National Security Agency.
Hariprasad has served numerous combat deployments and stations overseas and holds a Master’s degree in information technology from Virginia Tech University