Dr. Stacey Dixon took over as Director of the Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (IARPA) in September of last year. Her specific task is to advance innovative research programs that will help the Government gain an advantage in the overall intelligence mission. No small task.
Dr. Dixon is also a featured speaker at The Cipher Brief’s 2019 Threat Conference and we spoke with her in a pre-conference brief, about the challenges of leading the way toward investment in high-risk/high-payoff research programs.
The programs IARPA is particularly interested in, she told us, are ones that better position the U.S. to have an “overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries.” That’s a tall order in today’s fast-moving tech environment and it requires having IARPA’s research finger on the pulse of everything from AI to 5G.
One of the best things about IARPA, also poses one of its biggest challenges, as it is heavily-reliant on private sector research and partnerships, a topic that is both controversial and challenging in today’s environment. We asked Dr. Dixon to talk to us about a few of the points she’ll be addressing at the conference, about exactly what the government is most interested in and what needs to happen to make it work.
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